Hebridean New Year – Part 3 – Misty Days on Harris and Lewis

Luskentyre beach, Isle of Harris, Scotland

Photo: Misty January sky over Luskentyre beach, Isle of Harris, Scotland.  Jan 2013

[For part I – Howmore – CLICK HERE.  For part II – Berneray – CLICK HERE.]

The mist was heavy as the ferry sailed slowly towards Leverburgh on south Harris.  One of those mornings when you cannot actually tell when when the day begins, and somehow perfectly fitting to the rocky, moon like landscape of the Isle of Harris.  One of those landscape where a person could disappear into the mist, never to be seen again.

On trips to the islands, I like to try and spend a majority of my time on Harris, as It’s the most scenic and diverse of the islands, not to mention the beaches.  But the way the New Year fell, combined with ferry schedules, meant we only had 3 nights to explore both Harris and Lewis.  So, knowing that I wouldn’t get any decent photos on the south, we headed all the way north to the furthest tip of Lewis, the Butt of Lewis.  Last year I got some cool photos of monstrous waves crashing into the cliffs, so I was hoping for a bit of a repeat.  Unfortunately, the sea was too calm and the wind from the wrong direction for much of a show this time.  And so it was back to the road to look for a place to camp for the night, finally ending up by some beach near Uig.

Another day of mist came and went.

For our final night on the islands we stayed at the oldest of the Gatliff hostels in Rhenigidale, a small, isolated village on the rugged east side of Harris that wasn’t even connected by road to the outside world until 1990. Warmed by the fire, our final, rainy night on the islands passed.

We were on the road in the early morning hours, me hoping for one last chance for a sunrise.  But again, nothing, leaving me at 0 for 8 sunrises so far this trip.  Not too good!  Another stormy ferry ride put us back on Skye with a heavy rain falling.

The plan had been to stay the night on Skye, but this was nixed and we headed back south to Glencoe, and it was lucky I did so.  For the following morning on Rannoch Moor, I saw one of the best sunrises I’ve yet to see in Scotland.  We spent the afternoon climbing at the Ice Factor, then our usual tradition of dinner at the Clachaig.  Monday was a rainy 8 hours back to Wales and the end of another Hebridean New Year.

Luskentyre beach, Isle of Harris, Scotland

Photo: Luskentyre beach, Isle of Harris, Scotland.  Jan 2013


Dalmore beach, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Photo: Dalmore beach, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.  Jan 2013


peat cutting, isle of harris, Scotland

Photo: Peat cuttings, Isle of Harris, Scotland.  Jan 2013


Rhenigidale hostel

Photo: Rhenigidale hostel, Isle of Harris, Scotland.  Jan 2013

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