Part of the work I had done this week was to start to think about the risks I, and others, might be taking when I start working on my photographs for this project. As a seasoned traveller and when much of my work is undertaken overseas, with dangers of wild animals, snakes, ticks, leeches and Antarctic weather the Isle of Skye might be seen as a walk in the park. Maybe that is the point in risk assessment that it is so important to explicitly consider the risks rather than thinking you know what they are.
In many ways, driving or walking up and down the Road to Elgol might appear relatively safe. We walk along roads every day and are relatively aware of the dangers. So my thinking was more about climbing hills safely, being aware of tide times, making sure somebody knows where I am going and when I plan to be back, having a charged mobile phone and being dressed in appropriate clothing for the occasion. In Skye the weather can change quickly throughout the day from sun, to rain (lots of it), fog and snow so this is important along with hot drinks and shovels. BUT, the road to Elgol is a very busy single-track road with commercial and tourist traffic, blind bends and often fast moving vehicles. The hill into Elgol, and out again, can be treacherous in wet weather. Tourists stop without signalling, locals drive too fast, and the lorries from the quarry in Torrin are on a mission to reach Broadford and beyond as quickly as possible. So, it is important to reconsider and review your practice to ensure a safe trip.
In the end, the risk turned out to be what to do when it looks like you might not be able to take your planned trip. Here are some lessons for me in my aborted trip to Skye: