There's something amazing about packing a bag, jumping in the car and heading off somewhere new for a wee overnight to the stunning Isle of Skye.
I've been wanting to go to Skye for ages and I made it happen. I had looked into weather and packed for all eventualities - the plus point of taking the car, filling it with all sorts.
Up just before normal working alarm, isn't it strange how easy you get up for a holiday? I made my way to Mallaig to catch my ferry to the Isle of Skye.
The ferry takes nearly 30 minutes to get to Armadale but cuts off about an hour in journey by road. I enjoyed it, it was a dry and sunny day so sat out on the deck and watched the world go by. Water has a calming effect on me, and the views as you leave Mallaig and coming into Armadale were great.
From Armadale which is in Sleat, I headed through the gorgeous scenery and stopped at Broadford. Had a wee potter and bought myself a gorgeous candle from the Skye Candle Company. Definitely another sign of getting older, gawping at hills and buying candles...but enjoying it.
From there I headed up to Portree. It was really busy as there was a marathon on that weekend. If only I'd known I would have joined in - yeah right! It did mean a lively town centre. Another wee wander through the gift shops and tourist information to get maps and such like and I felt I'd scoped the place out.
I decided to continue driving and do the tourist loop which takes you to some picturesque points like the kilt rock, so named because of the way the rock is formed, looking like it's pleated and with a variety of colours.
I then headed up through the amazing Quiraing to see views of Uig pier and Uig below. It probably took me just over two hours but I did do all the stops.
Once I got back to Portree, I checked in to my B&B. Probably the most iconic there. It was in the harbour side or Quay Street and is the famous Pink Guest House. Rooms were lovely as were Fiona and Richard, who ran it.
I had a well deserved chill and then showered and readied myself for the evening.
A lot of people don't like dinner on their own or even going away solo. It doesn't bother me, opens up potential to talk to folk if you wish. But this trip for me was a bit of an escape. The next time I write a blog I'll be 30!
Before panic strikes I've the full year to do this challenge, from January to December, the year I turn 30, and I'll be spot on halfway on my birthday. Not too shabby at all. I needed to get motivated again, turning 30, it's just a number after all and I have an amazing circle of family and friends. I can also take off and have mini escapes or holidays when I want. Lucky indeed.
The trip also helped escape the mobile phone and the wicked wifi/3G monster. Signal wasn't great and it meant no dependency on it. It was bliss. Just for the weekend though!
I had a lovely dinner at the Isle Inn. It was delicious, I was so stuffed, I had two glasses of red wine - an early night was called for.
Just as well though as I was up and out and climbing the Old Man of Stor at 9am - on a Sunday. It was quiet but there were others about, once I reached the top it was so peaceful and calm.
View was incredible, but even my Digital SLR camera couldn't do it justice. I feel like it was a mini achievement for my wee jaunt away. I sat for a while admiring the view and I had a nectarine as a reward - also trying to counteract my gluttony the previous night.
Back down the famous hill walk and I was back on the road, I followed the signs for the Kyle of Lochalsh and I stopped at the Skye Bridge for a wee picnic lunch and a stretch before continuing on.
Journey home was different again as I was seeing new vantage points that I'd missed by getting the ferry, although it is long it was a pleasant drive - thanks to the weather.
Home sweet home and I was knackered but it felt like a proper wee holiday and well worth a visit. My wee car, jiffy, did well, I even treated it to a wash on the Monday. Back to normality and trying to ignore the next event for now.
Thank you stunning Isle of Skye, that's number 14!