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Old 08-09-2010, 10:00 AM   #1
ChubbyThumper OP
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Outer Hebrides. Up the Butt of Lewis and down the Quiraing

This RR is the story of a 1200mile run on the west of Scotland/Outer Hebrides. If the title has given you expectations of a sexual nature then I apologise, the only graphic encounter took place on the village green in Duirinish




but more of that later




With a week off work the plan was to have a look at the outer Hebrides and hopefully make it up to the Butt of Lewis. Despite getting short notice Jimmy aka “Grumpy” decided to join me and hook up with his son in Glasgow on the way back home again. Foolishly I only brought one camera and lens with me. Unfortunately the lens gave up the ghost and Jimmy stepped in with the offer of his wee Sony Cybershot back up camera. Thanks again Jimmy…lifesaver!

Off we went, from the ferry terminal in Cairnryan up to Troon where we met Ian Jimmys son who rode with us to Dunoon down Hells glen to junction at Rest and be Thankful then left to Inverary, Glen Orchy and Tyndrum for coffee where Ian left us. No pics as I was wrestling with my camera at this stage and have documented these parts in other RRs.

1st camp at Red Squirrel Glencoe.






The Corran ferry turning south on theA861







Continuing on the single track B8043 to Kingairloch.











Beach at Morar.







Entering Mallaig we saw this steam train going backwards, quick sidestand down and scramble to get the camera out.





a busy harbour all sorts of craft coming and going






From Mallaig we took the ferry to Armadale on Skye. Because the Butt of Lewis was the target, pressed on to Uig ferry port where we camped for the night in the sodden but friendly campsite hoping to get the morning ferry to Lochmaddy Nth Uist . Next day we were able to get Calmac ferries Island hopscotch tickets. These cost £49.50 for each of us and entitled us to three ferries Uig / Lochmaddy on Nth Uist. Bernaray to Leverburgh on Harris and Tarbert on Harris back to Uig on Skye. http://www.calmac.co.uk/Timetables-Fares/hopscotch-rover.html]





Uig on Skye






The http://www.uistoutdoorcentre.co.uk/
put us up for a tenner a night. Good hostel with some interesting characters doing 3 wks touring with Kayaks. Also chatted two skinny cyclists in full lycra doing 80 mile days in pretty strong winds, respect guys





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Old 08-09-2010, 11:31 AM   #2
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North Uist

Pretty bleak countryside, we went for an explore next day. We were able to ride south down to the Island of Eriskay using the causeways that have been built between the islands.



The guys were away portaging another kayak to the next inlet. looks fun




Really missing my skylight and polarising filters...next time








Pimped up Black house dwelling














Onto the Island of Eriskay




Back at the hostel we got chatting to some residents. This collapsible canoe is worth more than my bike! The carbon fibre paddle over a grand!



On the way to the ferry for Harris on Berneray



Island of Harris

this is more like it. We turned right towards Rodel after coming off the ferry. These pics are all taken near the Rodel hotel












The east coast single track road from Rodel to Tarbert. This feels like payback for doing our penance down in the Uists



Jimmy finds a trail....dead end









Off A859 Nth of Tarbert




The Black houses at Gearrannan. There is a hostel here £10/night well worth it. No signal for mobile phone and no TV. http://www.gearrannan.com/
no booking you just turn up, there is a campsite of sorts if its full.

Our bunk house is the building on the right hand side







Had to have a walk around between showers




Lots of ancient relics in these parts






We needed milk and a few supplies, (vino) nipped out on the bikes to find a shop when wesaw this guy flying a kite by the road. turns out his arm was not out holding a string but waiting for his hawk (the kite) to land. Cameras out he offered the bird, a Harris hawk from Sth America, for us to hold...class






Good idea for old 21" wheels

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Old 08-09-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
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Butt day

Next day was to be Butt of Lewis day, after that it was all south and homewards.
First stop Standing stones of Callanish before all the busloads of tourists descend like midges
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callanish_Stones



Jimmy spotted this first...uncanny. There must be a Simpson lineage on the island of Lewis




The Broch. A refuge for villagers. Any intending plunderers/rapists had to bend almost double to enter and of course got neatly decapitated by the residents.



This is a trail we found on the West coast near Barvas it goes a long way into the dunes and down to a derelict house. OK for big trailies





Easy to see on an OS map this lane goes around the village of Shader



Mission accomplished, rocks at Butt of Lewis below the lighthouse






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Old 08-09-2010, 01:56 PM   #4
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Nice photos Terry.
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:27 PM   #5
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:05 AM   #6
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Excellent pics T .
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:28 AM   #7
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Quality T! Good shots with the Sony eh?
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:54 PM   #8
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Thanks for the comments guys. We had now gone as far north as possible on Lewis so there was no choice but to go south back down the single track from whence we came. Not before I had a quick swim in a neat little inlet I had spotted just before the lighthouse.



Then of course we saddled up and headed for Stornoway. The weather deteriorated very fast and we ended up riding in howling wind and rain for about half an hour, after that the sun came out again ! This is Scotland after all. After unsuccessfully trying to get a bed at the hostel in Stornaway we headed for a campsite at Kneep on the west coast. It had been recommended for its beach and we weren't disappointed.







Unfortunately it was lashing rain when we put the tents up so next day started out with damp kit. Grumpy ready for the road



The road before Tarbert ferry port on Lewis



Goodbye outer Hebrides, Skye here we come.




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Old 08-10-2010, 02:39 PM   #9
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Isle of Skye

Back on the Island of Skye by lunchtime, Jimmy’s son Ian joined us on an 800GS and led the way up a narrow hairpinned road beside the petrol station in UIG and along to the Quiraing. I hope these pics do it justice.
Uig

The Quiraing










Across the road and down to Staffin bay.








The old man of Storr in drizzle



A brief stop in Portree for lunch





Down to the campsite at Sligachan where we stayed the night, Jimmy and Ian were to depart in the morning for a family party back in Cork. Based from the campsite I did some walking in the nearby hills in light rain and covered in midgies. I say covered as I was using Avon skin so soft spray as a repellent, not many bites but the feckers were crawling all over ears and eyelids. Not very comfortable!










Met a good guy called Johnboy on this trike outfit. He was waiting for more mates to turn up next day on similar bikes.





KTM in there somewhere...

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Old 08-10-2010, 03:58 PM   #10
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On to the mainland

An early start next day had me off the Isle of Skye via the new bridge and into Kyle of Lochalsh for a very good breakfast. I always wanted to see the village of Plockton and set off along a narrow road which went through another small village called Duirinish. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.









what would you do?


I abandoned ship!



she onlly wanted a sniff apparently



Nature in the raw on the village green



Plocton









Time to get some miles done down to Glencoe. Eileann dornan in bad light and picture quality turned down low to get more snaps on the card.


beauty spot


The bridge was opened on the Caledonian canal stopping traffic so I jumped off he bike and nabbed this quickie

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Old 08-10-2010, 04:26 PM   #11
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A82

all taken off the A82 betwwen Glencoe and Tyndrum. You could spend days here just taking photographs and there are plenty of people that do

Foot of the great glen





Turning off the A82 down Glen Etive with the intention of wild camping near the sea at the foot of the glen

Glen Etive







wine out, sausages on the pan











soak it up, last night before home



Rannoch moor then on to the ferry and home. thanks for reading, I will post gdb files of my route tomorrow

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Old 08-10-2010, 06:19 PM   #12
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Wow

My better half and I toured these same areas (Harris & Lewis our favorites) back in 1982 as a postponed honeymoon. When we were at most of the spots you visited we were the only visitors. The standing stones looked like no-one had been there in ages. The Callaway Broch was cool. Surprised they haven't filmed a Viking movie there.

Great photos. Thanks for sharing.

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Old 08-10-2010, 06:58 PM   #13
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Thanks for your kind words Ted, a great part of the world. I agree about Lewis and Harris, don't feel any desire to return to the Uists in the near future. I just wish my lens hadn't packed in I was really looking forward to using the SLR.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:16 PM   #14
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Stunning scenery and great photos. A loveley part of our planet, thanks for taking the time to post
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:21 PM   #15
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Up the Butt of Lewis

Wonderful pics, really enjoying seeing that part of the world. Very lush, green and wet. Those old cabins are incredible. Beautiful hawks also! Some shaggy yaks shagging? Ouch!
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