So – sitting in Inverness on the 26th May looking with utter horror at the forecast – prolonged gale force winds and rain…in late May. We’d planned a drive and camp tour of the Hebrides. 🙄
We briefly considered abandoning the plan and mooching round elsewhere but what the hell?
The road network on Lewis is excellent – a lot of Euro cash gone in methinks.
Took shelter in the Harris Hotel for the night – miserable conditions outside.
Date: Saturday 28th May 2011
Headed up Lag Garbh on reasonable terrain to join the S ridge of Oireabhal. Squally showers were scudding through.
Did see a Golden Eagle mastering the high winds on the climb. It had its wings folded nearly completely in to compensate for the extra lift the wind was giving – a new sight.
Headed north over Ulabhal to descend on grassy slopes to the north end of Loch Aiseabhat to climb Tiorga.
Continued on to the summit of Tiorga Mor – severe buffeting all the way made waliking a bit tricky.
A quick yomp back to the car.
Date: Sunday 29th May 2011
After a dry night we had come within 10 minutes of striking the tent when another squall arrived. Packed up and sat in the car listening to the lashing rain.
On a weekend we’d have probably just gone home but getting out walking was preferable to sitting around so we went for a wander.
In ideal circumstances I’d planned to take the track out past Sron Scourst and Sron Ard to walk back along the ridge from Stulabhal over Uisgneaval Mor. Under the circumstances we simply climbed the hill.
Parked at NB 100 062 and followed the Abhainn Unasta to about 200m and then climbed up to the S ridge of Uisgneabhal Mor.
Got a nice view of a Golden Eagle adult skimming up the ridge twice – came quite close.
Reversed route out.
Date: Monday 30th May 2011
Parked at NB 173 057. The plan had been to do An Cliseam justice by including the north horseshoe. However a brief weather window meant we wanted to cram in the hill, the drive to South Harris and a crossing to N Uist while the sun was shining. Climbed the hill the easy way.
Quite a pleasant stroll. I’d heard of unpleasant boulder fields at the top but in truth a path took us all the way.
Nearly stood on a cuckoo on the descent which hadn’t heard me approach – flew off just as I got the camera out.
The drive to Leverburgh was beautiful – the combination of beaches and hills is amazing.
Date: Monday 31st May 2011
Up early to strike the tent – our weather window was due to slam shut in the evening.
A nice drive south over Benbecula and onto South Uist. Spotted one short-eared owl over the fields on the way.
We parked at the memorial at NF 767 341. Walked N on the road 500m to pick up the track which peeters out after a km or so. The terrain was a bit marshy but not difficult thereafter.
Ascended Maola Breac and then onwards to the 608m summit. The ridge and clifflines after this come as a pleasant surprise.
Used the remainder of the sunny day to look at the beachy West coast.
All in all a frustrating trip given how much we had been looking forward to it. A taster only of the Hebrides, all a bit hurried.
Harris looked stunning for me – we’ve already identified a few cottages that we might rent to get a better feel for the place.
We’ll be back 🙂