Outer Hebrides trip Day 2 - Ullapool to Stornoway - 31.51 miles

Wake up to a pretty grim morning - bit wet and windy.  But at least I had nearly 3 hours on the ferry to hide from the rain.  The ferry left at 10:30 - so I had a little wander around Ullapool.  Picked up the paper to read on the ferry and managed to remember to buy a midge net (I had tried in London, but due to some very poor service at Blacks in Chiswick, I hadn't got one). It is a very big ferry over to Stornoway and it was pretty full - except for bikes (just me!), which made me worry a little more about the whole cycling north to south on the islands again.

Journey was fairly uneventful - highlight was seeing my first puffins of the trip - flying over the seas.  They always amuse me when they fly - it just looks like it should be impossible with their little fat, round bodies and their tiny little wings flapping about a million times a minute.

Arrived at Stornoway and really did not like the look of it much.  I am sure it is a lovely town, but it was everything I wanted to get away from.  I did one quick loop around it and headed off to the Eye Peninsula east of Stornoway.  I wanted to see the abandoned church at Aignish - the church of St. Columba.  The weather was still pretty hit and miss - but it was a nice ride.  The church was very interesting - it's abandoned and, like many churches in the islands, it has lost it's roof - but there are still people being buried in these places.  I assume it is to be with their ancestors etc.  It is also one of the primary burial grounds for the MacLoeds of Lewis.

I also saw the first of three major memorials about the land struggles.  This one commemorates the Aignish Riots of 1888.

I rode back to Stornoway via the rather large Co-Op and found my campsite - the Laxdale Holiday Park.  The campsite was very good, though a little slopey, with great facilities.

It was still fairly early, so I decided to head up one of the other roads - this one towards Tolsta Head - this road had some great views of beaches and really gave me an introduction to the island's excellent sandy beaches.  I wish I could have ridden up to the end of the road and walked to Tolsta Head - but I wanted to get back and get dinner.  At the village of Bac was very interesting with another memorial for the land struggles.  There was also a really fantastic beach - I just wish that there was a little sun to go with the sand!

On the way back, I spotted a great abandoned watermill - the iron-work of the wheel was still in pretty good condition.

I cycled back to camp and cooked a very tasty curry and then bed.  An interesting day, but now I was really itching to get out there and into the wilder parts of the island.

Read about day 3 here!