Photo B shows Ullapool as I found it on my return.
Blown by strong winds (30-40 mph) I appear to have been washed up on the North coast somewhat ahead of schedule, missing out the unmissable Sandwood Bay. There's a brief window between Monday evening and Tuesday morning when the wind drops a little. And the small matter of a four-mile hike to get to the beach from the nearest road. Apparently it's a four-mile hike back again. With the added bonus of a wet wetsuit to weigh you down.
The North coast is fabulous. It really feels like being on the roof of the country (that's Scotland, of course). And looking North out to sea feels different to looking West for some reason.
Three surf sessions here:
A sunset session at Melvich in fast, hollow, low tide waves. I cannot surf fast, hollow, low-tide waves. Managed a couple to restore my dignity, reputation and sang froid (very froid, once the sun disappeared).
A rubbish session in Durness (this is where Dourness is manufactured, and exported all over Scotland.) Strong cross-shore/off-shore winds, but glorious sunshine.
And today Strathy, big and clean, with a strong-ish off-shore wind and eight or nine other surfers in the water. Still not surfing particularly well (why does it take so long to get to your feet when you're sliding down a wave).
This is Melvich. The waves I managed to catch in no way resembled this one. The ones I fell off, struggled under or pulled out of, mostly did.
This morning bumped into a friend of mine, Ruth, and her boyfriend. Almost literally (single-lane road), though not entirely unexpectedly.
Curiously, this was less than a mile from the place where yesterday I ran out of petrol. Had to wait 15 minutes for a lift to the nearest petrol station. But that's because I had to wait 15 minutes for a car to pass. There are worse places to be stranded.