Saturday, 20 October 2007

Thursday 11 October - Broadford to Mallaig

The bus ran from Portree to Armadale, although I have interrupted the narrative at Broadford. From there, the route branches off south from the main road which leads to the Skye Bridge, 9 miles to the east at Kyleakin. In October 2004, I spent a week at Kyleakin, roaming the countryside south of Broadford. I also explored the area shown in the pictures as Kinloch and Drumfearn. The road used to be single-track all the 16 miles to Armadale, but now is mainly double-track, except for the last 5 miles into Armadale. That is actually only the ferry terminal, a hotel, a youth hostel and a shop or two. The nearest village is Ardvasar (stress the second syllable). The ferry to Mallaig in summertime is the one on service, Coruisk (or in Gaelic: Coir' Uisg', Valley of Water).

Coruisk is a valley in the Cuillin Mountains of Skye, from where the peaks rear straight up a mere 3,000 feet or more. The rock is of a very rough type called gabbro. You can reach Coruisk on foot, if you don't mind teetering 100 feet over water. Alternatively, there is a boat.

The ferry boat has a checkered history, even though it has been in service only since 2003. First of all, it cannot sail in anything over force 6, due to its high superstructure. Secondly, on its third voyage into Mallaig, it took a turning too wide and lost a propellor (the prop is shown below, being recovered). Read more here in West Word.

I have fond memories of this crossing, as it is the place where my affiliation with the Highlands & Islands took off. Meanwhile, back to 2007. The tide was high, so the gangway from the vessel was at quite an acute angle. It presented problems for the elderly passengers, who just managed to get down it. Our accommodation was about 10 minutes' walk away along the harbour front. 

6 comments:

  1. lindapaterson17720 October 2007 at 19:52

    Loved the picture of the valley, bella x

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  2. Dear Guido
    I could never ever get tired of looking at photographs of the Highlands and Islands.  Look at the different changes on the scenery that the weather brought upon the sea and the landscape.  The cloud cover in one of them still parted to highlight the colour of the grasses on the mountain sides.  
    Brilliant!  Not one picture could ever look the same in Scotland because the scenery changes from moment to moment.
    I so enjoyed these!
    Thank you.
    Jeanie

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  3. Awesome pics.... love Armadale and the Tea Garden at the Backpacker's lodge.

    Joann

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  4. Wonderful photographs. I love the picture of the valley, awesome!  I am still amazed at how nice & huge the ferry's are.
    Lisa

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  5. You are such a wonderful photographer!!!!!!!!!!!!....June:)

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  6. I'm really enjoying going along with you on this journey.
    Lori

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