Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Hebrides 32: Stornoway to Ullapool

Because of a 07:00 ferry sailing, we had packed up and left the house in Lemreway by 05:15: the start of a very long day.  The heatwave of the past few days had disappeared, and Stornoway was grey and overcast when we arrived.  It was clear that we'd be on an "industrial strength" ferry for this crossing, unlike the much more intimate vessels which had taken us between the islands.  No matter, it still served the famous CalMac "Full Scottish".

A view back to Lewis as we set out for the almost three hour crossing to Ullapool.  Another chance to hunt out some old sea dogs in order to pass the time...

Not very many canines on this crossing, unfortunately, so I had to make do with a few fellow passengers as well.

The weather brightened up as we approached the Scottish mainland, and the blue hills looked wonderful in the morning haze.

Ullapool is in the middle of a very large sea loch, with the surrounding hills and islands providing a large natural harbour.  The sea was like glass, and occasionally we spotted dolphins and minke whales surfacing.  Their location was almost impossible to predict, though, so the second picture below is probably the worst example of whale photography in the history of the universe (but at least it proves that we saw them).

Eventually we started to reach "civilisation" - initially a few scattered crofts, and then Ullapool itself.

It would have been lovely to spend some time there, as both the town and the surrounding countryside looked really attractive.  Sadly we had rather a long drive ahead of us...