Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Spring's arrival on Skye?

The Coral Beaches, Dunvegen.
 
Before I go somewhere for the first time, I always end up forming a really strong mental image of how I think it'll be. It really aggravates me…as if reality doesn't live up to expectations, then disappointment can sometimes follow when it shouldn't necessarily have to.

So when you get somewhere with a name as tantalising as "the Coral Beaches", it's not hard for your imagination to run away with itself. Sometimes I think it is in fact best to wait for exactly the right moment to visit somewhere you've thought a lot about, and then occasionally reality can put your mental image of the place to shame.

This happened yesterday morning. After a few days of some pretty awful weather, I found unbroken sunshine and a warm breeze on Skye's West coast. The Coral Beaches were never somewhere I was going to visit for the first time on an overcast day, and in yesterday's sunshine they were absolutely gorgeous.






One of the most magical things about the Hebrides is the way that with even a subtle change of weather or lighting, the beaches can transform from bleak and intimidating into the sort that would look at home in the tropics. I've learnt to savour every moment of days like this on the island… they can be few and far between.

A golden eagle at Indrigil Point.
 
MacLeod's Maidens.
 
The majestic and "in your face" coastline of Indrigil Point could have hardly been more different to the Coral Beaches, the vertical and jagged replacing the horizontal and calm. The golden eagle hunting over the cliffs instead of the seals swimming in the clear blue waters.

A waterfall plunging 260ft into the sea at Indrigil.
 

That was yesterday. Today the tearing wind and howling noise up on the Trotternish Ridge, effort, summits and billowing clouds. A different kind of calm, but calm none the less.

James

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