We were all checked out and on the road by 9 a.m. The weather for our hour’s drive to Tarbert was much clearer than yesterday. The steepness of the winding roads through the mountains and past the lochs was quite delightful. We passed a few hardy souls on road bikes – and they were mostly women! Our bus get in line for the ferry to Uig on Skye and then we had an hour to explore Tarbert  – again. When everyone else made a beeline for the same coffee shop as the previous day I headed on up the main street to get views of the IMG_8022harbour. Many of the cottages do a good trade in B and B. There were a few houses with flowers in the garden but very few, so when I spotted a couple they drew my attention. The community center behind the coffee shop had a craft fair and I would have been tempted to buy some souvenirs but they didn’t take credit cards. Then I wandered over to the  new IMG_8087distillery, the first one to open in Harris, where a peat fire was very welcoming. There wasn’t time for a tour but I remembered Sarah going to one in Ireland, early one morning, so I had a coffee in honour of Sarah! I intended emailing it to her immediately but on asking the waitress for the internet password I was tole, ‘I can’t give it to you because we want to encourage you to socialize.’ So I socialized with my cup of coffee until it was time to board the ferry ‘Over the sea to Skye.’ The rain was coming down hard. It felt like sleet, and a couple of motorcyclists said they’d seen snow on the road on the higher ground.

It was a crossing of one and three quarter hours to Uig on Skye and we’d been told that we must have lunch on the ferry, so that we could get on with getting back to Edinburgh. It turned out that although Brightwater has been doing this itinerary for a number of years they recently placed things in a new order and we were only the second tour with the new order which accounted for Ali’s concern with timing.


Soon after we went through Kyle of Lochalsh we came upon a bad road traffic accident and for a while cars and tour buses turned around, backed up a very narrow lane and promptly got stuck. We ‘d no idea of the length of time we’d be stuck there. I was surprised to realise that the driver had no GPS or smart phone. Ali told of one time when the road had been closed for 8 hours in a similar situation. There are no back or side roads here! Eventually we got going again after an hour or more but we had to pass the remains of the vehicles involved which rather upset me.

IMG_8106As we traveled across Skye I kept seeing road signs which recalled my one and only visit to the island with my parents in 1971. I didn’t know I still knew the names of the places! We passed the commando monument that I have a photo of me, my friend Susan there.It was a 4 hour drive to Spean Bridge where we stopped for 30 minutes – just enough time to guzzle down a salad at the only place to eat there. I recalled a stop there with my mom at the woolen mill, and I’m pretty sure I bought some yarn to make a hat with!

We arrived in Perth at 8.55 but then had to wait for a different driver to be sent out because Ali had exhausted his driving time for the day because of the accident. It was a 35 minute wait for the new driver to show up. Ali didn’t have the new driver’s cell phone and the driver didn’t have Ali’s. A group member asked for a toilet while we waited (we’d just driven 2 1/2 hours) but Ali said the council toilets were closed for the night. I suggested we found a pub. ‘You can do that?’ everyone asked.There seemed an amazing reticence at doing that. outside the first pub I found was a bridal party.


We transferred buses and arrived at our departure hotel at 10:20. While all the others on our group checked in to the Marriott I got the concierge to call me a taxi to my Airbnb in Portobello. “It’ll cost a packet,” he remarked. I thought about saying, “Yes, but it’ll be cheaper than staying here,” but I kept that too myself but I was so tired that I almost inquired about the cost of a room. But I knew my new host, Lizzie, was excited for me to stay there because I was to be her first Airbnb guest. The ride cost 25 pounds.



The road to Portobello took me along Princess Street, Edinburgh’s downtown area and I saw the castle lit up high above the city. Even at this time – 11 p.m. crowds of people packed the streets.Lizzie, and her little dog, Daisy, welcomed me with a cup of tea and within 15 minutes I was all tucked up in a really comfy bed. I dreamt about the Queen and Lionel Ritchie . . . .er . . . .not together – but still . . .