The end of lockdown looms................
It is a wonderful and joyous thing to be living in one of the most stunning natural places on the planet and indeed a blessing, for which we are very grateful. During the 'season' generally the island is packed and trying to travel anywhere is painful, caught behind campers, caravans and hire cars driven by people who are not familiar with driving in UK. Protocol is that slow travelling tourists should pull over into passing places to allow local traffic, going about their daily business, to pass and get on their way. There are signs to this effect but sadly way too many ignore this and it can cause dangerous driving from locals and others, zooming past a line of snail speed tourists who are, understandably, admiring this stunning island or indeed looking for their accommodation or a recommended restaurant or craft gallery. This leads to some hairy moments on the narrow winding roads. Sadly this, and the fact that one can simply not move in the Co-op when trying to do the weekly food shop does lead to angst and resentment amongst some of the indigenous population. And perhaps this is easier to understand when I tell you that the indigenous population number 10,000 and during normal tourist seasons this number rises to 60,000! But of course without all these 'irritating' tourists there would be very little by way of economy on this island. There is fish farming. crofting, crofting and fish farming. Oh and contributing to the tourist industry in so many ways, accommodation either B & B or self-contained; eateries of every description many offering absolutely delicious food; innumerable craft shops selling all manner of locally produced fabulous items; museums; castles both habitable and derelict; the Skye Highland Games (FABULOUS) day out; fishing; boat trips; pony trekking; otter watching; kayaking; natural places to visit and more walking and bird watching than anyone could wish for. And it is a sad fact that some people are bitter, mean and resentful by nature and on the local FB page quite vindictive arguments arise from time to time between those who resent the intrusion into their lives and the rest of us who are happy to embrace all that tourism brings.
Personally Tubby and I love to see them, although we admit to moaning when in a hurry. Why should it be that we are privileged to enjoy this piece of paradise and yet seek to restrict others access to it. However I do draw the line at any disrespectful use of this beautiful land, as I would anywhere else. And there does need to be some control as there are only so many facilities and if the island becomes overburdened the beauty that everyone comes here to participate in will be lost. It is indeed a difficult balance to strike and is that not true of all the remote, lonely and beautiful places on our planet.
However we have relished this lockdown opportunity to enjoy all the stunning beauty places on the island, in glorious isolation. There is something incredibly special to be allowed to enjoy paradise with dawg, a few sheep, many birds and simply no other human being. So we have taken the opportunity to visit all the wonderful places that are currently empty; Neist Point; Two Churches walk at Dunvegan; the forestry at Greshornish; Coral Beach; Glenbrittle Beach; Fairy Pools; Fairy Glen; Sligachan Glen in the Cuillin mountain ranges; Storr and the Old Man of Storr; St Columba's Isle; Quiraing. Many holiday visitors will be back from tomorrow and it will start to feel like normality is on its way........... I have a selection of lovely pics to whet your appetites and next week will announce some more exciting planning news!
Hope everyone is safe, well and like us able to enjoy glorious spring sunshine.