On Monday we decided to take the Kylerhea ferry to visit Sandaig Bay, where Gavin Maxwell lived with Edal, the otter in Ring of Bright Water. The spectacular road to the ferry provided a great view of Kyle Rhea, the narrow stretch of water between Skye and the mainland.
The crossing is made on the last manually operated turntable ferry in Scotland. It has a crew of three: two men and a dog.
We did the walk down to Sandaig Bay before, but this time it was a lot less enjoyable. There is a big felling operation going on, ostensibly to bring back native woodland instead of pine. We were lucky that it was not a working day, as it would have been busy and noisy. We’ll come back in 15 years and see if it has improved.
The bay itself is still beautiful though, and it was warm enough for a quick walk into the sea (I didn’t get my knees wet!) I can see why Gavin Maxwell chose this spot. His house has totally disappeared, but there are two memorials, one is the rock under which his ashes are buried and the other is dedicated to Edal the otter.
We then fancied a cup of tea and were lucky to find the Tea Wagon next one of the brochs in Gleann Beag. The eco house, yurt, poly-tunnel told a story of escape to the country to be self-sufficient. The broch, Dun Troddan, is the lower of the two, but more of its internal structure is intact, including the staircase in the wall. Some archeologists believe that there must have been teams of specialist broch builders travelling through Scotland, offering their services. They are only found in Scotland.