Holiday comes to an end

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Our plan for the last day had been to walk on the beach at Losgaintir but when we arrived at the car park it was more like Blackpool! So, after a quick photo of this sign in the car park, which rather made us smile, we decided to go elsewhere. Unfortunately, as we drove back along the road we encountered the most horrendous rainstorm. We could hardly see to drive and the sky was black above us but as we drove on we could see clear clue sky to the east. So we rejoined the A859 and headed for coffee and cake at Skoon -in glorious sunshine. We remained on the east side of Harris all day and enjoyed the beautiful, sunny weather. Eventually we ended up at Northton where we all had a lovely walk on the beaches and sat for a while just enjoying the views. With Starlings for company! It was warm and very bright. The sunshine on the sea made the surface of the water appear like crinkled silver foil in some areas and sparkling with diamonds in others. Reluctant to leave but we had dinner reservations for the Scalpay Bistro and did not want to be late for their amazing food.

 

 

 

As we drove towards Losgaintir we could see that the black clouds remained and once again we encountered torrential rain. The water was cascading off the hillsides and forming torrents of water pouring down the road. At one point the burn coming down the mountain was so full it was flowing straight across the road and was quite deep to drive through. Then we drove up the hill and out of the rain into sunshine again and the roads were dry!

West Lewis

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Sunrise 7.03, Tarbert, Harris.

A day when the blue sky headed northwards and we followed but never caught up with it! Still, it was high cloud, dry and still quite warm for most of the day. Our friends had never been out to Uig so we drove out there. Had a lovely lunch (delicious smoked salmon pate followed by equally delicious cake) so no wonder the cafe at the Community Centre and Museum was packed out with locals and visitors. We then drove out to Mhangarstaidh to view the sea stacks but, sadly, no view today of the islands of St Kilda on the horizon. Drove to the end of the road and then retraced our route as far as Miabaigh, where we turned off for Bhaltos and the wonderful Traigh na Bereigh, where we all had a walk. It was turning much chillier by then and we were lucky to just get back to the car before the rain arrived. The first rain we had seen in almost two weeks!

 

Northton, Harris

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We were meeting friends off the ferry at Leverburgh so planned our walk to coincide. Walked out to Rubha an Teampaill. Dogs enjoyed the beach  and then we walked back along the cliff top to the car. After an enjoyable meal with our friends at the Anchorage, Leverburgh, we all headed back to Tarbert, with photo stops en route. Glorious sunset sky out to the west and that warm autumnal evening glow on the hills at Losgaintir. Another wonderful day.

 

Scalpay lighthouse

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Not quite such a sunny day but still warm and the midges were threatening to attack. We have been wanting to do the walk to the lighthouse for some time but it would have been too much for our lovely old dog. Now that she is no longer with us it was actually a bit sad to be doing the walk without her – so perhaps the small blur on the first photo might have been a tear drop. Anyway, it was a lovely walk which we thoroughly enjoyed.

I loved these chimney pots on the houses of the former lighthouse keepers. Another larger building is under renovation and  these beautiful Victorian tiles had obviously been inside a former entrance porch. It was a bit spooky though, because as I was taking the photo of them I heard a child’s voice talking to an adult male from behind the door! Were these the ghosts of former occupants?? I could just imagine how stories of mystery and intrigue result from such an experience. However, they were real people, seen later through a window.

Viewing the remains of the original lighthouse tower. It was one of the first four lighthouses in Scotland, with the first lamp lit in October 1789.

Heading to Harris

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Crossing the causeway from Benbecula to North Uist. About to drive across the causeway from North Uist to Berneray.

 

Flowers still blooming on the Berneray machair. It must be wonderful to see in full flower.

 

A short walk near the beach on north Berneray before catching the ferry for the journey to Leverburgh, on Harris. As the little boy, seen sitting out on deck with his Daddy, said when they came inside for some shelter, the journey was a ‘bit wobbly’ at times when we turned side on to the wind. Glad we were parked behind some large motor homes, which took the brunt of the spray coming over the front of the ferry!

Ferry waiting to load and depart  Leverburgh for Berneray. We drove up the east coast of Harris, stopping off at a favourite refreshment spot for coffee, scones and cake – Skoon Gallery – where we sat outside. It was so warm. Then moved on to our favourite accommodation on Harris, where we could enjoy this view for the next week.

Sunrise to sunset

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Sunrise on Benbecula 06.22. Making hay whilst the sun shines on fields, moorland, lochs and sea.

 

 

Kite surfing. Seems terrifyingly fast to us! So many shades of blue.

As a volunteer at the Library of Innerpeffray(founded 1680) one can not pass by the opportunity to visit the studio of a  very talented lady, on North Uist, who is a bookbinder, box maker, book repairer and has numerous other associated skills.

 

The ‘volcanoes’ of South Uist!! The cloud remained like this all day. The only clouds to be seen anywhere.

Crossing one of the many causeways  that you come across on the Uists, we were astonished to see a pony walking slowly and carefully, yet very purposefully, through the water towards this small island. Unfortunately, we were not able to stop quick enough to photograph him/her on their mission. It was obviously not the first time it had done this and presumably knew that there would be lovely juicy grass to eat there. You can see how deep the water had been from the line along his/her flank. On the other side of the road were several more, quietly standing together, enjoying the evening sunshine. These are the beautiful Wild Highland Ponies of South Uist.

 

The end to another wonderful day. Sunset on Benbecula 18.43.

Eriskay and South Uist 2

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View of Eriskay from South Uist coast and then looking south west towards the hills of Barra. Crossing the causeway from South Uist to Eriskay.

The beach on Eriskay and the ferry arriving from Barra.

 

Back on South Uist we drove down one of the many small roads that lead across the machair to the dunes and the miles and miles of wonderful beach. Some flowers still in bloom on the machair. The early evening light on the hills gave an autumnal glow to the landscape and even the stone wall of this abandoned croft house seemed to reflect the warmth of the day. I suppose this is what you would term a ‘living roof’! Sadly it seems to be slowly giving up the will to live.

Another wonderful day.

South Uist

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We visited the Museum and Community Centre at Kildonan and saw this rather splendid replica of a Viking boat. Then we had to inspect the golf course at Aisgernis. If only he who plays golf had listened to my serious suggestion that he should take his clubs with him and play this course! I told him all about it but he decided not to bother. How disappointed was he when he saw the course! On such a wonderful day as well. Now definitely on the list for next year.

Teampull na Trianaid

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Just back from two weeks in the outer Hebrides. We spent the first week on Benbecula, exploring the Uists. Teampull na Trianaid was a must visit for me, as it is believed that John Duns Scotus (1265 -1309) studied there. The ruins are in a commanding position, on the west coast of North Uist, with expansive views all around. The only recent residents obviously built, and presumably raised a family, in this large nest at the top of an ‘interior’ wall.

A walk with the dogs on one of the amazing beaches and then a lovely sunset, viewed from our accommodation, that tinted the clouds to the south west, this amazing colour. Only sound was a skein of geese flying in to roost for the night.