Day 109 Ullapool

Thursday 23 July 2015

Althandu to Ullapool

Driving day

The Royal Ullapool Hotel

It was a bad night. I finally fell asleep sometime after 2.30 am and was awake again just after 5. The predicted gale force winds had arrived I think and I couldn’t relax as the wind and heavy rain was battering my flimsy little tent. The heavy rain came in waves and by 5.30 am I couldn’t stand it any longer so packed up. The sky was darker than it usually is during the night!  

Port a Bhaigh campsite, Althandu very early on a wet and windy morning
The view of the Summer Isles
It wasn’t far to Ullapool and I was there by 8 am, even going slowly and stopping a few times. I drove past Stac Polly again, although I couldn’t see it.  

The mountain views were not so good this morning
Look how dark it is at 9 am!
Ullapool is a big town in these parts and the main port to catch a ferry to Stornaway in the Outer Hebrides. It sits on the edge of Loch Broom. The sky was lightening so I drove out to a small peninsula, parked the car and sat looking at the weather across the Loch for an hour or so. I was tired. The car was being rocked by the violent wind.  

Looking down Loch Broom at Ullapool
 After an hour and a half I drove back into Ullapool. The rain had stopped so I parked the car in a layby, got my tent out and “flew it” like a kite. Within a couple of minutes I had almost taken off twice and the tent was dry. Time for a coffee! I stopped at a small place called Tea by the Sea, with its pink door and craft shop. The people there were very nice and I must have drunk a gallon of tea and eaten the biggest piece of cake ever. All the people in the cafe joined in one big conversation and it was very jolly. I was recommended to head to the Ferry Boat Inn later for some live music.  

Ullapool Port, where the ferries from Stornoway dock
 I took a quick trip to the Ullapool museum and learnt a bit about the Klondikers that came over to Loch Broom for the fishing boom in the 1980s-90s, during the Cold War. The locals really took these Eastern Europeans to their hearts, although the ships must have been an eyesore in the Loch.  

 It was raining again and I checked into the Royal Ullapool Hotel. What a treat. My blog must sound quite depressing because my friend Donna had taken great pity on me and bought me a night in a hotel. How lucky am I to have a friend like that? Thanks Donna. I was going to make the most of the luxury, and first off I needed a nap!

I had a lovely dinner overlooking Loch Broom and then, despite being tired, I headed out to the Ferry Boat Inn to check out the live music. It turned out to be rather good and it was midnight before I crawled into bed. Ah, a nice, soft bed. Zzzz.  


2 thoughts on “Day 109 Ullapool

  1. Chris Frazer July 26, 2015 / 10:30 am

    Proper pants….obviously the Summer Isles were named by somebody with a sence of humour…poor you. If I were you I would get gone down the west coast as soon as you can chuck the hire car keys at the desk. At least you would have been able to use the time between storms to plan….or are you adherng to the plan early plan twice philosophy. Just seen some of Welsh boys out here doing heat training…..George North and Sam Warburton are chuffing huge……I am going to take children across this afternoon if they are still ther, they are here for a week don’t envy them at all it’s roasting……..Keep going Juice, remain focused and get down south soonest, at least the Gulf Stream will warm things up a little.


  2. jomunday99 July 26, 2015 / 7:37 pm

    Sorry Chris. I normally agree with your advice but we soft southerners recommend Lucy stays to enjoy if the west coast. After all when might you be back?

    Natasha (my 7 year old daughter) is asking what you will do to celebrate when you get back Lucy, and suggested a nice meal! She also said it looks a perfect day to be outside. The photos don’t show the rain!


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