Steve Anderson

Scotland 2012

Page 2

September 2012

bumping into them and was treated like some minor celebrity, eat your heart out Bradley!

       As with all these things eventually there is a need to move on, a need in my case which was driven by my tent taking some punishment in a force 9 gale, so I thought I would go back to Carbost and stay in the bunkhouse while the weather blew over.


Carbost – Skye (3 nights)

       Carbost is a place which  apart from the distillery is close to Glen Brittle which would be well known to walkers and climbers of the Cuillins and is a lovely place to visit especially on the humble bike, you have to puff over a mandatory hill but that is what you would expect. I also went to Talisker bay, a place suggested by an interesting chap I met in Dunvegan, who naturally seemed to understand the sort of places I like, he also suggested Applecross and Gairloch although more on that later.

       Carbost was in the throes of the ‘Tattie Bogal Festival’, a Tattie is obviously a potato and a Bogal is a scarecrow type of thing, they were used in the potato famine to stop potato theft aparently. Carbost has a rather crazy festival celebrating this history and decorates its self for a couple of months each year with scarecrows outside every house, a judging occurs and prizes are won, 2 caught my eye, the one that was bending over to pick up some cans of lager exposing a frankly overly realistic arse over the top of its trousers, and an entire glam rock group sitting side by side on a bench in the middle of nowhere. If you are questioning my sanity visit

       I would award a surprise extra prize to the one on the road from the Slig to Carbost which resembled a rather sinister sheep in a deck chair and was apparently erected by the Slig owners wife who wanted to share in the fun.  It is also necessary to point out that the canny Scots had managed to secure funding for the Bogal event and there was a new Tattie Bogal pier and benches dotted around the village all paid for by the EU or someone, this is also the case for crofting, which on its own does not make a living, however once all the paperwork has been completed the ensuing grants make it a very feasible occupation.

       I cycled to Talisker bay over a hill on what was essentially a foot path and having been ticked off in Sussex for wandering off the permitted trails, am always slightly over aware when off piste, so when I was stopped by a shepherd type in a 4x4 pickup on the way back from the beautiful and lonely Talisker bay I was expecting the worst, after an interrogation of who I was and where I had come from he then chatted about the weather and the quality of the fishing in the river that flowed into to the bay, I had been expecting a rocketing and it seemed that all he wanted was a chat, which is quite common in the more remote places in Scotland.

       After the second music night I had been talking to an unlikely couple of blokes, one had retired and was camping at the Slig and was essentially walking around and the other was John who was very chatty especially after a pint or two, and who was the chef at the Slig. The next morning we sat and had breakfast together and I offered to drive them back to the Slig, we were all a bit hung-over and so decided that a walk would do us all good, so I drove down the Glenbrittel road and parked in a parking area where the footpath back to Sligachan sterted, we were going to walk to the fairy pools and then the boys intended to walk over the hill back to Slig. The fairy pools were a collection of pools in a beautiful clear stream formed by the erosion of the lime stone rock the stream ran through and they were all lovely and deep enough to swim in, we found a bunch of girls from Manchester in one of them, very brave. John was not really dressed for walking, he was wearing some trainers which were more from the fashion end of the trainer market than the training end and was carrying a laptop for some reason, so there we were 3 blokes stumbling around a hillside with hangovers, inappropriate footwear and a laptop. It became clear that John, a part time mountain guide by the way, was not going to make it, so the old boy walked back and I drove John home who rectified the problem with a pint of strong lager.

Whiskey may not cure the common cold, but it fails more agreeably than most things.

The ragged map of Skye

The Slig sheep Bogle