Monday, 20 January 2014

Skye Cycle Touring - Day 2

A Morning Detour
Day 2 began with an out and back from Dunvegan to Neist Point, a narrow headland of rock with towering cliffs jutting out into the sea, a solitary lighthouse seemingly perched on the tip dwarfed by its setting. The spot is really photogenic and I wanted a chance to take my own picture of the much copied image. 

The road to Neist was rough and rose up and down like a roller coster, the wind was also freshening, not too strong but bitterly cold if you stopped for long. We made good progress, but on arrival the sky was grey with no real colour in the scene or a good horizon to really spark the view. Lisa went and hid from the wind whilst I messed around with my camera for a few minutes before beating a retreat; lycra is not the best clothing for landscape photography. 

The view however is as spectacular as the photographs that have sat on my wall for years  suggested, not just out over the point itself but looking along the cliffs to the south where the high rolling moorland plunges into the sea. Its a shame the light does not really allow me to do the view justice.

Neist Point

 Looking south along the coast at the gargantuan cliffs facing the sea

Dunvegan to Uig
Returning from Neist we grab an early lunch before starting to work our way round the north east of the island. Dunvegan is dominated by the view out over the loch to two flat topped mountains called MacLeods tables, probably decapitated by some great scythe of ice 10,000 years ago. As we climb out of Dunvegan they slowly recede behind us, the surrounding landscape a flat expanse of heather, dull compared to the scenery we were treated to yesterday.

This being a main road for Skye the surface is generally good and we speed on past small plantations of trees sheltering the odd white painted house, in the distance a line of turbines rotate slowly in the wind and right on the horizon the Cuillin flit in and out of view behind the now gently rolling landscape.

After about 42km we swing right and join the A87 which works its way up the west coast of the Trotternish peninsula. A massive bedding plane rind the length of the peninsula dipping towards the west giving this coast a much gentler profile, the fireworks will come tomorrow. 

On the road back from Neist

Lisa looking towards one of MacLeods Tables

The youth hostel in Uig sits high above the village with a quite stunning view out over the bay. The sunset in the evening is breathtaking, high cirrus clouds lit with yellows and oranges with a lower band sitting on the horizon a deep blue and purple.  The lights of the ferry port twinkle below the dark headland which shelters the bay. 

Sunsets by the sea always seem special, the memorable ones in my mind are all associated with the big vistas you get looking out from the coast. Tomorrow should be as special day on the bike as we turn and head south along the geological bonanza that is the east coast of the Trotternish.

Distance for the day 82km.

 Sunset in Uig

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