Saturday, 26 March 2011

Skye, Broadford and Beinn na Chaillich

Heading further down the main A87 road you will come to Broadford. Its not as pretty looking as Portree but its my favourite village on Skye as it is less busy than the island’s capital town. You cant help but notice Beinn na Chaillich looming impressively over the Broadford.

It was a lovely summers evening and I had just finished work, scoffed a greasy fish supper, and was wondering what to do with myself. I had often looked at Beinn na Chaillich and wondered what it would be like trying to run up its rocky sides.

That night I thought it would be a great way to work off the fats of the slowly digesting lump of fries lying in my stomach, so without further ado, I was off at a trot and heading for the hills.

The fries bounced gently in my gut as I jogged along the road towards Old Corry. Then they turned a couple of times as I crossed the heather towards the base of the Caillich. I could feel my internal digestive engine working like a well filled washing machine as I worked myself into a lather on the ever steepening slopes. When I started jumping from stone to stone on the steep convex sides my digestive juices really started to flow. It was now becoming hard work as my supper seemed to enter the spin cycle.

The rocky flanks of the Chaillich are steeper than you think ..could they avalanche ?

Eventually the slope started to ease and so did the weight in my stomach.
As I looked back down the slope towards loch Cill Chriosd, I could feel the chips sink slowly to my lower intestines.

A little further on and I paused to look back over Broadford. It was a wonderful view on such a beautiful summers evening but I was a little surprised there was not a breath of wind .... yet.

Finally I made the summit and it surprised me that it was only a couple of hours since eating the first few chips. The cairn looked as big as the mound of fries did when I first unwrapped my supper in village far below.

Looking over the red Cuillin towards Portree I though I could feel the first puffs of wind billowing softly in my face in the cooling evening air.

As the sun started to set over the distant Cuillin, I couldn’t help but wonder if that was a muffled rumble of thunder I heard ?

Things can change quickly on the Scottish hills. You have to be prepared for all kinds of weather and emergencies.

A little later, I ran all the way back to Broadford with a skip in my step. I felt a lot lighter and happier following my exercise. It was now time for a pint or three in the Dunollie before bed.

The next morning I stopped and smiled to myself as I took this photo of the Chaillich reflected in Loch Cill Chriosd. I was thinking of the old legend that there is a Norwegian Princess buried under the summit cairn.

Hmmmm ..I know there is something else buried under that pile of stones

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