Day 37, 38 Getting to Lewis and Exploring the north

Our day started with a lovely breakfast at our B and B, which was right beside the ferry terminal. No worries about getting the car there on time. It was great. Glenn could park the car in line ( one of the first) and then we went for a walk in Ullapool for an hour or so before we needed to be ready in the car.

Our view from our room in Ullapool. A cruise ship had docked some time during the night and was sitting patiently in the harbour as they ferried people into town.
Ready for breakfast. The rear sunroom was lovely to sit and enjoy a wee dram before bed the night before!
Fabulous views in the harbour “Loch Broom” at Ullapool. What a glorious spot! We also learned about the Hector which sailed from Ullapool in 1773 bound for Pictu Nova Scotia!
Here’s a quick look at our ferry before we loaded ourselves and the car on board.
We got some great seats onboard this very comfortable ship for the 2 hr and 40 minute crossing.
Leaving Loch Broom and into the Minch that would take us to Stornaway on Lewis and Harris.
We needed to do some provisioning once we landed in Stornaway. This was just a small portion of the wall of whisky found here!
We drove across the island to at small community called Borve on the north west coast of Lewis. You can just see the Ocean from our B and B! And yes, our immediate neighbours are sheep!

Another long day of travel, so we called it an early night after watching a movie. Tomorrow would be some discoveries on this part of Lewis. Until Then!

Day 38, Lewis. Butte of Lewis and the Callanish Stone Circle.

We took our time getting up today. Our plan was pretty relaxed as it looked like we would have a rainy day. Our first exploration was to get down to the beach behind our B and B. We walked through a couple of sheep fields and finally found the angry surf!

When we walked down to the beach, we all grabbed our phones or cameras and couldn’t resist this fabulous North Atlantic vista! We could almost see Halifax from here!
Tide was out so we hopped between tidal pools and little fragment of white sand as we went down along the beach.
This sea is what we can hear when we open our window!

We soon set off for the Butt of Ness hike. Dan wasn’t feeling his best so he took a day of R and R while Gwen, Glenn and I tackled the north west coast of Lewis.

Our walk began in a car park beside a children’s play area… when we walked past the dunes, this is what we discovered!
It was a moderate day, temperature around 15 C and the wind did not blow us off our feet… we felt like we won the day here in this blustery part of the world!
I cant get enough of this vista. And that lonely cottage on the horizon…oh the weather it’s seen!
We plucked our way north west along the coastal path, always amazed by our views. Here the Sea Pinks are out in full glory! Just look at the rocky outcropping on the edge of the sea, crowned with these glorious blossoms!
The coastal path led us ever closer to the Butt of Ness and the famous lighthouse standing guard! We had to watch our step a) because we were walking through sheep fields and b) the edges were degrading into the sea!
We finally made it to Europe’s most northwesterly point, the lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis. But the spring flowers were making it feel oh so warm and welcoming! (It could have been that we were in the lea of the wind as well!)
On the way back over the hill to the car we spotted a number of clumps of Marsh Mallows thriving in the bog pools!

We then headed south towards the Standing Stones of Callanish. This stone circle, like the ring of Brodgar, is around 5,000 years old. Yet it is also very different. First of all, the stones are rougher and smaller stones were used. The ring was created, then over the next few hundred years stones were erected to trail away from the circle in a cross like fashion.

Here you can see the inner circle of stones and a few of the perpendicular runs from the main circle.
The stones used were quite individual in nature. Almost like they had their own personalities.
Gorgeous swirls of rock with moss decorating them through the millennia.

After Callanish, we headed north back towards home. A couple of stops on the way caught our eye.

This is Dun Calloway Broch. This is the most impressive of the remaining prehistoric buildings dating back 2,300 to 1,900 years ago. Probably built to reflect the prestige and status of the owners, Broch’s provided some protection again invading peoples.
The broch was built with a double wall that gave it strength, provided a defensive position and gave some insulation to the home.

Our next and final stop was a quick visit to a Black House Settlement. These house are replicas of those that dotted the countryside in Lewis and Harris. They were built to have the animals dwell in one side and the people in the other. Rooves were made of thatch which was covered over with weighted fish netting. These rooves would be replaced each year with fresh reeds.

While this is the visitor’s centre, it too had been built along the fashion of the original black houses. These houses were used by tenants who I were generally poor and at the mercy of their landlords.

Another full day and time to put our feet up back home and relax. We walked down our lane way, across the main road to the hotel for dinner which was lovely. It has made us feel the tiredness in our bones. In spite of the late setting of the sun, I don’t think we’ll be making it a late night. Tomorrow we are off to Harris and the beaches. It promises to be a fine day, so please stay tuned and join us! Until then!

Categories: Hiking in Iceland and the UK

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the beautiful photos. My father is from Pictou, Nova Scotia. Avondale station not to be confused with what is currently called Avondale. 😊



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