Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 10 2012 Two Ferries and Northwest Scotland

19 April. What do we do on the ferry crossings? Sleep and knit of course.We had another smooth sailing, this time from Stornoway to Ullapool.
Barb and clicking needles
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 mainland Scotland. 

 Along the west coast the Assynt area is famous for hill walking and climbing munroes (mountains). It is mile after mile of rocks, beach, hills, water, heather, birds, gorse, and grazing sheep. This area has many kind of really old rock.
The road often narrows to one lane. The vehicle heading downhill pulls over in passing spot. Both drivers always give a wave of the hand in acknowledgment.

Gorse in bloom
We stop in Lochinver, famous for  homemade pie from the Lochinver Larder. Their savory or sweet pies are in such demand, they post them around the country.

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. A stop at Cocoa Mountain has become tradition. They specialize in truffles with unique flavours like strawberry, lemon pepper, and serve the most decadent hot chocolate. You can't miss this heavenly stop if you like chocolate.

Marsha with a mug of the famous chocolate brew
As we make our way along the top of mainland Scotland this afternoon, a mix of rain showers, sun, and many hues of clouds provide a stunning backdrop.  Our destination is the Scrabster Ferry to take us to Stromness on Mainland Orkney before nightfall.

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