The weather today has seen a slow, steady and inexorable slide towards the rain and wind we are experiencing at present. Went on the bus to Harris at 9.35 am when the sun was out, albeit accompanied by a cold wind. Reached the beach at Horgabost just after 11, a trip of 50 miles which costs £7.05 return on the bus. The tourism season has taken off, with the A859 relatively full of cyclists, and two tourists (each way) alighting at the Luskentyre road-end. Luskentyre [Losgaintir] lies 8 miles southwest of Harris's main village, Tarbert, and has a beautiful beach. What the tourists usually don't realise is that the beach is 3 miles from the main road, and the bus doesn't go into the village.
Horgabost has a nice beach too, a minute's walk from the road and adorned (ahem) by a campsite. Fortunately, the toiletblock lies out of sight of the beach. A prohibition on campfires is blatantly flouted, with nearly half a dozen charred holes on the top of the dunes. As per usual, I was the one to spot the dead sheep: what looked like a lamb that had fallen down a cliff and collided with a rock at the bottom. The Harris hills looked beautiful, with the range from the Clisham west to Tirga Mor in sight.
The return bus pulled up at 12 o'clock and took us back to the metropolis of Tarbert. The name of that village means portage, where the Vikings would carry their longboats across the 400 yards of land that separate East Loch Tarbert from West Loch Tarbert. We had lunch in a small tearoom and rejoined the northbound bus at 1.30pm. By the time we returned to Stornoway, the clouds were beginning to cover the sky from the west and a very cold wind was blowing.
I took some 40 pictures, a selection of which I'll post in the next entry.