Today looks as though it will be quite good, weather-wise, and the plan is to visit the famous Callenish standing stones.
How different Lewis looks in the sunshine! Memories of last night’s frankly scary journey up from Harris are fading and today the peat moors are glowing and the lochs are blue again.
We passed an hotel along the road and had to stop to watch a family of domestic ducks in the loch in front of it. We’re not quite sure of the breed – possibly a bit of a mixture – but the ducklings were adorable – Heinz 57 of the duck world and all different colours. For anyone who remembers the Ladybird book ‘Downy Duckling’ I think it was, the pale yellow fluffy one is a dead ringer. I make no apology for including several photos!
First of all, the proud parents:
In spite of his gender I have named the male ‘Aunt Edna’ as there is definitely something maiden aunt-ish about him. Then the brood:
The Visitor Centre was closed when we got to Callenish – it was Sunday of course and the Church of Scotland is pretty hot on keeping the Sabbath special up here. However, unlike Stonehenge in Wiltshire, you are completely free to wander in and out of the stones at will and the stones don’t seem to have suffered in consequence.
They really are astounding and photos cannot really do them justice. They are believed to be Neolithic in period and, like Stonehenge, not a lot has been found out about their purpose or who placed them there.
There are three sites at Callenish, each about half a mile distant from each other. In this photo of the stones at the second site, you can see the stones from the first site in between.
The weather is improving in leaps and bounds so we make the decision to drive on to Great Bernera, an island linked since 1953, to Lewis by a reinforced concrete bridge – an innovation at that time.
But before we do, Peter went to check the rear indicator light and, as he got up, discovered this Slow-worm slithering by!
It has been said that Great Bernera is a beautiful island and indeed it is. In a way, it is much like Lewis but in miniature.
We stopped at the only shop on the island (also a Post Office) which was, amazingly, open. The charming young woman who owns it explained that her mother had always thought they should open on Sundays because they would do well from the families that drive over to go to the beautiful beaches, but her father had been dead against it. When she took over the shop several years ago she decided to try it and fully expected there to be people protesting with placards outside on the first Sunday but no, instead of that the locals loved it and the shop has been prospering since! We bought a few things and were surprised that the price of diesel at the pumps outside was much cheaper than expected, but still more expensive than on the mainland.
We followed the signs to the beach, passing these contented cows on the way – the animals here are used to clambering up rocks!
The beach at Bosta is in a secluded cove and is magnificent. Beautiful white sand and today an azure sea with just the right amount of waves to make it perfect.
Behind the beach is a reconstructed Iron Age building as remains have been found here, but, of course, it was Sunday and therefore not open.
It was great to get out of our anoraks and if you could get out of the wind, the sun was really warm.
There is a bell set among the rocks offshore called The Time and Tide Bell. Apparently there are others situated over the British Isles although each is slightly different. As it reaches high tide, the clapper will strike and with the movement of the waves causes a constantly varying musical pattern.
Walking back to Bessie, we saw this ewe on the top of a rock, her two lambs busily having a feed – you have to be agile to be a sheep in this neck of the woods.
We spotted this Greenshank in a marshy area.
She was making quite a racket and was obviously worried we might be after her eggs or, perhaps, her chicks.
As we left the island we passed by a group of Highland Cattle – this calf bears a spooky resemblance to Boris Johnson!
A wonderful day and a good introduction to the Isle of Lewis.
Nice to see some shots taken in good weather. The beaches look spectacular. The ducklings are incredibly cute and warrant the Heinz name tag. Glad the weather’s perked up hopefully it will stay that way, it is nearly June after all!
Fabulous to get a proper internet connection at last (31st May) and to get some blog posts on! Thanks for your comments and hope you’ll enjoy these next ones.
Pam Barnes said:
Belated Happy Birthdays to you both. So pleased that the weather has improved for you. The sun has allowed even more clarity to your photos – they are stunning. Just loved the ducklings and greenshank but definitely not the slow-worm slithering -eek!!
Thanks Pam! At last a proper internet connection so more blog posts on the way! 🙂
You’re quite right about Boris! I bet it would be wonderful to see the standing stones as the sun rises or sets.