Ardmair was to be our base for the next couple of nights. The last paragraph of my diary entry for our first day sums up what was to be another long but ultimately rewarding day,
…so all in all saw a great sunrise, a magnificent sunset and 16 hours in between which gave very occasional glimpses of the sublime.
The day extends as you go further north and this far up you really begin to notice it. A couple of brief, very brief, sightings of an otter in the early morning with a ‘Bonxy’ passing close by and Dunlin coming well into summer plumage and a piping Common Sandpiper made for a good and promising start. It was still, clear, quiet and I felt I had Scotland to myself.
By ten thirty all had changed. A wind had whipped up from seemingly nowhere and the sea took on a very different demeanor within no time at all. It saw us scuttle to Ullapool for provisions in hammering rain, before optimistically heading out on ‘the mad little road’ a term coined by Wainwright many years ago. I’m sure it was rougher then than now but it still aptly describes this famous route out towards the wilds of Assynt and the Summer Isles’ We had hoped for a trip out to these Isles that seemed, in their name, to be now mocking us. All boats out had been cancelled for at least 48 hours and the forecast was for even higher winds coming from the west in the next week. It wasn’t looking good for any of our planned Island trips! I’d been on the Isles before having been enthralled by the accounts of Fraser Darling in his ‘Island Years’ but again it was to be a first for us both together. It was becoming clear that we were going to have to come up to these parts again and before too long.