National Geographic : 1952 Jul
/ sle of Lewis sormusofb Harris. 88 A National Geographic Map Skye Dips a Dozen Jagged Arms into the Sea; One Almost Touches Mother Scotland Infertile moors and hills support about nine head of stock for every human. Population has dwindled to below 9,000 (opposite page). Most residents speak both Gaelic and English. countryside with the unhurried pace of a browsing cow. A dozen times the driver pulled up at some little cottage, got out, opened the rear compartment, and fished out some package for delivery to the door. At other spots, when the parcel was less fragile, he would slow down, sound the horn, and skim the bundle deftly over the gate. Skye's the Limit in Hospitality We came at last, however, to Broadford and the crag that surmounts it, Beinn na Caillich, "Mountain of the Old Woman." By the road near Park House stood my host, in clan kilt and tweed jacket, young Alasdair Sutherland. "Welcome to Skye," he said. "We thought you'd be earlier, but the driver must have had more parcels than usual. Come along." I had been told on the mainland that "High land hospitality originated in Skye"; the Sutherlands convinced me it was no myth. They established me in a guest room with a glimpse of the sea, and, over tea and scones, they made me one of themselves. The late-afternoon sun still lay warm on the heather, and I took off for a walk before sup per. Across Broadford Bay stood the hills of Ross-shire on the mainland, and in the sound itself floated the flat island of Pabay, like a great green pancake. The scent of wild bracken filled the air, mingling with the pleas ant smell of the peat stacks (page 110).