Skye Trail day 3: a Cuillin reward

Torrin – Camasunary

I went to bed with the sound of the rain and woke up with the birds singing. Either they were being very loud or the rain had stopped. I motivated myself to get up and put on my wet shoes to check out the weather. Everything still looked wet but it wasn’t raining!

I put my poncho on and made a trip to the toilet. The clouds were still low but I could just about tell which mountain across the water was Bla Bheinn and identify today’s route.

I decided not to leave too early, hoping the weather would continue to improve. I packed my stuff with great care, happy to notice that my tent and quilt were pretty much dry. My clothes however were still totally wet. So wet that when I twisted them, water was still coming out. “How could a piece of fabric remain clogged up with water for such a long time after walking under the rain?” I thought. I reluctantly put on a wet bra, wet base layer, wet leggings, wet socks – WET EVERYTHING! I had other tops I could put on but these were thermal tops and there was no way I’d sleep in anything but dry clothes. Time gets you used to just about anything in life and after 30 minutes walking I’d almost forgotten I was wearing wet clothes from top to bottom. I wondered if this was the kind of thing they train you to cope with in the army.

While walking along the coast, I was immensely grateful for the windy yet dry weather. Hopefully that plus my body heat would dry up the clothes I was wearing. I reached the Bla Bheinn car park before long and to my great disappointment, the John Muir Trust had closed the toilets. Hiking in Covid times. Too bad.

I continued on to Kirkibost where I’d decided I would take a moorland track which would lead me to Camasunary. I avoided Elgol for two reasons: the main one was that I did not want to hike along the “vertiginous cliffs side path” in anything but good weather and a dry trail; the second one was that the previous day’s apocalyptic weather had forced me to do a shorter day so a slight shortcut today would put me back in good position to reach Portree by Wednesday night. I can be a bit of a purist sometimes and taking alternates is not necessarily my style, however if a yellow weather warning and floods aren’t enough to draw my attention to potential hazards, then I don’t know what will.

The 2.4 miles from Kirkibost to Camasunary were on a decent track. I took advantage of my good progress and stable weather to practice some map navigation. Whenever possible on this trail I would avoid using my GPS app. Today was a success in that respect.

On reaching the highest point, the views of Camsunary beach, Sgur na Stri, Glen Sligachan and the SE ridge of Bla Bheinn revealed themselves. Even in thick cloud, that was quite a spectacle. These first views of the Cuillin were just magical. I inspected the place, going back and forth between potential camping spots. I also checked out the bothy which was very sadly closed due to covid. Well, not actually “closed” but you know what I mean. I looked like such a great place to spend the night but I did not have any justification to disregard the rules. I therefore made my way back to the fishermen’s building overlooking the beach and found myself a nice shielded spot to call home for the night.

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