Yes, we finally gave in to the ethos of the Raasay Outdoor Centre (a welcome break from the finesse of the Skye B & Bs), and got out of the car.
This rash whim resulted in a particularly strenuous afternoon homage to Boswell & Johnson: a hike up Dun Can, where the great duo reputedly 'cut a rug' .
We too indulged in a little grooving (videoed for posterity, Gillian Wearing, eat your heart out), that is after the group we encountered (pictured above) had begun their descent. Yes, you think you've got away from it all, until the familiar rustling of kagouls brings you round to the realisation that you've stumbled upon a group of somewhat overfriendly lads who'd like to do more than talk Goretex on the peak.

Speaking of the Outdoor Centre, AHJ highly recommends it. What it lacks in central heating it more than makes up for in the warmth of its staff and its fantastic surroundings. I particularly enjoyed my evening walk round the almost derelict walled garden behind the Centre - overgrown gardens are always reminders of the transience of even the most laborious human endeavours, when in the face of nature.

Anyhow,if you're a regular, you'll have realised that we have been blessed with ludicrously good weather for our island jaunts - our snaps are in serious danger of confusion with those from 1984 in Torremolinos. The landscape in Skye and Raasay stunned us both - even after hours of driving, the mountains are truly breathtaking as they emerge round every turn.

After spending most of our Skye time round Armadale, we sprinted round to the north, via the Heritage centre. The gentle scenery of Sleat gives way to some truly lunar stretches, made more extreme by the almost Mediterranean light.
At Dunvegan Castle (seat of the Macleods) we ran into our first tourist crowds, and we didn't shake them off much at all as it was Easter weekend - up til know it's been just us, the camera and the guide at most of our stop offs, but oddly our visits to Skye's hotspots unavoidably coincided with the busloads.




I must say, despite the framed letter by Johnson, I wasn't that thrilled by Dunvegan - maybe something to do with wanting to see the famous Faery Flag since childhood, and the inevitable let-down of its worn reality.

This morning we took in a few other B&J stopover sights, before embarking on a mammoth drive over the Skye bridge (boo, hiss) and round and down to (supposedly) catch the Mull ferry at Lochaline.
Despite allowing the overladen Metro better part of the day for the journey, and despite Nina's Grand Prix driving, we zoomed into this tiny village just as the last ferry was pulling out.....

So it's 3 minutes of disbelief, a scampi and chips, and an early start tomorrow...twice, please.


8th of April