View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 5 October 2009

From the archives: Monday 4 October 2004

Today's weather is a little better than at the weekend, but still very showery. I take the 10.20 bus to Broadford and alight at the bottom of the road to Heast. This is a settlement 5 miles south of Broadford on the shore of Loch Eishort. Six years ago, I walked up this road a little way, but I'm now up for the whole hog. Not a terribly inspiring route, but the approach into Heast is nice. The village is only 2 miles east of Boreraig, but it's not possible to find a route. Right by the seashore, a fishing pier with a lot of fishboxes and the stench of diesel. Across the harbour lies Heast Island. I tried to walk east, parallel to the shore, which was tricky. Going west, to Boreraig was a signposted route. Unfortunately, following the heavy rain of the last few days, the Heast River was in spate and could not be crossed. Thwarted on both sides, I could only retrace my steps up the road.There is a nice view once you crest the highest point, at 200 m / 675ft. It ranges from the Red Cuillins in the west to Scalpay, the islands in the Inner Sound and the hills between Kyle and Applecross. I wanted to make things interesting by cutting cross Braigh Skulamus, from gridreference NG660206. This path was fine, until it got wetter and wetter, the closer I got to Harrapool. Nipped into one of the local hotels for a bite to eat, then started to look round for a shop selling boots.There was an outdoor shop next to a veterinary surgery. Have to be careful not to go into the wrong door there. In the hotel, the barman was sanding and revarnishing his bar. Had a general look round the village before returning to the Coop. This provided me with tonight's dinner. Went back to Kyleakin on the bus at 4. There is a restauran tacross the road from the hostel, and I went in there to check out the food. At one point, I joined a family for dinner who were also in the hostel. Nice convivial evening. In this restaurant you serve yourself. Food good, no atmosphere. It's the King Haakon bar. Kyleakin is the Kyle (Narrows) of Haakon. So no Ky-lea-kin please, it's Kyle-akin. Still noisy pipes in the hostel. It offers Internet access, a TV-room. I sit in the dining area and offer people advice on the district. Am I a walking tourist office, or what?

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