We sensibly headed back towards Portree, guessing that, the later it got, the more visitors would have departed. There was every possibility of finding a parking space, dinner and lodgings. First though, we had to get there and, as we saw a sign for the first inn we had seen on the island, we reckoned a stop was in order. And anyway, why go into town if the inn might cater for our needs?
Another single track road wandered round sharp bends and down steep hills towards the shores of the Waternish Penninsula. Had we but realised, the bridge that we passed and admired was the famous Fairy Bridge. Around here, the legend runs that the Fae-woman who married the MacCleod could stay with him but one year and it was here she said her farewell, wrapping their infant son in a silken shawl… the Fairy Flag of Dunvegan.
The inn sits long and low by the waterside, with zen rabbits meditating under the incongruous palm trees that dot the island’s shores. The date carved above the door, 1790, refers to the present construction, though there are parts of the inn that are older. It boasts accommodation, good food and a selection of a hundred and thirty whiskies. All I wanted was the first coffee of the day! Considering how far it is off the beaten track, it was exceedingly busy. We stood no chance at all of either a meal or a bed… but coffee was enough for now.
We passed a pleasant hour there before heading off, once again, to Portree. The evening was advancing rapidly, so we knew we would find a parking space, if nothing else. And we did, straight away. It was at this point that the heavens opened once again, tipping rain by the bucketful on the car. We tried to wait it out, but eventually got the message and gave up. We were obviously not supposed to be in Portree. But if not, where exactly were we supposed to be?
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