Harris, August 2019

Subsets of Harris, August 2019
Back to Harris, August 2019
15-19th August
15-19th August
20-28th August
20-28th August

20-28th August

On the one day where it barely rained at all (and it was only a bit windy), we returned to one of our favourite ever places: Huisinis, at the end of a 13 mile windy single track road with spectacular drop-offs into the sea. We camped here many years ago, overlooking a beautiful and desolate beach, in torrential rain. In the intervening years the tiny toilet block has morphed into an indoor picnic area and burger van, but it's still a beautiful spot.

Running off road was problematic, because everything was just bogs and heather. When I tried to run part of the misleadingly named Hebridean Way from Leverburgh back to Northton, it started off reasonably surfaced and was well marked with poles, leading reassuringly out into the middle of a desolate moor. At this point the path became just a raised bit between two dug out channels of bog that served to (unsuccessfully) drain the central bit of its water. A little further on, the channels vanished along with all the marking poles, and totally lost I ended up zigzagging through some bemused cows before jumping over a fence onto the road at the other end of the island, feet sopping wet, and trainers falling to bits.

For most of the week on Harris, we looked out of our cottage window at the big hill by Northton, Maodal, wondering what the little spike on the top was. Towards the end of the week, encouraged by Matthew's enthusiasm, we set off in a howling gale up the extremely steep, heather-covered, boggy hillside to find out. Within sight of the summit, holding the children down to prevent them from being blown off the hillside, they got spooked and decided they'd had enough. Not to be thwarted so close to our goal, I dumped the whole family in a relatively sheltered hollow, and dragged them one by one up to the top and back. The spike turned out to be quite interesting: it's a memorial to a 10-strong RAF Shackleton crew that perished there in 1990 after unfortunately flying right into the top of the hill in cloud. The memorial is topped with part of the stricken aircraft.

The trip home, via Crianlarich again, saw the best weather of the holiday, and I was disappointed not to have the time to run up Ben Lui before we had to leave.

Matthew's view of the holiday? "I liked the motorway."

View from Holiday Cottage, Northton, Harris Sgarasta Mhòr, Harris Taransay from Horgabost, Harris Taransay from Horgabost, Harris Huisinis, Harris Huisinis, Harris Sand, Huisinis, Harris Looking at Scarp from Jetty near Huisinis, Harris Huisinis, Harris World's Most Picturesque Recycling Point, Loch Phlocrapoil, Harris Church, Roghadal, Harris Roghadal, Harris Leverburgh, Harris RAF Memorial, Maodal, Harris RAF Memorial, Maodal, with Northton Below, Harris View from Holiday Cottage, Northton, Harris View of Maodal from Holiday Cottage, Northton, Harris Staring Wistfully at Ben Lui, near Crianlarich