Land's End to John O'Groats Cycletouring Trip Part 2

Day 24 - Visit to Portree

I got up early this morning, as I was going to spend a day in Portree. I had thought about cycling there but decided to take the bus instead. However, first things first and there were a large number of midges surrounding the tent so I had to get all of my things ready before opening the zip and then fleeing to the old part of the college for a wash and to catch the bus.

The bus driver was a miserable sod and for some reason incapable of selling me a return ticket from Ostaig to Portree. He was also incapable of communicating the reason why this was to me. I had to work hard with him to find out that I would have to buy a single ticket there and another one back again in the afternoon. I later phoned up the bus company and arranged a partial refund.

Portree is the largest town on Skye, and from memory I think that the population is only about 1000 people. There is a small road of shops, a nice harbour and a set of bus bays.

My ex-Skye friends Neil and Fi had told me that Portree was small. They said that when Skye people want to do some proper shopping, they go to Inverness. This is quite a distance but Skye people think nothing of it.

By chance, last week I had met a woman from Inverness, and today I met another Inverness man in the centre of Portree. Both of these people had told me that when the people in Inverness want to do some proper shopping they go to Glasgow which I found quite funny.

To bring me back to my senses, I then met a man in the bus queue who lives on the Isle of Raasay. He had a huge rucksack on his back, and he told me that he comes over on the ferry to Portree just once every fortnight to do his shopping, and that this was as much of Portree that he could cope with. Interesting to see these contrasts.

I had some good advice from the woman in the camera shop, and I ended up buying 6 rolls of Fujifilm for my APS camera rather than the other makes that I have been using. I am secretly hoping that this will magically improve my pictures.

Locating internet access here in Portree on a Saturday afternoon was nearly impossible. The Tourist Information Office had one terminal, and I had to wait over an hour to get on that.

Catching the bus back to Ostaig, Neil the bus driver was in complete contrast to the one in the morning. We chatted all the way back to Ostaig and he dropped me off right outside the new school.

The weather on Skye is very variale and can change quickly. Walking back to Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Skye was dark and imposing and a rainbow spread across the view above. I took photographs (see tomorrow) and then two hours later it was completely different.

Invited out for a meal at the Toravaig Hotel tonight with Abi from the bus and 2 girls from the Gaelic college.

Photograph of the town centre at Portree, on the Isle of Skye, showing stone buildings and a bus
Portree town centre, Isle of Skye

Photograph of the harbour at Portree, on the Isle of Skye
Portree harbour, Isle of Skye

© Copyright  Piers Pettman - This page last updated 08 July 2006
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