After breakfast of scrambled eggs mixed with smoked salmon at the B&B in Dornie, I drove to Eilean Donan Castle once again hoping to get a photograph with the sun shining on it. No luck. The winds had died down but the thick clouds were obscuring the sun. I snapped a couple of quick photos anyway. Although I have a pass for this castle, I just didn’t feel like touring another one this morning.
Instead, I headed for a little village on the coast named Glenelg. I had been advised to go see the Brochs (ancient stone dwellings from 3,000 years ago). They are located in a long, lonely glen accessed by yet another single track road that follows the contours of a picturesque stream. It reminded me very much of a road winding along the creek of a Kentucky holler. The Brochs are very interesting structures. They are made of dry-rock walls – meaning no type of mortar was used. The individual rocks were meticulously fitted together. A very unique double-wall structure was used for strength, storage, and insulation. Only about half of the walls remain, but placards do a good job of describing what the structures would’ve been like.
I got back in the car and had to drive a bit farther down the glen to find a place to turn around and drove right by another one. This one was higher up on a hill. When I got up there I was able to look down on a very interesting dwelling. There was a yurt, two plastic covered growing tunnels (hoop houses), and a sod covered roof. A sign by the road said, Open – Wagon Cafe and Crafts. I couldn’t believe it. We were far away from any type of town. I had to check it out. First thing I saw was a basket of veggies for sale. I walked into the driveway a bit further and discovered a really cool place. It had a gypsy-type wagon serving as a coffee shop. A thin trail of smoke rose from a chimney in the wagon. A brass bell hung from the wagon and a sign read, “ring the bell for service.” Organic gardens were spread around both inside the tunnels and out. The sod covered roof seemed to be the house. The yurt was a seating area for enjoying the coffee and viewing handmade crafts. About this time, a girl started walking from one of the tunnels towards the house. “Hello,” I offered.
She jumped. I had startled her. “Oh hi there,” she said. “Can I get you anything?”
“Can I really get a cappuccino from that wagon?”
“Sure! There is an espresso machine in there. You want a single or a double”
“I’ll take a double.”
It was just like a gypsy wagon inside. The cappuccino was perfect! Her name was Kate. Two others were living/working at the place; Jake and Katie. All three were summer volunteers from England working for the owners of this croft. They were to keep the gardens, work the coffee wagon, etc. in exchange for living quarters. The place was just like something out of a movie.
From the Wagon Cafe, I drove back to Glenelg and to the “wee ferry” over to Skye. Once on Skye I drove to the main Visit-Scotland information center on Skye in Portree. At the center, I arranged a room near Uig for the night, ferry tickets from Uig to the Outer Hebrides the following morning, a room for Monday night on the Hebrides Island of Lewis, and a ferry from the Hebrides to Ullapool on the main the following day.
Honestly, I am happy to be leaving the imposing mountainous region of the Highlands. Those lonely mountains made me lonely – and though extremely beautiful – it all started looking the same after while.
After checking into my room near Uig, I drove into the town itself and down to the harbor to verify my tickets and grab a bite to eat. While there, I was fortunate to see the ferry come in from the outer Islands. It’s an early start tomorrow. I have to be at the docks at 4:45am for a 5:30am departure.
A few more photos: