Monday, 8 August 2016

On getting to the Harris Tarbert

I got up in the company of two guys from Spain and two Chinese speaking women. I set off to go the long way around to Uig via the Trotternish Penninsula. This was wildly scenic but much hillier than the Uists. I passed the Old Man of Storr and the Kilt Rock. The latter appeared to me like basalt columns viewed from the side. This was in contrast to the horizontal sediments below. Looking at the explanatory sign I found I was spot on about the basalt. I wonder if it is related geologically to the Giants' Causeway and possibly Fingal's Cave in the Inner Hebrides.

I was aiming to catch a particular ferry out of Uig which the ferry guy had suggested I be there by 1:30. There was a stiff wind out of the North which made for slow progress as the sun flitted in and out clouds. There was a shower that started near Staffin and required full rain gear. After the shower, the sun came out in earnest.

One of my guidebooks describes the scenery as Tolkeinesque. However, that must modified as Peter Jackon's version of Tolkeinesque. I made it to the ferry in suitable time, just before the arrival of a pair of young English cycle-tourers with whom I ended up talking quite a bit. Indeed, I am sharing a bunk room in the Tarbert (Harris) hostel. From what I have heard of their plans, I will be seeming them until Ullapool. Therein lies a problem. They are a damn sight fitter than I having covered about sixty miles to my 34 or so. Also, the one I really talked to is woefully ignorant about Scotland and was startled by all the tourists on Skye. Apparently, he hadn't heard of Skye until a few weeks ago!

We were joined in our bunk room by an older cycle tourist from the East Coast of Scotland. He was heading South from Stornoway on his way to Barra. While he was using the hostel computer, a Facebook friend of his sent him a link about an oil rig which ran aground not far from where I intend to go tomorrow. I asked him to show where it happened on my map. Something else to see tomorrow. The weather forecast calls for better weather tomorrow. As well, I have no ferry to catch so no time constraints! Here's to hoping.

Plus, I managed to change my rear brake pads without incident.

This the third Tarbe(r)t I have slept in. Sometimes I think "Tarbert" is the Gaelic word for "Portage".


Margo and Chris said...

It is "Portage". My father said it meant "To draw a boat".

Mark and Alice said...

Whhy is them being fitter a problem? You' ve planned your trip....