Saturday, August 18, 2012

Scotland, day 9: Lewis.

Leaving Harris today. My bicycle injuries are on the mend thankfully so let's hope I can have another go in Lewis!

The bus ride was quite exciting because the door had a bit of a mind of its own and it kept opening at random moments. Here it's closed....

... and here it's popped open (it comes inward). In Holland nobody would even dare taking a malfunctioning vehicle out on the road like this but our bus driver knew where the "close the damn door" button was very well so he just pressed that about 200 times...

We had a quick stop over in Stornoway where we had to change busses. I had to take cash out and was bitten about 10 times by midges while using the cash machine...

The rescue services were having a demo-day or something and there was a helicopter circling above.


Then we arrived at Lewis and as we walked up to our b&b realised that this was not it... ;-)

It was this. Fine place though!

Thankfully it wasn't this...

Sometimes the sun just shines on a hill or something. it makes for very nice photos.

We only went for a tiny walk in the evening, down to the water. There's a pebble beach where Marjolein looked for stones.

I saw nuts and bolts :-)

View across the water. It's actually a sea-loch.

There are ravens here...

... and buzzards! Awesome site :-)

Dinner time!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Scotland, day 8: Harris.

Yeah well, today was a bit of a fiasco to be honest, not what we expected. We wanted to walk this little trail that was on one of Marjolein's walking maps of the area, so we set off to catch a bus down the east side of the island to drive up the Golden road. Cycling was absolutely not an option because the ride earlier this week actually injured me too much :-/

We had coffee in the Butty bus. A kind of mobile coffee house / snackbar in a van except that this was was not ever going to move again.

The bus ride made Marjolein sick to her stomach so she couldn't enjoy it much. Not that there was a lot to see coz the windows kept fogging up anyway. But, we got there in the end: Golden road junction.

The middle of nowhere.

Not even sheep...

Just the peat-bog in the bloody rain.

The rain gradually got worse. The track was only on the map, not on this earth. We couldn't find it. After getting lost in the woop-woops and walking around for a few hours in spongy peat-boggy soil getting wet from either rain or sweat we set off to a point in the distance where we had seen a car drive. I felt miserable and only wanted 1 thing: To get home.

When we got to the road we found out the next bus would only pass in 2 hours so we hitch hiked and a nice English couple took us along to the Luskentyre tearoom we'd been before.

Had there been a trail and if the weather would've been better I'm sure this would've been a nice walk. But like this, it turned into a day I could've done without...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Scotland, day 7: Harris.

So today we bussed it down to the neighbouring village of Northton. Only took 5 minutes really. There is someone who likes baking and because the supermarket is far away, he or she bakes a few delicious things every day and sells them in a little stall with a "honesty box" in which you deposit your money. How awesome!

Even more awesome is when you open the box and the smell of warm, freshly baked bread jumps at you. Yumm!

We saw donkeys!

Then we set off on foot to a little chapel on the South side of the hill called the "Northton chapel".

Surprise, surprise! When we came atop the hill in front of us we found one of the most stunning beaches I'd ever seen!

The walk continued and we soon discovered the little chapel in the distance.

And then there was an even more stunning beach! I knew I had to go for a swim here but I wanted to make photos of the chapel first, just incase the weather would turn on us.

The beach with the chapel in the background.

Getting closer...

And closer...

And there it was. All by itself. It's been there since the 15th - 16th century so it's between 400-600 years old.

The chapel is built on top of remains of an iron age broch which was about 2000 years old.

They probably re-used the broch's stones to build the chapel. This site, close to the village of Northton also has signs of occupation by people from about 9000 years ago. Unreal.

After walking around the chapel we went to the middle beach where Marjolein could look for pebbles. She made a little stone circle :-)

... and I went for a swim! The water was freezing but I was in for a good 20 minutes, it was wonderful!

OK, one more beach shot :-)

With so many sheep around, you're bound to run into remains.

But, back to the live ones!

We also ran in to a sheering station.

Pretty cool to see.

Wool, anyone?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Scotland, day 6: Harris.

Our b&b "Sorrel cottage" bathing in sun when we left to see Luskentyre beach today.

We got there alright! Gorgeous weather today, excellent walking conditions. Maybe a tad too sunny ;-)

Luskentyre beach is huge when the tide is out. When the water returns this is all flooded.

The sand was soft but good for walking.

Only the little river that flows in to the sea (atlantic ocean!) here is still a bit wet... We realised we were actually on the wrong side for getting to the actual beach so we had to cross.

Who wouldn't want to live there?


The sand-scape was awesome!

And very different in some places...

After lunch we walked along the road a little bit and then hit the sand again.

Geese flying over.

Some people like to dump there old car in the sea... There's scumbags everywhere I guess...

And then, finally, we can see the sea!


Et voila!

Who'd have thought to find a beach like this in Scotland? It was a great walk, I loved walking through the water.

In the evening we had dinner at The Anchorage, the local restaurant. Very nice people and great food! Had a lovely time chilling out there.