Friday, June 27, 2008

Western Isles: Harris

I left Garenin on the bus to Stornoway, where I passed a couple of hours getting food and then visiting the town musuem before catching a bus southward.

We drove over the central moorland of Lewis before getting into Harris, where there's a lot of rocks to spare. The landscape started getting hillier as well.

My stop came just after it had started chucking it down with rain. I got off at Maaruig turn, 6km from the village of Rhenigidale where I was going to stay at another Gatliff Trust hostel. The village was only connected by road around 1990; prior to that it could be reached via a footpath from Tarbert or by boat.

I was getting aboslutely drenched and struggling up the hairpin bends of the hilly road when a car stopped for me, a couple who lived in Rhenigidale and offered to take me the rest of the way. Of course I hopped in, and they told me all about their neighbours in the village and who had been visiting PEI and Nova Scotia (after they had asked me where I was from).

I got to the hostel and dried out and warmed up with a cup of tea. Later when another girl arrived, sodden and tired on her bicycle, the warden stopped in and lit the fire for us. The girl, Thea from London, and I read and chatted over the next day, as it was blowing such a gale that we didn't dare go outside until sometime Thursday evening to ease our cabin fever was the weather had calmed down.

Finally seeing the village without rain hammering from the sky.

Friday morning I packed up my stuff and took the footpath that leads to Tarbert. It goes around a bay and then steeply up a hill that I was well glad to reach the top of. No matter how much I go up hills, they're always just as tough it seems. I don't do ascent well. Must have been quite the walk for the kids of Rhenigidale going to secondary school in Tarbert every day before the road was built.In Tarbert I sat in the sun and took in the scenery and read until time to take the bus southward to the ferry to Berneray, my next destination.

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