Monday, 22 June 2009
The daily commute into town
What is your trip into work like? During my last few years at work I was fairly lucky. Even if I took Son-who-watches-films to school on the way the journey was a mere 12 miles and rarely took more than an hour. At a guess there were about 40 sets of traffic lights and half a dozen roundabouts. Twelve miles in an hour in an urban environment in peak hours is probably a lot better than in parts of London. But compare that to the trip into town from Brother-who-blogs.
First of all the garden gates (designed to keep out the sheep) are opened. Then there is a seventeen minute drive of 7 miles.
First there is the drive along the road through the townships of Eagleton and Lower Bayble with their view out over Bayble Bay.
Then out onto the moor with sweeping views all round. Looking South the mountains of Harris can be seen in the distance.
Looking forward to Broad Bay and Tolsta ...
...perhaps pulling into a passing place if there is a bus coming the other way.
There may occasionally be a wait to turn onto the main road if there is a car passing. That’s David driving the coach ahead of us and causing this 'major traffic jam' and a seven second wait. That’s the busiest I have ever seen this junction.
On the opposite side of the road is an old mill. The drive through the scattered township of Cnoc has views of Broad Bay.
This photo is taken from the other side of the Bay and GB's route into town runs from the ridge on the left to sea level on the right, through Cnoc.
Then there is the sweeping drive along the Braigh (pronounced Bry) with the sea on the left .
If the weather is clear you can see the mountains of the Scottish mainland (on the left) and the Shiant Isles (middle right).
There might be a diver or some other bird to be seen as you drive along.
...and Loch Branahuie is on the right. It too is noted for its birdlife. Just beyond the loch is Broad Bay.
Looking back along the Braigh. The Braigh is a narrow isthmus which can occasionally get blocked by bad weather in the winter if a storm brings the sea crashing over the wall.
The seventeen minute journey can be extended somewhat if you stop for a chat . The Western Isles is the sort of small community where people know a lot of other folk and a drive of that length is unlikely to go by without a mutual wave or even a stop for a chat..
The drive past the airport may give one the sight of a plane taking off or there may be a cruise ship anchored in the bay by the cemetery.
As you approach the town there are some pleasant views across Stornoway Bay ...
Then there is the first traffic hazard - a roundabout - before entering the town centre.
If you were to drive all the way through Stornoway and out the other side you would (from memory) have to negotiate three further roundabouts, two sets of pedestrian lights and - depending upon your route - either one or no set of ordinary traffic lights. The odds on being held up at any of these are pretty slim.
How was your journey into town today?