MiBrava Moments | Notes From The Road in Isle of Skye | Scotland | Midges

Updated: Oct 31

Midges. It's what for dinner.


Well, not exactly dinner but maybe a mid-afternoon snack, for both me (and most of the rest in my traveling group) and the midges.


We heard warnings about midges and knew this visit to Scotland, unlike our last one, was during prime midge season (August/September).


Midges are like gnats' nasty cousin, the one you hope is never going to show up because you just can't deal with HER. With midges, it's the females who eat blood to help with reproduction. The males stick to nectar.


Apparently, there are 35 species of midge in Scotland, but the most ferocious is the Highland Midge.


Did I say we are in the Highlands?



We checked the midge report done by Smidge (maker of midge repellent) before we left the US. Skye was at a level 2 ( mostly midge-free), understandable since they don't like wind. Later this week we will be in Applecross, where the midge scale is at a 3. We planned to buy Smidge or Avon's Skin So Soft tomorrow.


Our bad.


We took a tour of the Isle of Skye today that included The famous Fairy Pools. It required a long walk uphill past beautiful falls and blue-green pools (I'll write more on that later, but here's a sample photo).



The beginning of the walk was great as we took in inspiring views, despite the rain and breeze.


Then we hit the spot where the surrounding hills blocked the wind. As soon as we stopped to take photos or video, our bodies and especially heads became immersed in a cloud of tiny insects and our phone screens and hands were covered.


We breathed them up our noses.


We swallowed some (they don't taste like chicken).


Despite having rain jackets zipped, hoods up on our heads and, in my case, a scarf around my neck, we were bitten again and again.


My scalp itched so much as they chomped away. They somehow got around under my hood and scarf to the back of my neck. One person in our traveling party found dead midges IN HER BRA when she dressed for bed tonight.


Really? Yes.


My husband sacrificed his hands to take this video. You can see some of them swarming around at the beginning. We "paid" for every photo we took.




Resilient hikers we passed in a later leg of our trip were wearing full head netting!


According to the midge forecast chart, I think today was more like level 4. I hope so, because if that was a level 2, I don't want to see a level 4!


Here's me after getting back to a windy area, wiping my face, shaking my hair out, removing my jacket and scarf to shake off the midges. At this point, I was laughing about this new travel experience.



Rain, midges. and wind create an interesting hairstyle, don't they?


Someone once said that traveling was 50% the travel experience and 50% telling the tales of travel. This will be one of my tales, for sure.


First thing tomorrow, off to Boots to buy repellent. And maybe an N 95 mask. And calamine lotion.


Will let you know how our weekend's excursion to Applecross goes.