Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Home again, home again jiggety jig

The ferry crossing from Stornaway to Ullapool was a little longer than scheduled  because one of the engines was giving some trouble. The boat did pitch quite a bit for a while, so much so that a cooked breakfast was not appealing! We had coffee and then a rather bumpy ride for a couple of hours. The sunrise was glorious, the views stunning but most of the time I needed to sit with my eyes shut! Nigel managed some time on deck taking photos. After the captain announced the reason for the delay and then told us that we were now running at full speed, things did seem to calm down, maybe we just weren't going fast enough! Anyway a little later we both felt hungry so went and had a breakfast roll and a cuppa just before the boat arrived in Ullapool. Prior to this Nigel searched for campsites he had stayed at on the Summer Isles whilst sea kayaking and pointed out  the beach at Mellon Udrigle to me.
Once we had disembarked, it was full steam ahead towards Inverness, the nice day soon disappeared but it was lovely to see the autumnal trees with their beautiful colours before the sun disappeared and it became very misty. We were stuck behind a 4 by 4 towing cattle in a trailer for many miles until it got through a set of temporary lights and we had to stop.
The A9 was busy, we stopped just after Aviemore for lunch and a rest, got going again quite soon but then Nigel needed a nap a couple of hours further on.
On we pressed in quite heavy traffic, almost dark and we were still in Scotland so we came off the M74 near Abington and followed signs for the Clyde Valley Tourist trail towards Drumlanrig castle, hoping for a nice lay by off the main drag. We saw a sign for "Leadmine" 7 miles away so decided to follow it. A windy narrowing road took us up and up a valley, there was nowhere to turn around, Jane on TOM TOM was getting her knickers in a twist and by now it was dark. Eventually we came to a flattish spot at the side of the road so, N got out and inspected, it was firm underfoot so we turned round and parked up there for the night. N walked the dogs while I warmed up last night's curry leftovers and very nice it was too. 
Today we set off homewards about 10am, stopping at Go Outdoors in Penrith for a couple of bits and our lunch. Got home at 3.30, road and drive clear so easy to park.
Drew was home first, then Alana and Hattie arrived...how she has grown! (Hattie that is, not Alana!) Good news is that she has had her clicky hip appointment today and everything now seems fine, having an ultrasound as a precaution but the registrar was sure everything is now ok.
Nigel and I went to Pizza Express in Bury using Drew's 2 for 1 code. Have decided to sleep in Liberté Too tonight, save  the hassle of getting the sofa bed out!