Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day 10 Northwest Scotland, to Ullapool

Thursday 30 April. Nature provided our venue of the day. We departed St. Margaret's Hope on South Ronaldsay, Orkney on the 8:00 am ferry and pulled into Ullapool in the late afternoon. This drive across the North and the Northwest of Scotland is no ordinary journey. This is the least populated, remote and rugged and least visited are on the mainland. It is my favorite landscape in all of Scotland. Once past Thurso, it is mile after mile of rocks, beach, hills, water, heather, birds, grazing sheep, and finally a herd of Highland hairy coos to photograph.
The road often goes to one lane. Dunnet Head is where the North Sea meets the Atlantic Sea. We were blessed with morning sunshine that added to the richness of the color of the sea and stone. When Will, one of the consumate birders on the trip, wasn't looking through his binoculars, he was snapping photos.

Just outside of Durness, we visit Balnakeil Craft Village. Once a military base, it was taken over by hippies when the military left and now is inhabited by small shops and craft studios. I told the group that the reward for all this sitting and riding today was
a a stop at Cocoa Mountain for dessert. They specialize in truflles with unique flavours like strawberry, lemon pepper and decadent hot chocolate.
You can't miss this heavenly stop if you like chocolate. >

We stopped at Highland Stoneware Pottery shop in Lochinever. The driveway and garden of the shop proved very entertaining with large stones, an automobile, a gigantic concrete sofa, all covered with broken pottery.

Before heading on, make sure to drive into town and get a homemade pie from the Lochinever Larder. Their savory or sweet pies are in such demand, they post them around the country.

Once we reached Ullapool we settled into our B&B's. You see the view here from the backyard of the B&B. No one ever wants to leave this idyllic spot. A hearty thank you to Charlotte at Dromnan Guest House

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