Day 10 - Ullapool

I woke up Saturday morning to this view over the breakfast table... My breakfast table, Ullapool

...and Alice made my choice of breakfasts, which today was porridge with fresh fruit (I was ready for something closer to my regular diet, after a week of FRIED EVERYTHING in Glasgow.) I popped down to the town centre (5 minutes walk away; it's a small town) for the Saturday morning market, where I spoke with a woman who is about to get her degree in Anthropology of Food (!!) and was there selling small experimental loaves based on (but not limited to) traditional recipes.  I couldn't help myself and bought a lovely parsnip parmesan loaf.

Weather for the weekend was threatening to get worse so I knew today was the day to get some hiking in, and headed out for the Ullapool hillwalk to the summit of Meall Mor which is supposed to take approximately 90 minutes each way.  Oh, it was gorgeous!  The town and Loch Broom spread out below me...


nearby mountains came more clearly into view...


Ullapool and finally Loch Achall, beyond the peak of this hill, Meall Mor.

My time in Ullapool made me face how little I've sketched predominantly natural landscapes.  Immediately I hit issues with composition, mixing greens, and indicating scale.  It was good practice, and I only wish I'd had more time to practice this amid the inspirational vistas of the Highlands before the inevitable wet weather descended upon me.

Ullapool hillwalk

It started raining as I was sketching this...

Ullapool hillwalk

The rain stopped long enough to sketch this at the summit...

Ullapool hillwalk

...and then started with a vengeance.  I stood there in the rain and wind for about 45 minutes hoping against hope that it would clear up so I could continue... but finally had to let go and start the climb back towards town.

The rain had decreased but the wind was up; I sketched as long as I could.

Ullapool hillside Ullapool - CalMac ferry

At the end of the evening, I visited the Argyll Hotel for some live traditional music - both "large pipes" and "small pipes" (two types of bagpipe), cello, guitar, fiddle, voice. They had one local microbrew on tap, An Teallach, which I enjoyed. As a bonus, local character Noel told stories about terrible things that had happened to his friends while drunk. The bagpiper had to be physically led up to the stage which at first made me think he was very drunk too (drunk bagpiper, oh noes!) but he turned out to be blind, and a very fine piper.

Ullapool Musicians

I feel like I earned my warm cozy bed that night.