Easter Sunday, 1 April 2018. Weather forecast looked good for a road trip to Skye, with the intention of ‘doing something different’ at The Storr. My daughter Eilidh wanted to come along. Left home at 2am for the 200 mile journey to Skye. Lots of deer on the roads through the Highlands, the bad weather and heavy snows lately has forced them down off the mountains, and I had to brake sharply as they ran in front of the car. 6am at Eilean Donan Castle and we stopped for the obligatory shots of the Castle. The full moon was sitting directly over the Castle and, before sunrise, the Belt of Venus (anti-twilight arch) appeared in the sky over Skye. The magic hour.
Onwards to Skye, over the bridge and stopped at Slig’ (Sligachan – but no one calls it that). My daughter wanted some shots of the old bridge at sunrise with the Black Cuillins as the backdrop. I wanted something different so I used the arches of the bridge to frame my shots while standing in the middle of the river. Through Portree just after 7am and stopped at Loch Leathan as the loch was mirror calm, reflecting the Storr and the Old Man, with some small rowing boats to add interest to the photographs.
Arrived at the Storr car park about 7.30am, it was quiet, just about 6 cars in the car park, packed our gear and headed up towards the Old Man. On previous trips I had always climbed to the ‘standard’ viewpoint to the right of the rock pinnacles, the one everyone shoots from. This time I wanted something different, so we entered The Sanctuary (the area behind the Old Man of Storr) and climbed up the steep hillside behind to the foot of the cliff face. (note of caution: there are frequent landslides as the rock face is unstable, as can be seen by the large boulders littering the ground). I captured the sun as it emerged from behind The Old Man of Storr and took some sweeping pano shots.
Then it was ‘selfie’ time as my daughter and I stood on top of a large rock and alternatively took turns at photographing each other. (Query? If you set up and frame the shot, then get someone else to push the shutter button, is it still a ‘selfie’? or just a photograph? Sometimes I wonder why I have these pointless debates with myself).
We then walked down to through the Sanctuary and climbed to the foot of the Old Man, taking some photos of the light out over the Inner Sound before descending back to the car park.
Chaos had arrived. We passed hundreds of people on their way up, on our way down, and found about 200 cars were parked along the road, many just abandoned half on the verge with no cognisance paid to other motorists. If it’s this bad early in the season mid-summer must be madness. Stopped to photograph the obligatory Heilan Coo’s (Highland Cows) on the way off the island and stopped near Balmacara to photograph an abandoned boat.
A great one day road trip. 420 miles, 16 hours. Needless to say my daughter slept in the car most of the way home.