Day seven of our expedition to Skye, a day to move on, a day to start heading south again.
The group were up again an hour before sunrise to take on the mighty Sligachan river outside the hotel before breakfast and a frosty sunrise ensure clear views of the Cullin and a chance to capture the raging river and rapids.
Once packed up and checked out we headed off of the island across the Skye Bridge and was soon at Dornie, home of the photogenic Eilean Donan Castle, probably the most photographed castle in Scotland, if not the World (and rightly so). The way it sits out in the Loch, reached by a stone bridge with three perfect arches, its placement beneath the peaks and out in the loch as well as its classic Scottish Keep shape make it a wonderful subject. (I wish I could say the same about the quality of the cafe, but sadly the minuscule pot of tea and so-called “Whiskey Fruit Cake, which I think had just had a whiskey bottle waved at it rather than pouring any of its content into the mix, had certainly succumbed to the tourist trap disease. Disappointing as every other eatery we had used in Scotland was superb).
The long drive from here to Glencoe is never arduous. The scenery is just too wonderful for it ever to become a chore, especially as at this time of year the autumn foliage is starting to form up. A quick fill up with diesel in Fort William and then, en-route to our hotel in Glencoe village, a fortuitous glance over to the loch and I glimpsed an old wooden sailing boat, its reflection mirrored in the loch with the evening light illuminating the hills beyond, capped by cirrus clouds. A quick U-Turn had us all piling out of the van with our gear to capture this idyllic view before the light went off the hills. It was amazing. We had only been there for a few minutes before several other vehicles full of photographers began to stop and jump out to see what we were shooting. They soon joined in framing up the scene, although one group of what looked like nature photographers going by the camouflage gear and length of their lenses just said ‘Oh, its only a boat”.
Our final night was spent enjoying a great meal together reliving the glories of the week, its incidents, its highs and lows, the ‘in’ jokes and great things we had experienced. As always seems to happen on these trips, friendships are forged which last years and this is often of even greater value than the images made or the new things learned.
Day eight saw us make the dash back to Edinburgh airport for the first drop off and then the long drive back home. There is always a quietness in the van on the way home. Perhaps a bit of melancholy at the trip being over, perhaps some meditating on the experiences of the week and, to be honest, going by the snoring, quite a bit of catching up on lost sleep 🙂
I am already planning several new trips like this one (a couple more extensive to some amazing locations) for 2014 and 2015. If you would like to be added to the no-obligation shortlist, please send me an email or use the “contact me” form on the right hand side of this page. Most of these trips book up from people on the shortlist so they never make it on to my website or into my regular newsletter. I hope you can join me on my next adventure!