United Kingdom and Ireland - Day 47

 

 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017, Fort William to Mallaig, Armadale, Portree, Dornie and Fort Augustus

 

Another rainy day, some patches of sun mid-morning and early afternoon but more rain this afternoon.

 

Early start to catch the 9:40am ferry from Mallaig with our planned first stop at Glenfinnan. The start of our drive was alongside Loch Eli but with the weather like it was, we could see very little. The Glenfinnan stop was to view a large curved railway viaduct, constructed in 1898 and still in use, 21 spans, 380 metres long and 30 metres high. Great engineering but due to the weather, pouring rain at the time and a walk involved we let this one go. For any Harry Potter fans, the viaduct was used in the movies for the Hogwarts Express. The train runs as a tourist train at regular intervals.

 

Not long after leaving Glenfinnan we passed through the rain into sunshine for the rest of the run into Mallaig and onto the ferry. About 35 minutes across to Amadale on the Isle of Skye. By the time we got there the weather was closing in again and so it went during the day. Following the route up the northern coast of Skye to Portree remained generally fine and after lunch and a look around Portree we continued north with the intention of completing the loop across the northern most part of the isle then back to Portree, Enjoying the sun for a little longer we passed The Storr, a rock formation of pinnacles and skirting a number of locks made our way to Mealt Falls and Kilt Rock. Mealt Falls seem to appear out of nowhere. There are a number of streams that flow out of the rugged hills that stretch all the way along that section of the coast but this one flows under a bridge on the road and about 100 metres further on, pours out over a cliff face directly into the sea. It looks marvellous and from the viewpoint, you cannot see the stream, just the outflow. Near the waterfall, there is a cliff face called Kilt Rock, so called as the colours and bands of rock in the cliff face look like kilts.

 

Unfortunately, by now the rain had started again and with the road around the top sealed but only single lane, we decided to head back south and off the isle.via the Skye Bridge built in 1995 to replace a ferry. This bridge crosses Loch Alsh from Skye to the the island of Eilean Ban then the Carrich Viaduct completes the crossing to the mainland,

 

In consistent rain, we drove through Dornie past the Eilean Donan (island of Donnan) Castle, built in the 13th century on a small tidal island where threel lochs meet, was destroyed in 1719. The castle was completely restored early in the 20th century. From Dornie it was alongside Loch Duich to Shiel Bridge then over the Sgurr Fhuaran range and alongside Loch Cluanie to Loch Ness then south to Fort Augustus, still in the rain, for tonight's stop. We are in The Inch Hotel, a former Hunting Lodge, over 150 years old.

 

We can honestly say we are within an Inch of Fort Augustus and a good stone's throw from Loch Ness. Tomorrow we search for Nessie.

 

 

  • Railway Viaduct near Mallaig Railway Viaduct near Mallaig
  • The Ferry from Mallaig to Amadale The Ferry from Mallaig to Amadale
  • Rain over the Isle of Skye Rain over the Isle of Skye
  • The harbour at Armadale The harbour at Armadale
  • Ornsay Lighthouse Ornsay Lighthouse
  • Small roadside Falls flowing into Loch Ainort, Isle of Skye Small roadside Falls flowing into Loch Ainort, Isle of Skye
  • Stream flowing to Loch Ainort, Isle of Skye Stream flowing to Loch Ainort, Isle of Skye
  • Beinn na Caillich Beinn na Caillich
  • Bla Bheinn Bla Bheinn
  • Marsco on left and Bla Bheinn on right Marsco on left and Bla Bheinn on right
  • The Storr The Storr
  • Mealt Falls and Kilt Rock Mealt Falls and Kilt Rock
  • Kilt Rock Kilt Rock
  • Cliff face near Mealt Falls Cliff face near Mealt Falls
  • Harbour at Portree, Isle of Skye Harbour at Portree, Isle of Skye
  • The Lump, Portree, Isle of Skye The Lump, Portree, Isle of Skye
  • Mountains in the mist Mountains in the mist
  • Skye Bridge between the Isle of Skye and the mainland Skye Bridge between the Isle of Skye and the mainland
  • Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie
  • The Inch Hunting Lodge, Fort Augustus The Inch Hunting Lodge, Fort Augustus
  • Loch Ness from The Inch Loch Ness from The Inch
     

 

 

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