Dornie to Skye (a different route)

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.

Dun Telve Broch near Glenelg

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.

The Wagon Cafe

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.”

Home for the Wagon Cafe and Croft workers

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.

The ferry that service the Outer Hebrides coming in to dock at Uig, Skye

A few more photos:

Scottish Road Hazards
Highland cattle
Driving in Scotland
Inside the croft hoop house
Highland cow
The yurt and hoop houses

2 comments on “Dornie to Skye (a different route)

  1. Isn’t it interesting how you find just what you need in the most unexpected places? I sense that you needed to find a place just like the Wagon Cafe, Gary.

    • You are exactly right, Mary. Finding a place like that out in the middle of nowhere, where I could get the best cappuccino one could imagine; have a great discussion with the workers about life and gardening, and be able to see how they were managing the croft was a wonderful experience. There’s a bit more to the story, as well. While I was there it started raining quite hard. I took shelter in one of the hoop houses for awhile. When it settled into just a sprinkle, I walked back to the wagon to put the mug back and found an older gentlemen sitting under the awning of the wagon. He had sought shelter from the rain there. He was another lone wonderer like me. He was from British Columbia, Canada. I offered to give him a ride back to the village, but he wanted to press on down the road to the next Broch.

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