(Nick here, guest blogging while Frances is in Norway)
In September I joined the Guild of Photographers on a tour of Lewis and Harris (well, mostly Harris if I’m honest). Despite the name, Lewis and Harris is a single island, located off the west coast of Scotland. Its location (green pin) relative to Shetland (red pin) can be seen in the map below:
I was due to travel on the ferry from Uig on Skye to Tarbert, at the narrowest point of the island, but the day before the sailing, as I was collecting my hire car, I was told by the ferry operator that the boat I was due to sail on had been damaged and the crossing had been suspended. Thankfully I was able to re-book for free on the Ullapool to Stornway service (both towns can be seen on the map above). This turned out to be a real boon, as the journey from Edinburgh (my overnight stop) to Ullapool was easier than the route to Uig, the ferry was later in the day so I didn’t have to leave at 6am, and the road from Inverness to Ullapool is one of the most beautiful roads I have driven on. Sadly, as I was on a timetable, I didn’t have time to stop and photograph this road.
I met some friends who were also on the tour at Ullapool, picked up some beer (we were warned that alcohol was expensive on the island) and caught the ferry just before sunset. The views from the boat were pretty special.
It was properly dark by the time we arrived at Stornoway, and the drive to our accommodation was quite a long one, so I had to knuckle down and get on with it, watching out for sheep along the way. Seeing a herd of sheep in the middle of the road, illuminated only by your headlights, looks a little like this (without the metal railings):
I was shown to my room and, exhausted, fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Over the following days, we explored the coast of Harris, the southernmost part of the island, even visiting one of the eminent weavers of the world famous Harris Tweed, a lovely chap called Donald John Mackay. He allowed us in to take a portrait of him in his workshop.
His workshop sits right next to Luskentyre Bay, one of the most famous beaches in the Hebrides, if not the whole of Scotland, and it’s easy to see why. The peat-tinted water that flows off the moors onto the white sand, mixing with the green seawater, creates a whole palette of colours that, combined with the ever changing light, create an ever-varying and ever-interesting scene that draws photographers from all over the world.
This post is turning out to be quite long – I do waffle on – so I’ll leave you with a photo of one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve witnessed, taken just south of Luskentyre, over the rocks at Rubha Romagraich near Horgabost beach.
The colours really were that bright – I’ve not done anything to them in Photoshop!
Yesterday’s guinea pig photos were popular, it seems, so I’ll write some more about them tomorrow, and we’ll return to Lewis and Harris on Wednesday. Have a great week!