View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 3 October 2015


October is here and autumn is strengthening its hold in the Outer Hebrides. Summer wasn't much to speak of out here, with a few warm days and / or a few sunny days. Summer 2015 here was mostly cloudy, windy, cold, or a combination of any of the three aforementioned. That has not deterred the visitors, which have come thick and fast. On foot, on their bikes, in their cars, in coaches, by plane or by cruiseliner. The local bus service, which (for the population of 20,000 that it serves) is excellent, will have done very well. Some buses even take bicycles, for those pedallers whose energy is short of the distance they need to cover. When October is over, the bus service will have reduced somewhat, as the requirement is no longer there. Did I mention that a return ticket from Stornoway to Leverburgh, a distance of 55 miles (90 km), only costs £10? That's $15 or €13.50. A single ticket from Ullapool to Inverness, same distance by road, costs £12, just to give a comparison. October sees the advent of the Royal National Mod, which is being held in Oban this year. Next year, it will be in Stornoway, and the participants are already busy with their preparations. The Mod is a Gaelic cultural event along the lines of a competition. The most coveted prize is a Gold Medal in traditional singing. The Mod is also known, irreverently, as the whisky olympics.

I have not posted pictures on this blog since the middle of August, another victim of the easy-posting lure of Facebook. I'll post a selection in a separate post.