Today was a day of rainbows.
I started with sunrise at Luskentyre beach looking towards the mountains of North Harris. There was a double rainbow over the sea; the light over the mountains was beautiful and two gannets wheeled over the waves.
Florence went for a walk around Tarbert, which was surprisingly busy for an early morning. People in town seemed blasé about the rainbows despite there being a beautiful double one right over the distillery; rainbows happen here a lot!
The bulk of today was spent on the ‘Golden Road’ down the south east coast of Harris. The road was built in 1897 and needed a lot of money and engineering skill to complete. The landscape on the east side of the island is very different to the west – no big beaches, lots of little fishing harbours and desolate hills. At the first harbour we were told off by the grumpiest man on Harris, he didn’t like us taking pictures near his house even though we were on a public pier. We’d met him last year actually. He was the captain of our boat to St Kilda. He didn’t say a word for the whole trip – 3.5 hours each way – leaving all that to his crew, he had a bit too much to say today.
Today was a stop and start kind of day. We stopped many times for views, abandoned crofts and harbours full of little details to photograph – and rainbows. Every time we stopped there was a rainbow about; we were lucky to get mainly sun and very few showers.
One highlight of the day was the Bay Café mid-afternoon. The elderly lady who served us was the sweetest person you could hope to meet. Funny, cheeky and friendly. She was born on the island and left for short while when she was young but has been living back here since 1971 and no longer leaves very often – ‘why would you when it’s the most beautiful place in the world?’
We passed a number of abandoned crofts today, some are just shells, some have collapsing roofs, some look like somebody just got up and walked out one day, never to return. It appears that its easier and cheaper to build new houses than renovate old ones.
The road ended at Leverburgh. We called in at the Atlantic Café for refreshments and facilities before heading back up to Seilebost for sunset. We didn’t get huge coloured skies but there was still more than enough to see.
The weather forecast is grey in the morning so we’re allowed a lie-in – hoorah!