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Island In The Sun

Island In The Sun


Postby Jaxter » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:33 am

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Bleabhal (Harris), Forsnabhal (Lewis), Huiseabhal Mhor (Harris), Roineabhal (Harris), Suainabhal (Lewis)

Date walked: 07/06/2019

Time taken: 15.4 hours

Distance: 40.65 km

Ascent: 2491m

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Friday 7th June

We set off from Inverness later than we should have (I’d travelled up from Glasgow the previous evening) and arrived in the ferry queue on time but cutting it fine enough that we received a bit of a telling off from the ferry man :shock:
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It was an incredible morning and as we set sail we had all manner of views – looking back to the Coigach ridge
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As we got further out to sea we got a whole panorama of awesomeness from Assynt down to Torridon 8)
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Suilven
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The Assynt hills around to Beinn Ghoblach
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We made a short stop in Stornoway for some black pudding – ticking the Father’s Day box, as well as some fuel for Malcy’s backside :shock: before heading over to West Lewis. We made a stop at the Callanish Stones as neither of us had ever been there. There was even a hippy there playing the ukulele :lol:
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Lewis – beautiful 8)
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We then hopped in the car and headed for some hills 8) 8)

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Suaineabhal (Lewis)
5.66km
488m ascent
2 hours 50 mins

We drove up the small road towards Loch Suaineabhal – Suaineabhal itself looked imposing :shock:
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Malcy had promised me stepping stones across the river…these turned out to be fictional :roll: so it was boots off for a wee paddle across the burn – it wasn’t deep but definitely cold :shock:
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Once boots were back on and feet warmed up we continued – pathless but relatively easy ground led us closer to Suaineabhal
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We climbed up around the end of Euscleit Mor which gave us great views back down Loch Stacsabhat towards the coast 8)
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Looking back to Flodsrasgairbhe Mor
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Loch Suaineabhal and Mealaisbhal
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Uig beach
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We picked up a rising traverse which took us up towards the ridge and gave us views towards North Lewis – very flat!
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Up on the ridge everything became a lot more rocky
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After plodding onwards for a while we could finally see the cairn – not that we could really miss it :shock: :lol:
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Feeling a wee bit precarious :shock: :lol:
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Now on the summit we now had views out towards the hills of Harris – just magic 8)
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Uig beach – very enticing 8)
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Harris hills
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Doing my thing on Suaineabhal 8)
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The bridge to Great Bernara
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Harris biggies
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We sat down for a while – definitely time for some snacks and a rest as it was so sunny. Time always seems to slow down on the Western Isles and we were in no rush to go anywhere or do anything 8)

Eventually we got going, heading a wee way closer to the edge for some different views
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Loch Suaineabhal
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We then took a stupid route down some very steep heather before meeting our outward route. Whose fault? His fault :roll:
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Happy 8)
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Back on the level we decided to take the other side of the lump which took us closer to Loch Suaineabhal 8)
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Then it was boots off again to get back across the burn (did I mention it was freezing!?)
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Back at the car we drove down to the beach at Uig and went for a wander – it was lovely, and so warm 8)
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Suaineabhal and Mealaisbhal
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Forsnabhal (Lewis)
2.29km
126m ascent
35 mins

Malcy had suggested Forsnabhal would be a good viewpoint and suggested driving up – I was outraged :shock: We dropped the car at the bottom and wandered up :lol: But he was right about one thing – it was a fantastic spot 8)
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There were even steps up the last section – the benefits of having a radio mast on top :lol:
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North Lewis
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Suaineabhal with Harris hills behind 8)
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Forsnabhal summit 8)
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Suaineabhal and Mealaisbhal behind Uig beach 8)
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Harris hills – Clisham and Uisgneabhal Mor
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Back at the car it was time to head for the bunkhouse at Drinishader – although the weather was noticeably closing in a little it was a stunning drive and I was loving Lewis. As we passed into Harris it started raining – apparently this always happens :lol:
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At Drinishader I was introduced to a load of people whose names I instantly forgot :lol: After a shower I grabbed the camera and wandered out to see if there was a sunset worth seeing.

Nice reflections at the water
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Sunset was nae bad, and the midges weren’t even that bad 8)
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It had been a long day – time for bed before another chance to explore the wonders of Harris 8)


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Saturday 8th June – Roineabhal
5.71km
479m ascent
2 hours 50 mins

We set off from Drinishader not especially early (but then again, we were on island time :lol: ) and decided to take the coast road as I’d never been along it. I definitely want to cycle this in the future but I think it’s a bit hilly at the moment for the stupid injury to deal with :roll:
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We dropped the car, waited out a wee shower and headed off up Roineabhal. It was very rocky even at the start but I still managed to find a few squishy bits :roll: As we gained height we could see across to Eabhal on North Uist 8)
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We climbed steeply upwards, dodging around crags and soon reached the first bump on the ridge which gave us views up towards the summit. This felt a bit more like a real mountain as it was so rocky 8)
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We carried on up; the views back to Eabhal still awesome – definitely needing a trip out to North Uist soon 8)
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The ridge became rockier and as we climbed we could now see the bigger Harris hills 8)
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An impressive rock gully gave the perfect opportunity for a Jaxter pose 8)
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Finally on the summit – it wasn’t as warm as yesterday but less windy
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Leverburgh with Greabhal and Ceapabhal
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Eabhal
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North Harris hills with a wee bit of atmospheric cloud
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The rocky east Harris coastline
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Looking back down the ridge
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Summit of Roineabhal
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Mounting the trig on Roineabhal 8)
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We sat and enjoyed the summit for a while. The sun came in and out a bit and despite being chilly the lack of wind meant we were able to sit out for a while. Eventually we were getting really hungry and got going. We short-cutted a bit which turned out to be a bad idea as we ended up having to find a way through these cliffs :roll:
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Back at the car we decided to head around to Northton for a visit to the Temple Café which had been closed last time I was here
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Roineabhal.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



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Northton beaches
3.6km
51m ascent
1 hour

After an amazing lunch at the café (definitely worth the return visit!) we went for a wander along the beaches in search of my special little beach I’d found back in April.

Malcy got a bit distracted…. :roll:
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Traigh na h-Uidhe
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Looking back to Greabhal
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We followed the track for a while before dropping down onto my beach. Malcy got scared and ran away :lol:
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Ceapabhal – not quite as hot as last time I was here!
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Even on an overcast day Harris is stunning 8)
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North Harris hills 8)
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Back at the car it was time to do some proper walking again :lol:


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Bleabhal
7.15km
406m ascent
2 hours 15 mins

A few minutes drive up the road we parked by the golf course, walked a couple of minutes along the road and crossed through a gate and another gate by the wind turbines.
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That bit was easy enough but we then had to cross many more fences, plenty of the awkward :roll: The first part of Bleabhal ahead
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Scarista, Northton and Ceapabhal
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Beaches, Taransay and the North Harris hills
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Ceapabhal all the way to the north Harris hills
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Heading up Bleabhal
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As we gained height the views just got better 8)
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Finally on the ridge we had a short distance out to the summit of Bleabhal
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The summit views were awesome – the morning’s hill, Roineabhal
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Bleabhal summit
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Letting off some steam… :roll:
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Roineabhal and Loch Langabhat
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Looking down to North Uist
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North Harris hills
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North Skye
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Heading back down we managed to take a slightly better route than the way up in terms of gates – there probably is a gated route through but it would take a bit more exploration to find it :lol:
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The other advantage of our route down, as far as Malcy was concerned, was that we encountered a load of sheep. He was momentarily distracted :wink:
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It was then time to drive back along to Drinishader, stopping at several beaches along the way 8)
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It was a much drier evening back at the hostel and I climbed up the wee hill behind the hostel for a view while Malcy battled the midges taking our stuff in. Seemed fair :lol:
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Sunday 9th June – Huiseabhal Mor
13.78km
718m ascent
4 hours 35 mins

Nobody was up particularly early on Sunday, possibly something to do with the amount of whisky that the group put away the previous evening :roll: Malcy and I got our act together and drove around the Huisinish, the start point for our walk today.
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We followed the path north from Huisinish which led uphill more steeply than I’d expected :roll:
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A lot of height gained but worth it for the views
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Leggings were added – it was cold :shock:
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Looking across to Scarp – definitely worth a kayak expedition 8)
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The path itself took a right but we carried on towards Traigh Mheilein and walked along the beach
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Looking back towards Huisinish 8)
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Shorts back on – warmed up at last :roll:
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Aird Mhor the other side of Loch Reasort
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We climbed out of the beach and continued around the headland. Looking back along the beach was stunning 8)
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From the headland looking down Loch Reasort – definitely worth an explore 8)
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Glen Cravadale – where we were headed
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Loch na Cleabhaig and a wee cottage where someone seemed to be staying
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Towards Glen Cravadale
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We reached the beach and headed along it – it felt so remote around here 8)
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Looking out to sea from the beach
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We walked further into Glen Cravadale – we had thought to walk to the end of the loch and follow the path up from there but after a few minutes of walking we found that the ground was pretty tough going. I looked at the cliffs above and suggested a more direct assault.
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Heading up
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Back out to sea
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Malcy was up for this and I hoped I wasn’t going to regret my decision :shock: The going wasn’t too bad – almost easier going up than along and we picked up pieces of path as we walked.

The locals came out to welcome us
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Looking back
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Impressive crags – we weren’t going that way fortunately :lol:
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Wee lochan
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From here we carried on steeply up to the ridge
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Malcy trying to get in the way of my photo and ending up looking like an idiot :lol:
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Without the idiot in the foreground :roll:
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Looking back down to our little lochan
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Malcy looking pensive
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Finally we hit the ridge and could see the summit ahead
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We followed the ridge along – the views back the way were still amazing
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On the summit we could see out to Taransay and the Harris hills
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Summit 8)
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Taransay and Ceapabhal
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Beinn Dubh and Luskentrye
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Oireabhal
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Out towards Lewis
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What an idiot :lol:
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Taransay and the south Harris hills
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Looking down over Glen Cravadale
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We headed back along the ridge taking in the extra summit of Oireabhal which gave great views back to Huiseabhal Mor with Tiorga Mor behind
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Out to Scarp
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As we dropped down Malcy decided he’d like to go over Huiseabhal Beag, I thought I’d probably done enough and straight-lined it down towards Huisinish
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North Uist in the background
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As I hit the road I could see Malcy on the skyline behind me
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So I figured I had time to pop down to the beach 8)
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I also watched the tanker filling the water tank before we followed it out – it was much faster than us on the wee windy road, even with Malcy driving :shock:


Huiseabhal Mor.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



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Scalpay cycle
21.82km
463m ascent
1 hour 35 mins

On the way back we decided we were early enough to stop off for a wee cycle – parking the car in Tarbet we jumped on the bikes and headed out to Scalpay; I’d been there in April but Malcy never had – he wanted to bag the island :lol:

Everywhere was very quiet – it was Sunday evening on the western isles :lol: It was an easy cycle although definitely more hills than I remembered, I guess I was driving last time :roll:
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It was windier and rainier than we would have liked but still an enjoyable cycle.
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Back at the car Malcy decided that he had no desire to cycle back to the hostel afterall so I was spared having to drive his car :lol: We loaded the bikes back on and headed back for some dinner :D


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Monday 10th June – Beinn Dubh-not
2.46km
223m ascent
1 hour 35 mins

The final morning – several folk were up crazy early for the first ferry so they had gone before I even surfaced :lol: We were heading back on the later ferry which took us to Uig, which meant we had all morning on Harris – time enough to climb Beinn Dubh 8)

We parked up near the end of the Luskentyre road and headed off up a bit of a path – a wee bit boggy in places but easy to follow initially. The view back to the beaches were fabulous already 8)
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St Kilda on the horizon 8)
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There were lots of really cool slabs to climb up – Malcy had come a daft route last time he was here and smashed through loads of rubbish ground; fortunately he had me with him this time :lol:

Looking back to the mainland and Skye
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Malcy on the slabs
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I’d been feeling sore all morning and at this point I wasn’t sure if I ought to carry on. We sat for a while and ate snacks while deciding what to do…eventually I thought I should call it a day. No point injuring myself further :roll: Malcy could have gone on but decided to have a day on the beaches with me instead 8)

We drove down the road to Luskentyre
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It was stunning and we enjoyed just walking along the beach 8)
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Turns out Malcy wasn’t enjoying himself so much afterall :lol:
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But I was :lol:
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Beinn Dubh – one for another time :roll:
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Next we drove around to Seilebost for a wander 8)
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Across to Taransay – another one for the kayak 8)
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Looking back to Luskentyre from Seilebost
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Taransay 8)
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Luskentyre and the north Harris hills
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Beinn Dubh
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Then we drove down to Horgabost for a wander along some different cliffs and beaches 8)
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Ceapabhal
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Taransay
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We had a bit more of a picnic and a sit down before heading back up to Tarbet for the ferry. We had time for a cup of tea and cake at the distillery and for Malcy to run gin errands. On the ferry we settled in for the voyage – given the weather it was going to be stunning 8)

Scalpay bridge
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Sgaoth Aird behind Tarbet
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Skye ahead 8)
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Back to Scalpay
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All of Skye – from the north tip to the Cuillin
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Back to Tarbet
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Skye
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North Uist
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The higher hills peeking out now – Clisham on the right
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North Skye
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Back on Skye the weather was incredible – it was a stunning drive and I was trying to take photos out of the window to avoid Malcy having to stop :lol: Turns out it wasn’t massively successful :roll:
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Back to the Storr
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The best bit over, it was an easy drive back to Inverness and time for bed as I had a horribly early train to Edinburgh the following morning. Totally worth it though 8)
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1415
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:72   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:104   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:69   Islands:31
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: Island In The Sun

Postby past my sell by date » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:29 pm

Lovely photos of lovely places.
interesting that you should see St. Kilda. It's 66 miles away (according to the WH GPS) and in theory you would need to be 2904 ft. up to see it (Horizon in miles =1.22459 x sq root of height in feet). Of course as St. Kilda is quite high you could probably halve that and it's also possible that because layers of the atmosphere are at different temperatures and humidities, the light is refracted and you can effectively see round the curvature of the earth. I'm sure that must have been the case when I saw it from about 1200ft up above Tarbert. Sadly I had no camera :(
past my sell by date
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 842
Munros:282   Corbetts:84
Grahams:27   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:145
Wainwrights:159   
Joined: Apr 24, 2013

Re: Island In The Sun

Postby Jaxter » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:54 pm

past my sell by date wrote:Lovely photos of lovely places.
interesting that you should see St. Kilda. It's 66 miles away (according to the WH GPS) and in theory you would need to be 2904 ft. up to see it (Horizon in miles =1.22459 x sq root of height in feet). Of course as St. Kilda is quite high you could probably halve that and it's also possible that because layers of the atmosphere are at different temperatures and humidities, the light is refracted and you can effectively see round the curvature of the earth. I'm sure that must have been the case when I saw it from about 1200ft up above Tarbert. Sadly I had no camera :(

I was annoyed I didn't have the big lens with me as it would have come out clearer, but hey :roll:
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1415
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:72   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:104   Hewitts:60
Wainwrights:69   Islands:31
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

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