The names come from a distant, ageless place – Quiraing… Meall na Suiramach… The Old Man of Storr… The land is ancient here; the Trotternish Ridge is an escarpment of contorted rock formations formed long ago by volcanic activity and massive landslides. What remains on Skye today is a landscape that made me think, over and over, about the vast forces that moulded this place so long ago. Today what remains is this phenomenal green escarpment that falls down towards the coastal plain (dotted with white cottages) in a series of craggy drops and spectacular cliffs.
We set out to trek the length of this Trotternish Ridge, packing up our camp beside the loch and climbing up to the other-worldly rocky beauty of the Quiraing. It really in an impressive sight.
The aim today was to hike south. Yesterday we paddled and pedalled up towards the north coast of Skye. Now we needed to travel back south, down the inner eastern shore of the island.
It was a long, hard day. For around 11 hours we climbed up and down the rolling ridge line. We were blessed with sunshine and fabulous views over the sea from Skye towards the Hebridean Islands, but we also walked through fog as the clouds caught us and the world sunk down to a cold wet grey funnel of mist. Fortunately this did not last too long, I certainly preferred the sunshine to slogging through cold fog!
By the time we reached the end of the ridge, the team were tired and weary. We turned one last time to look back at the crazy rock formations of the Old Man of Storr. We are tired and aching, but we are getting on well and enjoying this experience of sharing the spectacular landscapes of Skye together.
The team have worked hard and are feeling a bit battered. So we treated them tonight by spoiling them with a wee dram of whisky and a fine meal. I am sure they enjoyed the surprise, but I hope they do not get used to it! Tomorrow we set sail south down the island and then cycle westwards, before pitching camp once again on a quiet pebble beach.