TROTTERNISH RIDGE, UIG AND ONTO TARBERT
Earlier in my travels someone I met had told me that I must not miss going up to the Trotternish Ridge and Ther Quiraing and that it would be easy to get Thebus up there. In the event we did get up there, but to say it would be easy might have been leading me on a bit. Some of the hairpin bends were quite steep and tight, but get there we did, and I have to say it really was worth it.
There were a surprising amount of people and vehicles already up there and once again folk of all nationalities. Because you could hear the vehicles coming from quite a distance I felt it was safe to let Phoebe out, and once again she got masses of attention and stroking.
In fact by now she was feeling so very pleased with herself that she posed magnificently for me against the wonderful backdrop of the view up there, and if I can retrieve the photos I will post them later. (looks unlikely any of the photos have survived, the one below is from Wikimedia, and Phoebe was posed ont the to of the ridge on the right hand side of the photo)
So with us both feeling reasonable pleased with our selves I headed on. In the carpark was a lovely local guy who was ferrying folk around in a small minibus, and seemed impressed with my driving when Thebus crested the final ridge so we got chatting and I asked him whether to go back the way I had come, in which case I could loop round following the coastal road at the top end of the island, or simply to carry on over the high mountain road which finally dropped down to the ferry port of Uig.
He said that although the coastal road was very scenic it was no better than those I had already travelled, and by going forward I would be rewarded with lovely views out over Uig and the bay, so forwards we went and very pretty it was too.
I knew I was the wrong time for the ferry so we used the opportunity to travel along more of the coast road, then having explored we returned next morning and booked on for the ferry to Tarbert on the Isle of Harris
The ferries in the Scottish Islands are far more expensive that those on the Shetland Islands, though as they pointed out the journeys are generally longer. I had intended to buy a Rover type ticket, but it requires that you do all the travel within a couple of weeks, and I felt that was too tying so elected to Pay as you Go. The journey took us nearly two hours and I sat outside to enjoy the views and the day which once again was glorious.
Sitting next to a lovely lady on the deck benches we got chatting, and amazingly she was on a trip on the Royal Highlander Train I had so nearly met at far too close quarters in the Kyle of Lochalsh. She was travelling on to visit St. Kilda a long held ambition of her’s.
Arriving in Tarbert her luxury coach collected her, whilst Thebus and I battled on alone. On leaving the port just after you have disembarked you are exhorted to Indicate Your Intended Direction. There were three roads, one went to the left which must be south and I knew I didn’t want that as I intended to go north and past Stornoway to the very northernmost part of the island. On the other hand I had read nothing about Steornabhagh (Stornoway is the English name) and had no desire to visit it. So of course I took the wrong road, and did a close circuit tour of Tarbert: a bit too close for my liking with all the recently arrived vehicles including the three huge luxury tour buses taking the visitors from The Royal Scotsman clogging up the narrow streets.
Having escaped I again dismissed Steornabhagh, and once again was on the wrong road, so having tried two of the three there was only the one to Steornabhagh left and eventually I headed in that direction having by now finally spotted the English name in smaller lettering beneath.
Photos to follow if I ever retrieve them - which is looking unlikely