Hebrides Day 9 – Loch Tamnabhaigh track and Cracabhal. June 2016

Date: Sunday 12th June 2016
Distance: 23.3km
Ascent: 950m

We’d dropped in on the Shills Harris Mett at Drinishader for a pleasant evening on the Friday night (10th June). On the Saturday we’d birled around in the car for a bit, bought some supplies at Stornoway, and then driven to pitch the tent on a point out from Bostadh on Bearnaraigh. Sat around for the afternoon and evening watching the world go by.

A nice view of a Minke whale moving back and forth along a channel, with various porpoise groups around, occasionally close to shore. We’d got very used to the sound of waves and oystercatchers over the previous 8 days.

On the Sunday we had a lie in, hoping the day would clear a bit.

Bostadh:

Eventually packed up and headed around to Traigh Uige, having a few stops to consider possible pitch sites for the evening.

During our various Harris walks we’d spent some time looking at the large track running between the Uig hills. We fancied getting the reciprocal view, and perhaps going up a hill.

Parked at the foot of the road – NB 031 313. These hills have a rather unusual character, similar to Taran Morn and parts of Harris across Loch Reasort.

Beannan a Deas:

About 1.5km up the road someone had parked a blue Honda with “Bodach” and Cailleach” name labels on the windscreen. 😉

As we got a further the clouds filled in the gap between the hills and it started to rain. Just a shower hopefully.

Wet road trip:

Not a shower….about an hour and a half of rather brisk rain. Eventually got to the high point of the road and carried on 500m to sit with a view south to the Harris hills around Huisinis.

Taran Mor is difficult to pick out from this angle.

South to Taran Mor:

Happily the rain was easing off as we stopped and we thought that a quick ascent of Cracabhal from this side would be worth the diversion (rude not to really).

It was rather brighter to the south around Huisinis.

Ascending Cracabhal:

Arrived near the summit of Cracabhal and with the cloud base riding a bit more got a rather clear view of St Kilda. Could even make out Dun pointing out from Hirta.

St. Kilda:

Happily the cloud was definitely lifting at this point – still grey – but well worth a wander. The hills between us and Griomabhal looked the best bet for views.

Cloud lifting:

Cracabhal has some partly obscured views down to the Huisinis hills.

Taran Mor and Huiseabhal Mor:

Headed south to Laibheal a Tuath.

Looking back to Cracabhal and Mealaisbhal:

Air clarity had been traded for sunshine earlier in the week, now the reverse was true. Beinn Mhor down on S Uist was clearly seen (we could actually discern Sheabhal on Barra at 128km).

Past Ceapabhal to Beinn Mhor:

Identifying hills round here is getting easier…I’m not used to struggling to identify Scottish hills.

Tiorga Mor and Oireabhal:

Sea Kayaking is getting more and more attractive – there are some stunning tent pitches around that we can’t get at currently.

Eilein Mhealasta:

We continued south to Laibheal a Deas, with improving open views to the south.

No sun for us – but our favourite place was glowing in sunshine.

Huiseabhal Beag and Traigh Mheilein in the sun:

Loch Cheann Chuisil was mirror flat. The peninsula of Aird Mor/Beag is seriously remote.

Across Aird Mor and Beag to Tiorga Mor and the Huisinis area:

The SW end of these hills has the best combination of open sea view and of Harris – I think we’ll be back for an extended wander round Griomabhal some day.

SW to Griomabhal:

St Kilda remained eye-catching:

About 4 previous tent pitches visible around Huisinis.

Huisinis:

The mainland finally showed up – not visible all week. Not sure I was happy to see it was still there.

Assynt – Bein Mor Coigach and Stac Pollaidh:

The hinterland between Lewis and Harris is the KAKBA land.

Back o’ Bourke:

Turned around and headed north to make for the high point in the road. The remainder of the Uig hills had cleared up.

N to Tathabhal:

Dropped down along the road – almost 8km back to the car. The pass between the two rows of hills is quite impressive.

Back up the road:

It was a rather still evening with a few midges. Loch Raonasgail and Tahabhal looked nice though.

Loch Raonasgail:

Midge weather:

Heading out across the open ground north of the loch we were overflown by 3 Golden eagles heading south into the hills. Perhaps hunting elsewhere.

Nearing Abhainn Stocaill there is another view of St Kilda – from the lower elevation there is a little less poking over the horizon.

Late evening St Kilda:

Many, many plovers had scolded us going past.

Golden Plover:

The blue Honda had been retrieved by its occupants, our car was a bit further on at the road end.

We’d wondered about pitching at Traigh Uige, but it encourages a concentration of tents in a defined campsite. Considered Mealasta, but plumped for Traigh na Beirigh’s west end for a last Hebrides wild camp.

Having started late we pitched not long before sunset.

Traigh na Beirigh at sunset:

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