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" Outer Hebrides 2019 - 2 - Bun Ahbainn Eadarra and Huisinis"
Date & start time: Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May 2019. ( NB 141 043)
Location of Start : Bun Abhainn Eadarra, (Bunavoneader), Tarbet, Isle of Harris, UK.
Stayed at : Number 4 Harris, self catering for the week.
Places visited : Bunavoneader and the road to Huisinis.
Walk details : A local walk at Huisinis and the Sound of Scarp. 1.2 mls, 350ft of ascent.
With : Ann and our dogs, Dylan and Dougal.
Weather : Fine weather if a little breezy and overcast on our walk at Huisinis.
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Having arrived at our accommodation after a short ten minute drive from the ferry port we quickly settled in
and enjoyed a fine sunset, which shone brightly on the craggy slopes of Sgaoth Iosal,
much like the sunsets we see reflecting off our local valley fells back home.
Our cottage for the week has been hired from our friends Anne and Andrew who own the black-roofed white cottage further up the road.
We are only the second couple to stay in Number 4 since they bought and converted it for self-catering last winter.
I think Bun Abhainn Eadarra means the 'bay' where the 'Eadarra River' reaches the sea.
Certainly they've chosen a lovely place to live and to set down roots.
Number 4 Harris will now allow others to also enjoy the peace, tranquillity and views that Western Harris has to offer.
- - - o o o - - -
Peace and tranquillity on the first morning.
I'm sure if Dylan and Dougal could read they'd be sitting there with books too !
Full details and more pictures on Anne and Andrew Leaney's cottage web site here
After a relaxed morning we decide to take a short drive along the coastal road that passes the cottage
and head out for a walk on the beautiful white sands of Huisinis (pronounced Hugh-ish-nish) beach.
The seemingly quiet road is occasionally busy with camper vans touring the island
and for these large stone-lorries carrying hard core out to a water board pipeline project further along the road.
On narrow roads like this the drivers really have to concentrate as the drivable road surface is often only as wide as the lorries.
- - - o o o - - -
The single track road, with passing places, weaves and winds its way through the scenery . . . heading ever west.
Ahead, but not our route, is Gleann Mhiabhaig and the summit of Oireabhal (2151 ft - 662m) on the left.
We round a bend and find ourselves in the grounds of Amhuinnsuidhe Castle
No problem, the public road runs alongside the front lawns, passes the front door and exits by the arch on the other side.
[ The guy in the picture was one of three we saw trying to capture the perfect image of the castle . . . with me that makes four.]
Fresh peat cuttings alongside the road shows that turf is still an important source of heating fuel for some houses and crofts.
Huisinis Bay and the end of the road is ahead.
At the end of the road there's a new visitor's centre and toilet facilities.
Inside is a display showing the attractions of the area and it also serves as a practical shelter in poorer weather.
The car park here and a campsite area, a hundred yards away, are magnets for the camper vans looking for an impressive overnight stay.
The increased demands of the visitors have required the water board to upgrade the water supply to the area, hence all the lorries we've seen.
We'll defer our visit to the beach in favour of a more adventurous short walk across the dunes . . .
. . . which will give us views of the island of Scarp across the shallow Sound of Scarp.
'Path Fairies' have recently visited the area and they've left a new, improved path heading out
for the beaches of Loch Crabhadail on this side of the sound.
The path starts to rise steeply in order to climb over some sheer cliffs.
Looking down the water is beautifully clear and we can see the colours of the stones and seaweed under the gentle waves.
A colony of cormorants have adopted a rock shelf far below us now . . . the zoom lens foreshortening the view down to the sea.
This was the real height to which we climbed.
The clear waters of the sound show the white sands and the shallows that characterise the area.
A wider view showing the whole of the island of Scarp.
We've been here before . . . but that time we arrived by boat.
From our high vantage point today we look down on the distant beach and decide that to walk all the way down
and then have to reverse the walk on the way back would be too much in view of the time of day and the windy weather.
Others who started the walk earlier can be seen down on the sands.
These beaches on Scarp were the site of the experimental Western Isles Rocket Post in 1934 by a German scientist
Gerhard Zucker, determined to “bring the world together” with his new system of mail delivery.
The village on Scarp was also home to Christy Maclennan, a pregnant lady who gave birth to one of her twins on the island.
Following complications during the birth, she was airlifted to hospital and her second twin was born in Stornaway the following day.
The girls become known locally as Miss Harris and Miss Lewis as they were delivered on different islands.
No complications for us as we turn and retrace our route back to Huisinis.
The wind does have the advantage of helping generate electricity locally
even though this local sheep chose not to stay and have his photo taken alongside the pylons.
Back in time for a walk along the beach.
Still wrapped up warmly against the wind as the afternoon drew to a close.
No warm sunset today . . . but still warm enough for the dogs to pause for a photo after playing in the surf.
- - - o o o - - -
Where there's only one road . . . you have to retrace your route by car.
We reach the arch and proceed through the grounds of Amhuinnsuidhe Castle once again.
Driving is a matter of following between the two white lines . . . no room for a third one in the middle.
. . . all the way across the moorland back towards Bunavoneader once again.
One last little surprise for you . . . that small square next to the road on the left . . .
. . . turns out to be a full size, professional tennis court (lessons by appointment it seems !).
Someone must have a passion for the sport . . . I wonder who ?
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix Tz60 Compact, or my Panasonic Gx8 mid-range System Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a local map and local informants to give clues on what to see.
Previous walk - 10 - 25th May - Outer Hebrides 2019 - 1 - The Journey North