Monday, 10 September 2007

Dunvegan, Isle of Skye - Special Area of Conservation

Skye is a large island, covering more than 2 OS landranger maps (639 square miles), with rugged rocky shores and a moody, exceptionally scenic landscape. In the centre of the isle are the Mordor-esque jagged Black Cuillins and to the North are the erosion-carved pinnacles of The Quairaing and The Storr.

I bought an Apex Return ticket (Citylink) for £34.80 and booked 4 nights at Broadford Youth Hostel (Scottish Youth Hostel Association). The bus service in Skye is especially poor, so if you miss the first bus of the day there is almost no point getting the bus at all, you might be waiting several hours! Likewise, the last bus back from some locations is about 4pm and I had some dread-filled moments when I feared I had missed the last bus back to the hostel :(
On Sundays there is no bus service.

I visited Dunvegan mainly because it is home to a large population of Common Seals (Phoca vitulina) but I thought I might as well visit Dunvegan Castle too (the seat of the clan MacLeod). The seal colony was disappointing: too crowded with people for my liking (a boat carrying tourists circles the colony once every hour) and the shore was strewn with litter.

Highland cattle with rich-ginger, black and cream coats, wander the shore-side and seem friendly enough. Interestingly, it is the cows not the bulls, which have the more impressive horns.

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