Sunday, 17 May 2015

The far north...

The drive from Hebden Bridge to Ullapool took about 7 1/2 hours. I’d planned to break the journey, and stay the night somewhere on Scotland’s west coast, but once I was on the road it seemed easier just to keep going. My arrival in Ullapool coincided with a hailstorm, with a biting wind, which made this little ferry port seem even more desolate and remote. I’m glad to have a heater in the Romahome. I don’t use it often, but it’s good for drying out after being caught in a shower. Ullapool is a place of arrivals and departures, and there are plenty of other motorhome (mostly a great deal bigger than mine).

The fish & chip shop by the quay had a placard outside, boasting that it had been hailed - by Radio 4’s Food Programme, no less - as the best chippy in the land. However, that accolade was awarded back in 2004, and standards look to have slipped since then. The fish & chips were barely edible, but, not keen to go to sleep on an empty stomach, I finished the lot.

I was luckier with my evening’s entertainment, with two guys - one playing guitar, the other a bongo he’d made himself - setting up in the bar of the Argyll Hotel. The guitarist was one of those affable guys who warms up a room just by walking in, so a bar full of soggy drinkers was soon transformed into an enthusiastic audience for the music. The guy played it for laughs… which disguised the fact that he could really sing and really play; the two of them had a great rapport. It was just what I needed on a wintry night in Ullapool.

The local bookshop was open today, Sunday, so I bought a folding map of the Outer Hebrides, with all the islands on one sheet. A lot of ‘attractions’ are marked on it, which will help me to work out a good itinerary, and, hopefully, not miss too many interesting places (my ‘hopscotch’ ferry ticket lasts for a month). I also bought a guidebook to the islands, which looks pretty comprehensive.

I tried - and failed - to change my ferry booking from tomorrow morning to this afternoon. I’d forgotten that the ferry terminal has been undergoing repairs for the past few days, with CalMac operating a service just for foot passengers. The car-ferry service resumes tomorrow, so I have another night in Ullapool…

The last of Yorkshire - Wensleydale - for a while...

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy your time up here, there is lots to see if you take the time to look - which you are and remember to stop off at the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel on the way South. Worth a detour.