We left the campsite at about 11am and drove in the direction of Stornoway with a diversion onto the Eye peninsula where we parked Bessie for a while and walked near the beach. Not much of interest apart from this little Dunlin who, unusually, seemed to be all by himself.
A feature of the Western Isles has got to be the many ruins of old houses which just seem to be left to the mercy of the elements.
We drove on towards the lighthouse but stopped to let a Mallard move out of the way as he had decided to have a snooze in the middle of the road. As he slowly meandered off, his whole family rushed towards us in excitement!
Tiumpan Head Lighthouse has been guiding ships through the narrows of the Minch since 1900 and today looked stunning against the blue sky and sea.
Near the lighthouse is a picnic table and we ate our lunch in the sunshine watching out for birds but there were surprisingly few.
We drove back towards Stornoway, which seems an attractive town, with Lews Castle in its wooded grounds – trees are so unusual in the islands. It seems to be covered in scaffolding at the moment – this is the gatehouse.
No time for visiting today, however, as we must press on down to Harris. The scenery gets impressive, particularly around the Balallan area. My interpretation of the mountains and lochs is the featured image above. So many colours.
We appreciated the scenery a lot more this time without the mist but I still found the winding narrow roads up the mountain sides to be a little worrying. I think you can get the impression of height from this photograph as we left the little port of Tarbert behind us on one of the steepest inclines I have ever seen – like being on a corkscrew.
This is the area that I found so frightening on that first day. In the brighter light the rocks on either side of the road don’t seem so threatening now, but imagine it in mist!
If we thought that the previous roads had been hairy, however, this was nothing to what was awaiting us on the road to Flodabay on the south east coast of Harris, and our campsite for the next seven nights. On the OS map it is shown as a dotted yellow road and proved to be a series of switchbacks with passing places on a precipice! Once or twice we had to reverse on meeting another vehicle on a hairpin bend and I was a gibbering wreck by the time we reached our destination.
Peter, however, was magnificent and kept his head throughout, but even he was pleased to see Flodabay Farmhouse ahead of us. It is set on a beautiful bay but what we hadn’t realised was that the campsite was up a 45o incline! Tony, our host, led us up the track and what we found at the top was incredible – a level plateau about 70ft above the road. There is ample space for two motorhomes in a staggered arrangement and we had poll position! The other motorhome had only just arrived too but I guess our booking in January probably gave us the advantage. It was beautifully organised with individual picnic tables overlooking the bay but, I am glad to say with no precipice but naturally terraced!
This photo may give some idea.
A glass of Pimms and some nibbles after a mentally exhausting journey – oh, and two cuckoos flying past – Cheers!
Lovely artwork for the header.
Fabulous final photo too.
Thanks Sean – yes, I thought it was about time we cropped up in a proper photo. 🙂
WOW what a fab photo of you two and in sunshine………………. long may it continue.
I love the photo of both of you – how many did you take until you were happy?! Your painting is also wonderful.
Only two actually and this was the second. Thanks for the compliment on the painting – I’m still not quite sure about the watercolour pencils though…