Part IV – Island of Magnificent Waterfalls

Water; gallons of it! Cold, crystal clear & fresh from deep inside the mountains – Skye is simply overflowing with water and it adds yet a further dimension to my extraordinary love affair with Skye.

Waterfalls are everywhere
Waterfalls are everywhere, fresh & cool

One of the things that strikes any visitor to Skye is the amount of water. Not just because it rains a fair old bit here on ‘The Misty Isle’, but because there are natural springs around just about every corner, past every turn in the road, descending into each and every head of the many Lochs as well as cascading from fissures in the Black Cuillin Hills, Trotternish Ridge, and countless other secret places. Its just knowing where to look.   And when it begins to rain in earnest, every single one of these natural springs, swells. Slowly gathering speed, water in the burns flows faster and faster until finally some burst forth, spouting out of rocks and gullies, while others expand quickly, growing and merging into roaring masses of water that surge around boulders and tumble over rocks.

I can’t help but be overawed by the magnificence of their power. How these wee burns start off so innocuous, tame even – yet they grow to raging torrents in minutes, wild and powerful, without boundaries, taking anything remotely untethered – tossing it here, there and everywhere. Smashing and grinding rocks against pebbles, swirling them till they create great stone bowls.

Some burns overflow from lochs high in the hills, emerging eventually as waterfalls crashing hundreds of feet down sheer cliffs onto the beach below or into deep ravines. A few, when the wind is high are forced back up the cliffs from whence they came. If that’s not magic………….

While others simply take over the gullies, pushing against the soft peaty earth, burrowing down hillsides twisting and turning, gathering speed and power until they join one of the many rivers that, like giant veins networking and dissecting each peninsula and meadow, flow to the sea.

Whichever way I look at them, waterfalls strike me as being quite simply ……. magical. A few are even in magical places, tempting each and every visitor to sit beside them and dream away the day.

A magical place to sit and contemplate at the Fairy Glen
A magical place to sit and contemplate; my daughter Diana day-dreaming at the Fairy Glen

While others take on a whole new magical persona when the weather turns icy cold and ‘jack frost’ touches everything with his icy fingers.

Is it any wonder then, with all this diversity throughout the four seasons, with all this magical beauty, that waterfalls play an important role in my extraordinary love affair with Skye?

 

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