Day 5 - Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
Thurday 24th July
That was a reasonable night's sleep in the Blackhouse, though quite warm. Took my time getting ready and set off south. Stopped at Callanish again to buy a nice print of the Gearrannan village which I'd seen before.
From there I headed further south towards Uig (not the same one). I contemplated getting the bike out and cycling it, but in hindsight I'm glad I didn't. There's a fabulous beach at Uig. I decided to grab the picnic blanket and my dookers and head down. I was there for quite a while as the beach was lovely and the water was fine and warm. Gave me a chance to try out the cheap waterproof camera I randomly bought a while back too.
It's quite a hike to the waterfront!
It's warm in here
And the water is so clear
A good job I didn't take the SLR in with me!
This is actually the Carribean...
Suncream and sunhats are mandatory
You too can join in the watery fun!
This is also the beach where they found the Lewis Chessmen a good few years back. I saw them when they came to Aberdeen and they're pretty cool. There was a large wooden king replica here.
Quite a scenic passing place!
I was there for quite a while then headed even further south. The narrow road goes on for quite a bit, eventually reaching a dead end before you get as far as Harris.
Another stone circle, this was a modern one however which showed distances to far off places, such as St Kilda.
Does anyone know what kind of birds these are?
The road to Uig goes through this cool valley. Look there's even a forest here!
The sign said "Join the Band", so I did!
I decided to stop back in Stornoway the night at the Laxdale again, as I knew it, and needed to get some washing done, but in the bunkhouse as it had been a long drive. After tea I realised I was missing my food bag and more importantly, my flute! It was still in the kitchen at Gearrannan!
I wasn't as tired after some food so jumped in the car for an evening drive back to collect it and fortunately it was still there.
I really like this one. It's the loch by that Norse Kiln I'd passed before.
As the sun was just setting, I stopped in by Callanish again for some photos, but had just missed the sunset by five minutes. Doh!
Five minutes earlier and it might've been more spectacular
Day 6 - I could get used to this beach life
Friday 25th July
That wasn't a pleasant night. Someone was snoring in the bunk house, fortunately the left at 4am. It was like a sauna inside though. Ended up leaving a lot later than I planned, even returning when I forgot my key!
Drove south towards Harris. There was a much better view of the hills this time. If I come back, I'll definitely be going up Clisham (799 metres).
I'm pretty sure I'm looking at Clisham here
A narrow road winds up over the hill
Stopped in Tarbert for a nosey as I just drove straight out from the ferry last time. Not a lot except a couple of shops, a ferry terminal and a Harris Tweed shop. There were a few folks in kilts about. Apparently there was a wedding and the reception in the Tarbert community hall. In fact I saw congratulation banners on every cattle grid gate between Tarbert and Rodel at the very south where I guess the wedding must've been held.
I headed south along the west Harris road. A little less mountainous here, but down to single track in places. Crossed a causeway with sand on either side but couldn't see the sea. Eventually found it a mile or so later. I stopped here and lay on the beach sunbathing for a while. No dooking today though. Interestingly I'd reached the chapter I'm my book where they reached the same beach I was on, while searching for a character's birthplace!
This is a VERY common image of Harris. It's Luskentyre beach, which looks across to Taransay.
A bit further down the Harris coast at Northton
I drove south again, past Leverburgh where I'd be catching the ferry tomorrow, then onto Rodeo at the very south point. There's a quaint old church here, though there's not a lot to see in it.
Needing somewhere to stay I headed north a bit on the windy single track road but turned back to Leverburgh. I didn't fancy the bunkhouse after the previous night so headed for the campsite at Horgabost, near the beach I was at earlier. I spotted a B&B with a vacancy (actually it was completely empty!) just before the campsite so decide to treat myself and stay there instead.
This little chap flew around my room for a while
There were no restaurants nearby so had some corned beef and tatties overlooking the beach and sat and watched a film in the car until sunset.
Taransay in the evening
Day 7 - Sailing
Saturday 26th July
A fine night's sleep at the B&B then an equally fine cooked breakfast. It was cloudy outside. Took the road north again, past the Luskentyre beach again. The tide was still in and the causeway over the sands from the previous day now had water on either side.
Turned off for the single track east coast road heading south just as the rain started. It was as I'd expected, hilly and bleak but a very interesting drive. Saw some nice photo opportunities though.
The windy roads down the east coast of Harris
Gandering at the geese
Lots of quiet sleepy little hamlets all down this coast
I'm sure you can see Skye on a nicer day
Stopped at the Harris Community Co-Op again in Leverburgh, a few hours early for the ferry. Petrol was surprisingly only 6p more than when I left Aberdeen so I topped up again.
My novel (actually the second book, I'm on the third on already) had mentioned a place just along the road called "SEALLAM!" So I went for a look. They had a few interesting exhibits about Harris, St Kilda and local emigrants.
The rain was pouring at the ferry terminal, and for most of the crossing so I didn't see much. It was a very calm crossing though, in and out all of the small isles and rocks between Harris and North Uist.
The ferry is in sight!
I didn't hang around Berneray when we docked as it was to cloudy and rainy to see anything of interest and instead headed south over the causeway to North Uist. Got some cash in Lochmaddy, and phoned my sister to wire some cash into my account (oops!). Headed south again, still raining, looking for somewhere to stay. I found a campsite called Moorecroft which had good reviews online. The rain stopped, but I checked into the bunkhouse anyway. It's small but very nicely done up inside.
The bunkhouse, the blue sky is just beginning to peak through again