Saturday 12 October 2013--Gray morning. Realized I needed to get laundry done today, or it would have to wait
until Tuesday. The local tourist info told me yesterday that there's a laundry in Station Road, but I couldn't find it. My hosts
said there's one in Prudhoe, but it's self-serve only*. There's an empty storefront in Hexham where another was supposed to be.
Finally found a commercial laundry in an industrial estate that was kind enough to take my stuff in. Dropped it off and went for
a wander around town.
* * * * * * * * *
Sunday 12 October 2014--We are headed today to the Outer Hebrides, specifically the island known as Harris and Lewis. Cross the bridge to Skye again, fuel up in Broadford (where petrol is cheaper than anyplace we will see for a while), and stop in Portree to shop for odds and ends. We are out of luck--most of the shops are closed on a Sunday, and neither odd nor end is available.
Up the road, we join a handful of other tourists attempting calendar shots of the Old Man of Storr. Then I take Ron up over the Quiraing, which he hasn't seen before. A walk along here has been on my radar for a long time. It'll have to wait another year, at least.
Arrive in Uig and join the queue for the ferry. While we're waiting, I run over to the Isle of Skye Brewery and grab a few bottles. Then we're off under sunny skies, taking in the spectacular views of the Trotternish peninsula and a few rocky little islets on our way across the Minch, the sound that separates the Western Isles from the mainland.
The sky is clouding over as we sail into East Loch Tarbert. As I've noted elsewhere, tarbert or tarbet is a geographical word denoting an isthmus. The village here sits in a narrow saddle barely a par five in width, all that keeps the southern part of Harris from being an island in itself. I'd hoped to find us lodging right in the village, but ended up taking a room a few miles south. We check in and return to peruse the town, notably the in-progress Isle of Harris Distillery, and have dinner and pints at the Hotel Hebrides. It's not a very exciting place, but then again, it is Sunday. It does well enough for what we need.
*Mr Tattie Heid hates to hang around laundromats, and would rather spend half a day looking for a service wash than spend an hour and a half actually doing laundry.