Friday, May 4, 2007

We Made The Ferry But…

At last! I have a connection. You will find the last four days posted individually below.

Regards - Thom


…we are headed for the Hebrides. The ferry days and times we originally found online for the Shetlands turned out to be incorrect. The accurate days (the ferry essentially runs one direction each day) simply wouldn’t work for us as I have to be in Perth by 2PM on Friday to lead a workshop and Jake and Jen have to get back to Wales for the Kayak Symposium by Friday night.

We were disappointed and vacillated about our possibilities. Should we go over to the Orkney Islands for the day… maybe for several days, then head south (geez that would add an extra travel day); should we make a beeline to the Isle of Skye (to be officially renamed in traditional Gaelic this coming Thursday as Eilean a’ Cheo) and maybe get a climb of Ben Nevis in; is there any way going to the Shetlands could make sense (we were still attached)?

In the end we decided (with some helpful advice from our B&B hostess, Antoinette) to take a rest day and drive the North & West Highland Scenic Highway to Ullapool and catch the ferry to the Isle of Lewis, the northern island of the Outer Hebrides. The Scenic highway took as past our launch spot of the previous day, through Durness, across the Cape Wrath peninsula, then down through Kylestrome to Ullapool. The drive was ~150 miles on mostly single track. Fortunately the tourist season hasn’t started yet so the road was mostly empty, particularly in the northern section.

The scenery was exceptional and the weather even better than previous days. I know Lynn won’t believe this but I drove the entire distance with my window down and dressed in just a T shirt (well I did have pants on as well!). We have checked and are hoping that the weather will hold for the next three days (that is the prediction). It’s so nice we even discussed the wisdom of sharing certain photos we have on this blog as the beaches and sunny skies make it look like Santa Barbara. We are concerned you won’t believe we even came to Scotland!

Tonight we are camping on the west side of Lewis just a few hundred yards from the wide open Atlantic. Tomorrow we will set up a shuttle and paddle around the great Bernera peninsula. We have an accurate map but no other details regarding currents and exact tides so it should be an adventure. Jen hopes that Jake and I will learn to feel the currents (I think she may be asking too much).

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