Day Six – The Quiraing

Not for the first time on this trip, we have woken up to gorgeous sunshine, only for the weather to change in a blink of an eye and change to a small blizard. Fortunately for us, after these short snow showers, the weather quickly returned to sun once again. This is a walk where you definitely need good weather to fully enjoy the picturesque views that you are rewarded from on top of the mountain range.

As we had parked literally next to the mountain, we only had to travel about two or three minutes to arrive at the main parking spot for the walk. Sounds simple right? WRONG! The road to the car park is another single track road which climbs to the parking spot. On our ascent up, we faced a car who was making it’s way down the track. This is where our problem started. I parked off the side of the track, on a mix of gravel and wet boggy grass. Stupidly, I hadn’t considered the fact that Ruby is powered by her rear wheels, and these we over the wet, soggy marsh land. As I tried to carry on with our drive, the whine of the engine struggling, as the wheels spun furiously on the grass indicated that we were stuck. Having a hand made solid wood interior has multiple benefits with looks and how durable it is. It does make her quite heavy though, and she quickly sunk in the wet marshy grass. Unable to push her out, we asked a passer by if she could assist us with a push. Still, with three of us pushing, we still could not get her back on the road.

It’s safe to say, that my stress levels were quickly rising, and we were very fortunate to stop a passing car, who happened to have some rope in his car, and he towed us back on the the track. I cannot stress how thankful we were to the lovely chap who pulled us out (he even let us keep the rope in case we got stuck again on our trip). If you ever happened to stumble upon this blog… THANK YOU!

Ruby wasn’t finished stressing us out today. As we got to the top of the steep hill, her engine temperature had started to rise dramatically, and was close to hitting 120°, which would have caused massive engine damaged. We assumed it was due to the steep climb of the mountain so quickly parked up and switched off the engine. We would later find out the real reason for the temperature rise.

With my rucksack packed with lunch and water, we set off for the circular walk around the Quiraing. As you have to drive quite high to start the walk, you are instantly rewarded with the views of near by, snow topped mountain.

The first part of the walk is a simple walk down a dirt path, which takes you around the base of the mountain.

As you can see, we had definitely picked the best day weather wise to tackle this walk. Further along the walk you are greeted with more views of the mountains surroundings.

We had lunch before we had to tackle the main ascent to the top. Unlike most of my walking experiences in Scotland, this walk was once again busy with sightseers from around the globe. I had heard accents from Germany, America, France, Spain and countries from the other side of the world. Luckily for us, most only walk the path at the bottom of the mountain and then turn back around. This meant that we were left alone to finish the climb to the summit.

Panoramic views greeted us at the top, and we spent a good while taking them in (mainly because we realised how unfit we actually were).

The rest of the walk has all down hill, which our bodies were thankful for. It wasn’t challenging on the way back down to re-join the main path, it was very boggy though, and I did manage to drag half of the mountains mud down on my trousers.

As the car park came in to view, we noticed that there seemed to be a problem that was causing queue of traffic.

It was only when we had returned to the car park that we learned the cause of the delays.

For some reason, a large HGV Nisa lorry had decide to use the road as a shortcut across the island. This is why you should never follow a sat nav! A man in a custom van with a winch did attempt to free the lorry whilst we were watching in a large group of onlookers. It did surprisingly move the lorry a little bit, but I think it ended up making it more stuck on the ridge. I sure hope the van driver has good insurance.

We agreed to spend one final day on Skye before crossing back over to the mainland. Looking at the reviews we decided to head towards Camasunary Bay, which looked like a stunning walk, that would give us a glimpse of the Cuillin Mountain range.

It was on this drive that Ruby decided to throw another one of her famous hissy fits. As we experienced earlier, her engine temperature increased rapidly, heading towards the dangerous 120°. We pulled over to examine whether it was a repeat of a faulty earth wire on the fans which we have had issues with in the past, it was not. It turned out that a pipe to the heating matrix had completely cracked, and so Ruby had lost pretty much all of her engine coolant. We were pretty proud that she had been able to drive probably most of the day with this issue.

As it was getting late, we didn’t really have any alternative other than to stop where we had pulled over (next to a quarry).

At least we still had a view of a loch!

We used the Remoska to cook some camembert, and settled down for a movie night. Willow’s back was still causing her massive discomfort, and so I went to bed knowing that it was up to me to fix the cooling system in the morning.

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