Day 216: Uig to Flodigarry
Distance: 17.76 miles
Ascent: 3296 feet
Weather: Overcast With occasional Light Rain
Accommodation: Caravan at Flodigarry hostel (Kindly Offered)
The sky looked ominous but it was dry as I took my tent down and I even ambitiously decided to go off in dry weather set up, though with the rucksack cover on. I should fess up now as I had made a bit of an error on my last rest day and I ran out of time before the bus so had not got time to pdf or print todays maps. I had expected to do this later in the week but forgot/not possible to do it. On top of this my phone had decided to delete the area of map I had saved for this particular reason, and I had no signal so couldn’t open OS maps app. So, all that added up to a day without maps (only second time on walk) which I had realised last night. But the route today would never be far from the loop road so I was not worried about not having a map even though it didn’t feel right.
The guy from Flodigarry Hostel where I would be staying tonight had said there is a path (not shown on map) from the cliffs above Uig to Bornesketaig, but my proposed route was along the road just slightly inland. I decided to check out his route and after getting to the top of the cliffs (where it started raining so had to put on waterproofs) I did find a path but it fizzled out pretty quickly. Normally I would have persevered but without a map and also knowing the road went fairly coastal for this first bit I backtracked and took the road up to Duntulm. This was a quiet, narrow road with some incredible vistas especially the descent clinging to the cliffs after Hungladder. It had been quite wet for this section but nothing too bad.
At Duntulm much to my surprise there was a converted vintage van that now served hot drinks and snacks. I grabbed a tea and asked the guy if I could continue directly along the coast from here to the point. He said yes in the days when he was a whelk collector they took the steps down beside the castle, then followed around the horseshoe bay, before you could go through a little gate and climbing from there up to the headland and the old coastguards hut. I was not completely convinced but found the stairs down, and then once on the grass by the horseshoe bay there was actually a slight path that I could easily follow and lo and behold there was a gate and then the feint path climbed the hill eventually reaching the coastguards hut, now called The Lookout and is actually a bothy and due to it’s ease of access quite a busy one. Apparently there had been 10 people in it last night and it is not much bigger than many peoples kitchen though it is very quaint.
As I had no map I thought I would ask in the bothy, even though it looked like there was a path going in the direction I was aiming. But for some reason they told me that direction was dangerous and sent me down to Rubha Hunish, which involved a very steep, rocky descent and at the bottom was clear I could not get to where I wanted from here, so I had to climb back up and follow the path I thought I should take first as part of the Skye Trail and indeed it was correct.
There were a fair few people walking this section and after Balmacqueen it became quite spectacular with beautiful cliffs, stacks and arches as far as the eye could see. The weather was also playing ball with only very light rain occasionally, and this section was one I really enjoyed and I took far too many photos. The path was good (and the route very clever) though there were a few seemingly needless small issues with barbed wire and or fences that had been put up, as though it is an ‘official’ trail it does not have the status of an official public footpath.
After one particularly steep descent I reached Flodigarry and in particular Flodigarry Hostel where I would be staying for my rest day. The owners had very kindly let me use their own caravan for the two nights as the hostel was full, and even more kindly had left me a very delicious sheperds pie on my arrival which I am very grateful for.
I should be very comfy here for my rest day, with the benefits of a hostel but also the privacy of my own place in the evening but as per last rest day I will have to bus into Portree to catch up on diaries and admin.
A really good day, and less wet than the rest of the week. I will not forget or run out of time to print map again!