Archive for May 27th, 2014

May 27, 2014

Sheltering from the weather on the edge of Europe

by backpackingbongos

The wind blew incessantly, first from the west and then from the north. One night the Bongo felt like a ship at sea, the wind rocking it violently from side to side. I’m glad that I did not take a tent. Low clouds shrouded the mountains whilst a succession of weather fronts rattled through. It was only on the last two days that temperatures nudged into double figures.

I have long wanted to visit the Islands of Harris and Lewis, which is actually one land mass. The Bongo was home and transport for Reuben and myself for 12 nights. It did me proud on the 1200 mile round trip, its only demand being a constant thirst for diesel.

There were fleeting glimpses of sunshine but it would often be raining again before I had a chance to remove waterproofs. The pitter patter sound on the Bongo was a regular wake up call each morning. Despite this the landscape blew me away, it was like arriving in a different country. Fine sandy beaches could not be a greater contrast to the rugged, barren interior of Harris and South Lewis. A fantastic uplifting place to be. North Lewis just made me feel sad and melancholic.

I’ll do a couple of posts in due course. Whilst I was away I uploaded a few photos on Twitter and Instagram. I have included them below. These were taken on my mobile and they are meant to look as they are. No anti Instagram snobbery please!

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye.

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Calanais stone circle, Isle of Lewis.

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View from Beinn Bhragair, Isle of Lewis.

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Reuben killing seaweed on Traigh Uige, Isle of Lewis.

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The view from the summit of Mealasisbhal, Isle of Lewis.

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The view from Griomabhal, Isle of Lewis.

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Locals on the Isle of Lewis.

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Evening sky at Huisinis, Isle of Harris.

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The very rocky Roineabhal, Isle of Harris.

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Reuben deciding that he has done enough walking for the day.

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View from the remote summit of Stulabhal, Isle of Harris.

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Sunshine at the end of the very last day! Descending from Uisgneabhal Mor, Isle of Harris.

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