My notebook is now sprinkled with phone numbers and flight information, but we’re no nearer to knowing how we’re going to get away from this remote corner of the British Isles. It’s not that we haven’t enjoyed our time away here, but enough is enough. We want to leave.

The ferry journey back to Ullapool seems interminable. When we finally arrive, we make our way to the car, where we try to discuss our options civilly while not in the best of moods. We decide to try the tourist office and end up spending over an hour while an overworked assistant takes time from helping other customers to try and sort us out. All the options turn out to be very expensive, and so we choose the most convenient one – a flight from Inverness to Gatwick tomorrow morning. As we thank the assistant for her help, she gives us a word of warning: “When you drive to the airport, look out for the deer.”

In the evening, standing outside in the cold by the road (because there’s no reception for the phone in the house), D manages to book a later flight home. Adding up the prices of all the flights, the car and the hotel, he calculates that the cancelled ferry has cost us about £600.

Certain things have to be done every time I visit Britain. Let’s see how far I’ve got with them:

Eat shortbread
Drink cider
Eat ploughman’s lunch in pub X
Eat fish and chips X
Eat salt and vinegar crisps
Eat scones with jam and cream X The ones we had were creamless
If summer, feel rain
Buy underwear in M&S X

On with day 9 and, you know what? I’ve had enough of the second person. This is ME we’re talking about, even if I am on holiday from social anxiety – so far.


Today’s walk, ten kilometres starting at Poolewe, is pleasant. The weather’s nice, the ground is mostly not boggy and the views are lovely, despite not having been captured by either of us. It ends at 3 in the afternoon.

“Another walk?” he says.

I laugh, until I realise he means it.

“It gets dark late here. It’s a long drive. There are a few nice walks in this area.”

“What – another ten kilometres?”


Perhaps it’s the look on my face. We stay relaxing on the grass by the River Ewe.

A tasty tea in Poolewe is followed by a drive back to Ullapool and a walk around the town, which would be nicer if the fourth toe on my right foot wasn’t hurting so much. Note to self: in future, bring shoes to change into.

The dinner in the Indian restaurant is good.