Another early start to catch the ferry to our next 2 islands – Harris and Lewis. We are driving along the spine of Skye to Uig and yesterday’s landscape appears in a different calm light. Sheep and cattle don’t take any notice of us as we pass ever changing shapes and colours. Yesterday we walked in the footsteps of Bonnie Prince Charlie as he set out on his daring and ill-fated campaign. Today we hear about his flight in women’s skirts, as we wait for our boat to take us further west away from Skye.
Are these dolphins? Our crossing to Tarbert takes just under two hours and Harris welcomes us with whisky and tweed. After lunch we continue our journey north through a majestic desert of stone. We are never far away from the sea lochs, stretching their digits deep into the land. No wonder in the olden days people found it easier to travel by boat. We don’t need a boat to reach our third island. When Loch Seaforth opens up views back to Skye the road takes us smoothly onto Lewis – the marshy island, which we will explore tomorrow.
Before we settle into our hotel in Stornoway – home for two night – there is time for our first beach walk. The Outer Hebrides are famous for their silver and golden sandy beaches, but we walk along a stretch of a red sand to St Columba’s Ui Church and its ancient graveyard. A Land Struggle Memorial reminds us of a not too distant history.
Time to enter Stornorway, the administrative capital not only of Lewis, but the Western Isles or Outer Hebrides – a 200 km stretch from Barra Head in the south to the Butt of Lewis in the North. Tomorrow we will reach the western point of our journey … .