So here I am on Lewis. This trip has been a long time in the planning stage! In 2011 Jane and I went to Skye – and had a fantastic time – this was our third Scottish summer holiday in as many years, the previous 2 being to Seil Island and Mull. We were staying to the North of Skye and on clear days the mountains of Harris and Lewis were visible on the horizon. I can remember on our journey back calculating how we could get to Harris (via the Ferry from Uig on the Isle of Skye (would you believe including a return trip to our favourite Skye coffee shop)). Initially we had planned to do it in 2012 – but for various reasons we didn’t. In fact, we didn’t return to Scotland again together before Jane died early in 2014.
Over the years since, I have been promising myself I would return to Lewis and Harris – I had been once before in the early 90s to visit a university friend who was living here! I remember various aspects of that trip, not least that I had to find an emergency dentist due to tooth ache and also there was a very uncharacteristic heatwave! Somehow the time to do this return and long planned trip never seemed to be right. I booked this holiday let on Lewis, when I was in an upbeat mood. Yet I felt apprehensive about it pretty soon afterwards!!!. It’s a long way for starters (it transpires I now know it is a 675 miles drive door to door excluding the ferry miles!). Over the months since booking to come, I have gently worked on making it possible, the journey had to be attempted in bite sized chunks, and I know what is planned going back is also possible (though it would be better if the traffic behaves a little better on the final leg).
I have a very comfortable base camp at Crosbost (about 10 miles from Stornoway), and intend to enjoy exploring the island more fully than was possible last time I visited. I shall post a few bits and pieces over the next 2 weeks, which I hope you will enjoy! On Sunday afternoon I enjoyed a local walk in my neighbourhood….
The prevailing scenery is dramatic and very imposing! This time of year it is light most of the time, which is a bit confusing for the system. So far the weather has been cool with a lot of rain! Today I got soaked – I had just settled down to lunch with a view of Garry beach – when it threw it down!
On Sunday morning, I went to Uig beach for a walk. The drive was through spectacular scenery, and I was pleased to find a lot of the roads had been significantly improved (only a few miles of single track with passing places). I had been to Uig before on my previous visit to Lewis and swam in the sea. Needless to say it had been a very hot day, the sea had come in over the hot sand and was very warm. It was memorable for other more colourful reasons too, which is a story of another day! My 2019 visit was not one for swimming! The beach is a vast expanse of sand where they found the famous Lewis Viking chess pieces in the sand dunes. So it was nice to see three different larger than life chess pieces near the beach.
Today (Monday) I went to Garry beach – and crossed the bridge to nowhere and enjoyed the coastal track (until it got too boggy to continue!). The beauty of the coast on one side, and the all encompassing moor on the other, with the telltale scars of peat cutting. Dodging the rain showers I also went down on the beach – before recoursing to Stornoway to buy a few essential items and sample the delights of the An Lanntair café bar! For the wildlife today I saw a lovely butterfly and some orchids.