View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Community Photo Challenge: Transportation

This poor old wreck of a bus, long since reduced to scrap metal, had been hauled to a piece of waste ground just outside Stornoway in March 2008. In its better days, it would carry the fair maidens of the islands of Lewis and Harris on the annual carnival parade. The phrase "Gals on Motors" is a pun on the name of one of the bus operators in Lewis, who are called Galson Motors.

Wednesday 2 May

A faultless day, full of sunshine and not a cloud in the sky. Just a hint of 'haar' in the Minch by late afternoon. Was driven to Huishinish, 47 miles southwest of Stornoway in the farthest northwest corner of Harris. The last 14 miles to Huishinish lead along one of the most difficult roads in the country. The B887 is not for the faint-hearted, full of blind corners, blind summits, sheer drops and (worst of all) breathtaking scenery on all sides.

The road runs along the coastline, up to 370 feet above sealevel and offers stunning views along the west coast of Harris, with the famed beaches of Luskentyre, Seilebost, Horgabost, Scarista and Northton closed off by the bulk of Ceapabhal, near Northton. Beyond, the distant shapes of Pabbay and North Uist loom up. As today's visibility was stupendous, even the Isle of Skye, a good 40 miles away, stood out clearly to the east. Nine miles into the journey, you pass by the manecured lawns and incongruous castle of Amhuinnsuidhe [pron: Arvensooy].

Once at Huishinish, which took us 2 hours to reach (with plenty photostops), there was a keen northeasterly breeze blowing. However, after an hour, that dropped away and we were left roasting. The views at Huishinish comprise a close look at the island of Scarp, which you can only reach by private boat; and the hills of Uig to the north. Huishinish lies 8 miles south of Brenish (in the farthest west of Lewis). If you want to travel from one to the other by road, you are looking at 78 miles. I took 160 pictures today, which I shall upload later. I close this post with a map showing the journey.

View Trip to Huishinish, 2 May 2012 in a larger map