Monday, 20 October 2008 As I eat breakfast this morning, I look out the window to the north and see nothing but blue
sky. I've been thinking about climbing Stac Pollaidh while I'm in this area, but have given up on the idea in the past day
or so, since the weather forecast has looked so poor. Maybe I could do it after all. Go into my bedroom, on the south
side, and the window is being pelted by rain. Nothing but miserable dark cloud to be seen.
Drive up to Drumchork Lodge this morning for no reason other than to hijack their wi-fi signal, to get last night's Red Sox score. Bad news. Good on ya, Rays.
Head on up through Ullapool and out to Achiltibuie. Pass Stac Pollaidh along the way. It's not so high, under 2,000 feet, but it has an intimidating appearance. Still, it's such a popular climb that a trail has had to be built to combat erosion, so it can't be too difficult. But even if the passing bands of heavy rain weren't there, the wind would put me off. It's bad enough down in the valley; must be hellish up on that serrated ridge.
In Achiltibuie, I visit the Summer Isles Foods smokehouse. In the shop, I see some lovely photographic greeting cards produced by Highland Aurora. I happen to know that Highland Aurora is in fact whisky forum denizen dram_time, with whom I've been trying to catch up for a couple of years now. He is in the house--he works here--and graciously shows me around.
Spend a futile hour back in Ullapool looking for a room. I'd left this three-day window unbooked, thinking I'd stay here and do some walking if the weather was good, with the option to move on elsewhere otherwise. I remember now why I stopped traveling this way, and book everything ahead instead. I hate this fruitless knocking on doors, and the local tourist office is no help. I give up and and drive to Fortrose, about an hour or so away, and check into the Anderson. It's a bit above my budget, but I really like it--good food, good beer, good whisky, good blether. What more could I want? Will stay tomorrow, too.