12th – 17th May 2017
Our Harris trip for a second attempt at St Kilda officially started as we arrived at Am Bothan in Leverburgh however many had taken different routes and convergences to get there;
Simon extended the Skye trip visiting Dunvegan and Uig before sailing to Harris and camping out at Luskentyre the night before meeting us in Leverburgh.
Niall, Andrew and Sarah met up at the Invergarry Hostel the previous night before stopping in Portree to procure Trousers and Sea Sickness pills on the way to the ferry.
The majority converged at Uig for the uneventful Friday sailing to Tarbert, although Niall did break his rule of trying to be out on Deck as the ferry got underway, what reason other than Luncheon could be the cause of that?!
Saturday saw a hasty change of plan for one group who had intended some coastal climbing due to an iffy weather forecast and some even iffier location identification, who’d have thought Scotland has more than 1 Tarbert and West Loch Tarbert!
(For future reference, the forecast for Tarbert on Harris is West Loch Tarbert and the forecast for West Loch Tarbert on Kintyre is “Tarbert Loch Fyne”) (A Tarbert is a narrow strip of land between 2 lochs so there are many of them in Scotland)
Instead they took a “short” beach walk at Huishnish while Ceapahbhal and Uisghbal were scaled and the cyclists took in a lap of South Harris which contained a bit more undulation than Chimed is used to.
Sunday saw us sail to St Kilda where we bagged the island summit and explored the history ( see separate report )
The weather turned for the worse and on Monday a strong gale and rain arrived, but this doesn’t stop us! Some travelled to North Uist chancing the possibility of cancelled sailings while others took in the tourist sights of Harris and Lewis.
Back at base the classic rainy day game of Scrabble was played along with some dodgy interpretations of the rules from Niall and Franta.
Tuesday started similarly minging however no sooner was Monoply set up than the rain stopped and the sun came out, the wind of course kept blowing and kept Niall off his bike.
A group of climbers had identified a bouldering location so set off for that while others explored the sights of Leverburgh such as the Post Office, Co-Op and Butty Bus before heading out to spectate the boulderers who had decided to rope up.
As Wednesday approached many were on the early ferry so those staying later said their goodbyes before retiring for the night.
Simon headed north on his bike
Niall headed south with the car and meets book; checking out the hostel at Nunton on Benbecula and met an ex-military mechanic who had sailed to the St Kilda base regularly from Benbecula, 40 hours on a flat bottomed landing craft!
He set off for the Howmore hostel for the following 2 nights and Eriskay’s summit was bagged in a break in the rain on Thursday and then Fridays plan to do a lap of Barra was scuppered when he woke to wind and rain so instead explored South Uist a bit more.
A 5 am awakening on “Boat Day” (Looks like he lost track, not difficult out there), as the Lord of the Isles made way for Mallaig the sound of an accordion drifted out on deck, a brief explore revealed the islanders on board who were travelling to a party in Mallaig had brought their instruments on deck and were entertaining themselves and the other passengers.
Present: Alec, Andrew K, Bill, Chimed, Franta, Jeannie, Lucka, Niall, Pete M, Sarah, Simon, Toni
- Report by Niall