Lucky for me, my tour guide extraordinaire, Graham, has already blogged about the second day of our Scottish Highlands adventure. Otherwise, I would never remember the names of the places we went that day. Balnacara, Lochcarron, Applecross, Sheildaig,Torridon, Ullapool. The names sound so romantic to me!
I thought the beauty of Ireland was soft and enchanting. Here I met true grandeur. You've probably never heard of gasping grandeur but that's what I thought it was. I literally gasped a number of times at the majesty of the scenery.
Graham stopped and backed up so we could get shots of the sign at the turn off to the Road to Applecross. I thought the sign was a little understated. I'd say that road is not advised also for the nervous or those lacking in confidence.
The road is single lane with frequent passing places. You can see the passing place sign in the next photo, just up ahead, a bit off centre. The indentations in the roadside safety barriers should work as a warning to drive carefully. The road name in Scottish Gaelic, means Pass of the Cattle; it was a drovers' road. Not for the first time in my life have I pondered that a drover's life had its own rewards. It has the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK, and is the third highest road in Scotland.
Traffic on that road was light so we didn't have to stop to give way too many times and we had a few photographic opportunities as well. I think this one was taken from my passenger seat window. I was surprised at the amount of grass managing to grow in that rock.
From a passing place on the way to the top
There was a brisk breeze at the top - 2053ft (625.7 metres) - where we stopped at the lookout. Had there not been I would have wanted to stay much longer.
Looking across to the Cuillins on Skye
Mind you, down at sea level on the other side had its attractions, too.
But, you don't stay at sea level for long in this part of the country. It's just a fabulous place to drive around if you have an aversion for long, straight roads.
There's a view around every corner.
Slioch above Loch Maree
By the time we arrived in Ullapool to catch the evening ferry to the Outer Hebrides, I was in love with Scotland. The weather was the coolest I'd experience since leaving home but still not cold.
We had time for a walk around the town taking in the sights of the port before the ferry arrived.
Before long we were aboard the ferry and heading towards that place I'd heard so much about from Graham and his blog, Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis and the Outer Hebrides.
And, finally, there I was - in Graham's kitchen. Felt like home to me.