Day 2 of our Hebridean Hopscotch dawned sunny, and early. We had been staying at The Ferry Boat Inn. Our room looked south east down Loch Broom and the morning sun was glinting of the water.
After breakfast, we had around 45 minutes to pack the car and move it down to the check-in for the ferry. Whilst packing the car the Coastguard tug Anglian Sovereign came into the harbour. At around 09:50, MV Isle of Lewis approached the peir.
Our first ferry of our holiday. Compared to our experience of the loading of the Arran ferry MV Caledonian Isles, the loading took longer, to ensure the vehicles were loaded in the most appropriate manner. We were on the mezzanine deck
Although the vehicle deck was full, there was plenty of room in the passenger areas. We found some seats in the recliner area, just behind the observation lounge. A quick visit to the Coffee Cabin for tea/coffee set us up with hot drinks. Whilst still in Loch Broom, the voyage was calm. Outside, there were some nice views of the hills either side. However once we were in The Minch, the ship started to roll more, and I found that a motion sickness remedy was needed. The voyage across the Minch was mostly dry and sunny, however there were some nice cloud effects, and at one point thee was a brief shower of rain.
The approach to the Isle of Lewis was heralded by views of the Eye Peninsula, with some of the rocky outcrops, including Eilean a’ Chrotaich. On the approach into Stornoway Bay on the right side was the site of the wreck of HMS Iolaire and on the left the lighthouse at Rubha Airnis.
On the hill above the inner harbour is Lews Castle, which we had a closer look the following day. First thing we did upon leaving the ferry was find or hotel for the next two nights – The Cabarfeidh Hotel – located to the north of Stornoway where the roads north to the Butt of Lewis and south to Harris part company.
After checking in and sorting out our luggage, we headed out to the Eye Peninsula to the east of Stornoway. To get there it required heading back to the harbour and then onto the airport and the a narrow isthmus. The first location was the end of the road at Port nan Giuran on the north west side of the peninsula, and the first siting of a decorative boat display.
Retracing our steps we then headed to the north east point at Tiumpan. One of the Isle of Lewis lighthouses is located here.
Tiumpan Head Lighthouse has been in operation since 1900. Designed by David Stevenson the lighthouse was staffed by a Principal Lighthouse Keeper and two assistants, with their families, until 1985 when the lighthouse was automated.
Returning to Stornoway, the next stop was the location of the HMS Iolaire.
In the early hours of 1 January 1919 HM Yacht Iolaire floundered on the rock in the entrance of Stornoway Bay. Of the 284 on board, 205 perished. Many owed their lives to John F MacLeod who managed to get ashore with a line along which over 30 survivors managed to get ashore. As well as the memorial, a marker is on the rocks where the yacht ran aground.
Looking back towards Stornoway, the War Memorial for the town in seen on the hill to the north of the town.
In the evening we went to HS-1 Cafe Bar for an evening meal. Although busy, we were able for to get a table, and enjoyed the food so much, made a booking for the following evening.