In search of the sunshine and blue sky!
The weather didn’t seem to get better. The rain never stops and the thick clouds seem to stay permanently here in the Scottish sky. I hardly see the blue sky since I started my ride here in Scotland. Riding under the sunshine here in Scotland seems like a distant dream. So I packed my stuff under the rain and keep riding, heading towards Mallaig to catch a ferry to the Skye Island. They say the island is beautiful, but Im not sure if I can ever see the beauty of it under this kind of weather.
I then left Fort William late, around 2pm after lunch. Rode some 55km to reach Mallaig under the crying clouds. Im not too sure if Im getting older or weaker or what. But it seems that I can’t stand the cold day after day here. Hmm maybe its really getting colder here. And the weather is getting worst day by day. Im shivering here at night even inside my sleeping bag. Guess I need to get a better, thicker sleeping bag soon. Im using a lousy sleeping bag now since I cant afford the expensive one. But now I think I need to invest on a better sleeping bag, since I don’t really sleep inside a guesthouse or hotels, Im camping every night at the open grass.
I attract attention on every villages I passed by. People are watching me in amazement…. maybe they pity me. I was wet all over, puffing on every climb pulling the heavy luggage. Upon reaching Mallaig, I camped at a campsite just a kilometre after the village. They have some good facilities there so I took the opportunity to wash all my dirty clothes and dry em up. When I was about to take a long hot shower, I realized that there were no hot water. So there you go, I just took the cold shower under the very cold weather at night, and it feels like there were thousands of sharp needles penetrating through my skin straight to my bones. It was hell! And I was suffering from the cold for the whole night until the moment I fell asleep.
The next morning, when I woke up, I realized that the rain never stops! Hehe… Scotland is really the realm of rain! Since I started my ride, I only experience 3 days of sunshine. It was drizzling in the morning, but when I saw the thick clouds approaching, I knew that it gonna get worst. So I didn’t waste my time, I quickly packed my tent and took a ferry to cross into the Skye Island. Taking ferries here in Scotland is much, much cheaper compared to Iceland. I took ferry once in Iceland crossing from Stykkiholmur in the Staeffelsness peninsula to cross into the Westfjords and it cost me around RM80 our money but here I paid only 4 pounds, that’s only around RM20. It was around an hour ferry ride before reaching Armadale, south of the Skye Island.
When I reached Armadale, it was still cloudy but the rain stops. It was nothing more than a ferry terminal, with only a few shops along the way so I straight cycle north towards the nearest town in the south part of the Skye, to get some food and water before heading to the wild grass outside the town to camp under the open sky. Lucky me, it wasn’t raining even though it was cloudy, making me feel comfortable to setup my tent slowly, taking my own sweet time, unlike the usual day where I rushed setting up my tent under the rain.
The next day, as usual its been raining heavily and this time, with the combination of very strong wind! I cycled the southern part of the island hoping to see the unique peaks of Cuilin Hills but sadly I couldn’t see anything. Everything was covered with clouds. So I head north towards Lochtree, the biggest town in the whole of Skye, to get more food and head further north before pitching my tent near a river in Sligachan. The wind was blowing really wild and it was very difficult to pitch my tent. That night I woke up many times due to the very strong wind. I was afraid that my tent will be blown away, together with me and my luggage, the wind was really very strong! If that happen, it will be ridiculous! Hehe…
Im really hoping the sun will shine at least for a full day now. The sun needs to warm this cold northern part of the Scottish soil. Riding constantly under the rain and strong wind for many days, is not something so enjoyable. It doesn’t matter whats the temperature here anymore, it’s the wind that makes it really cold. The wind keeps blowing right to my face, sometimes making it difficult to breathe even when my face is fully covered. And when the raindrops hit my face directly, its very painful, like small stones hitting the skin of my face.