Friday, 5 July 2013

Tolsta to Butt of Lewis - Scotland Tour 2013 - Living in a Hiace Camper Van

Welcome back! (I have a connection again so will continue with the journey from the point we left off...)

I started my day with this view over breakfast, in the little carpark at Tolsta Bay on the Isle of Lewis:



Just to the right, you can see the little toilet block which was quite handy to have there. I took the opportunity to refill my two 5 litre bottles using the method I devised using the hose from a bath tap shower kit. Here's how I did it:


 I then set off for the far north of Lewis, and a place called Port of Ness. I tuned into 'Isles FM' and listened to the unusual eclectic mix of Pop, Gaelic folk, and Christian Rock they play, along with the advertising mostly read out by the program presenter, some of which was pretty amusing to me. No offence to Isles FM. I really enjoyed the station.


After arriving at the far north of Lewis, I had a look around the harbour at Port of Ness, scaring myself balancing along the top of the harbour wall in a blustery wind, before heading towards Butt of Lewis - the furthest northerly point of my journey so far. I decided to find a spot to park up and then take the bike out and look for a good place to spend the night. I stopped at the little village of Eoropie, and after driving down a sandy lane, and fording a stream in the van I reached the dunes - huge like the saharan desert. Walking through them I came upon this sight..


To reach this beach involved a ten minute walk, wading, and stumbling through the dunes. It was a beautiful and windswept location. Back at the van, parked just beyond the dunes I made some dinner, and watched the many many rabbits playing on the dunes and hills beyond. On the hill in this picture, I watched through my binoculars as rabbits nibbled on the grass just feet away from a resting eagle, which obviously had had enough to eat that it wasn't a threat to them!


As I rode the bike up towards the lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis, I looked back to see this view of the village in the evening light..


I arrived up at the lighthouse and, glad of the bike, cycled around it, and up and down the grassy slopes beyond, peering over the cliffs when I dared, looking out at all the nesting seabirds on the rocks and cliffs nearby.

Out on the bike I'd spotted a great place to camp, that also looked like a great fishing location. It was overlooking a sandy bay, and I could shelter from the wind behind an old building.. I moved the van up here..

This was my view from the van that evening - amazing place to sleep, and in case you're wondering, I didn't get to fish, as the tide was getting too low, but I did get to watch red throated divers and seals in the bay below..



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If you're looking for a good map of Western Scotland and the Western Isles, the one I recommend is the 'Road 2' - this map used to be produced by OS, but they stopped doing it. You can buy it here for £4.99:

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