Fort William and Skye, both these places have their stereotypes, Fort William with its World cup and its Ben Nevis and then Skye, with its wee picturesque fishing villages and its once rugged remoteness, before the erection of a bridge. Summer of course is when they both see travelers far and wide descend on the tourists hot spots, however we devised a new route, one that would allow us the escape we craved and one that would see us link both destinations in a flowing and unique way, never done before.
When we initially contacted “Billy” our boat man, he did get a bit confused with the whole Scotty Laughland and Scott Bikes notion, so he says, “Whos Scotty laughland? Is he the owner?”. Easy mistake to make when you have a Scottish lad riding a Scott bike, with the name Scotty. To add the team we had Ross Dunn, a rider from Nevis Cycles, Fort William and Monet Adams, another adventure rider from Scott Bikes.
The escape from the Fort ensued, however there were a few lochs and peninsulas for the team to navigate their way through before reaching the fishing village of Mallaig, boat combined with train allowed us to reach it by the end of day one. It was time for everyone to meet Billy, this man has a chasm of knowledge that is most likely as deep as Loch Nevis Itself. Dropping us off for our ride Billy would race to the finish to meet us again for lunch, seafood and viking stories. Now I bet most folks reading didn’t know that Skye was named by the Vikings! In fact there are many ruined settlements and legends scattered the length and breadth of the isle. When riders natter about Skye the conversation usually swings round to “The Ridge” You know the one, the one where Mr Macaskill was filmed riding his bike. Well, we had no intention, I assure you, Skye believe it or not is a very difficult place to ride and to take people to ride. We've been trying for years now and it’s only up until recently that we have devised a great route for our riders.
Upon our arrival on the island, both Monet and Scott were not sure what to expect of the island and its riding, we only thought it would be right to ease them into it with a short scenic ride to explore a few of those ruins that Billy talked about on the boat. After we had enlightened the team on the reasons behind the highland clearances it was time to press on through to the heart of the island via a tremendous Glen. It's a bit cliche to sit down with a dram of whisky after a days ride in the Scottish mountains, nevertheless, that’s what we did, and nothing finer than Taliskers finest, Storm.
In April it's common in Scotland to have a few storms, there was no exception on the days that lead up to the trip where we had about one or two inches of snow at sea level. Gladly it all cleared up enough for the day the team arrived in Fort William but it did leave behind some immersive views. Throughout the weekend we had fairly favourable weather which allowed the photographer time to counger up images such as this.
To finally arrive at the very end of the land was a sight to see, sometimes the land ends but nothing is more impressive than where it ends on the West tip of Skye, trust me, it literally plummets hundreds of meters straight down, into the sea. What a magic place to end the trip, with a darkness full of bright starlight and a belly full of whisky and lovely unique Scottish food.