The full British breakfast without any kind of meat is mushrooms and tomato on tattie scones. I ordered some toast to go with it, and apparently it was quintessentially British toast because it was cold and dry and came in a toastrack.
Our first action of the day was to tour Talisker Distillery, also in Carbost. A fluffy little black and white cat lives in the parking lot, and the history of Talisker House is interesting and somewhat bloodthirsty. I learned a lot about how whisky is made (malting! peat smoke! wort! head, heart, and tail!), and also some things whisky sellers do not like to tell buyers, like the fact that they have to distill quite a lot of times to get rid of methanol, AKA the stuff you have always been told will make you go blind. Also propanol, isopropanol, butanol, and other fun yeasty biproducts. We got to taste their ten year whisky, which was okay by my standards and by my father’s, although for very different reasons.
Then we visited the Fairy Pools, a lovely series of cascades over wonderful climbing rocks. As soon as the opportunity presented itself, my brother and I went down to the river for my favorite sport, rock-hopping logistics. We hopped all the way up to the bottom falls and did some excellent rock climbing, collecting scrapes, wet patches, and spider web all the way (yes, I stuck my head directly into a spider web and apologized to the spider as I pulled it out of my hair) and now I have quite damp boots. It was definitely worth it, even if I can’t take off my boots until they dry because they’re leather.
For lunch we drove to Portree, whose population is about one quarter of Skye’s total, and a quite pleasant little town. It is a seaside town, like all towns on Skye (counting towns on sea lochs) so we went to a seafood restaurant on the harbor. I had a toastie with soup, which I only mention because I love to say the word toastie. Scottish food nicknames are really charming.
After this, we went to check in at the hostel where we’re staying–whose lobby is the exact awful shade of chartreuse the toilets at the last one were; whose beds are all sheeted in pink and purple; and in whose lobby a group of college-age adults were watching the Disney animated Robin Hood with rapt expressions–and I finally got to do some laundry. I had thought we were staying away from home for a little less than a week, and it turned out to be a little bit more, so I was quite relieved. Meanwhile, tired from hopping all morning, my brother slept on his very pink bed.
We got extremely lost on the way to dinner, due to Portree’s terrible signage, but we made it there eventually: another seafood restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Seafood is popular on Skye, seeing as it is an island and everywhere worth going is on the coast. I’m used to it by now (my main course was cheese. Just cheese.) but the dessert was wonderful. Fruit Charlotte, vanilla/passionfruit parfait, and clootie dumplings. Think of them as a steamed bread pudding-fruitcake cross held together with animal fat. So delicious. Well, it’s time to sleep now–early start tomorrow and the other hostelry are winding down. I say good night with midge-bitten head and damp, clammy feet.
P.S. Deepest regrets for not posting sooner, but wifi has been scarce. In the lodging of day 6 it was absent in all but name, The hostel in Portree charged three pounds for each hour of internet, if you can believe it!