Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Week On Skye - Galleries and The Two Churches Walk

We woke up to a slightly duller day. There was low cloud and a quick check of the weather forecast confirmed yesterday's possibility of a little rain so no hill walking today. Anyway, we'd had two days in a row on the hills so a wee rest was welcome. With no great enthusiasm for venturing out, we dragged out heels a bit but after lunch we decided to go and see what a couple of the more out of the way art galleries had to offer.

First on the list was the Orbost Gallery, a little art gallery about three to four miles south of Dunvegan at the end of a little single-track road. They had a reasonable selection of watercolours, wood engravings and etchings but we didn't see anything in our price bracket. It'd be nice if these artists offered more prints of their work instead of fairly high-priced originals, which must be hard to shift to the tourist trade. Lorna's sister and brother-in-law have a little painting and pottery gallery in Carrbridge and they do a small range of prints of Jeff's work, which definitely sell more easily to the passing trade.

Next was a run all the way out to Colbost, on the west side of Loch Dunvegan, to Skye Silver as Lorna fancied a bit of silver jewellery. They had some very nice pieces of work and she eventually, after a lot of umming and aahing, picked a fairly plain looking ingot of silver on a chain - sigh! They had all manner of Celtic designs and some inspired by the Coral Beaches and local seashore life. Still, she's happy with her lump of silver and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg so I'm not complaining.

The Two Churches walk, Dunvegan

Having pretty much ignored the village when we visited the Coral Beaches and the castle earlier in the week, we stopped in at Dunvegan as it wasn't very off of our route coming back from Colbost. We nipped into the local Tourist Information Office and found a leaflet describing a short walk between two churches so we found the first church, Duirinish Parish Church, just across and up the the road a bit and, the drizzle aside, we thought we'd make the best of it and have a short stroll, it only looked to be a couple of miles long.

The path wanders north-east, paralleling the road, through woodland until it gets up almost as far as Dunvegan Castle and you get some decent views of the castle roof over the tree tops. Then it curves round and doubles back, heading out of the woods and onto the hillside, which was appreciated as it was getting a bit steamy in the woods. The path basically continues on until it gets to the old ruined St. Mary's church just off the A850, where five MacLeod chiefs lie buried, and it passes close by the Duirinish Stone, erected by the villagers on the summit of Drum-na Creige to commemorate the Millennium.

Toffee Anyone?

There's not much left too see of the old church and graveyard and I don't really like taking pictures of such places. The dead should be left to rest in peace. The best bit of the day was just at the end of the walk when we ran into a small group of friendly Highland Cattle or toffee coos as we like to call them after their being used on the label for McCowan's Highland Toffee bars for years! I was quite surprised that they were so placid as there were a good few calves in the group and we had no bother wandering through the middle of them. As you can see, they posed for a few shots.

So, a bit of a damp squib today but it gave us a chance to rest and recuperate as I think Lorna fancies a bigger walk tomorrow, assuming the weather is a bit better.

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