The Outer Hebrides - also called Western Islands - are made up of Lewis and Harris, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, and Barra.
From Oban to Lochboisdale
After a rather stormy crossing we reach Newcastle. From here we take the shortest way to Oban, were we will spend a night before we take the ferry to the Hebrides.
Always exiting: We are waiting for the announcement to come to our cars.
Approaching the North Shields:
In a hurry to leave England for our thoughts are only in Scotland - soon we are reaching the 'border'
with rain pouring down.
On we go, passing small obstacles...
... to our stopover in Oban, the small port at the 'Sound of Kerrera'.
The gluttonous sea gulls are omnipresent.
After a quiet night at a B&B near McCaig's Tower we have a yummie ice cream
at a café with first rate view (Gallanach Rd.)
The ferry is waiting: The adventure starts.
The 'Lord of the Isles' docks off and we are leaving Oban behind us.
Passing Dunollie Castle....
Dunollie Castle, the former seat of the MacDougall clan:
The weather is a little unpleasant. However, we can see were we are going. Passing the lighthouse of the Morvern peninsula, not far from Lochaline...
On the 'Lord of the Isles' you can during the six hours' passage watch TV under deck, take meals or just drink coffe, or fill yourself with cheap bear...
For some reason every time we are close to Tobermory (Isle of Mull) rain comes down in sheets...
Tobermory and Mull in the rain:
"Mc Lean's Nose" on Ardnamurchan comes into sight, in former times a volcano ...
... and Kilchoan, the biggest town on Scotland's most western peninsula and the only means for shopping - well, at least somewhere there it should be.
Far off is the lighthouse of Portuairk at the tip of Ardnamurchan.
Passing the isles of Rum, Eigg, Mug, and Canna we go for open sea, the Sea of the Hebrides.
But first the sun is coming out again.
Lighthouse of H-Oigh Sgier Light in view, we are approaching the Hebrides.
Barra, the most southern island of the Hebrides, and the southern part of Uist, the middle island, come into view.
And those troublesome noisemakers are back:
People on board are waking up: Destination can be made out clearly now.
Approaching the Hebrides!
Here we are: Our first stop on the Hebrides, Lochboisdale!
The Isle of Uist falls into South Uist and North Uist. Both are connected by causeways.
Rather 'flat' it is and few roads of course.
Crossing one of the causeways we get from island to island.
In Baleshare we spend the night, enjoying the quiet and loneliness.
Peg the Collie is always on the spot if there is a chance for ballgames.
This boundlessness is typical for South Uist - an impression of a quiet evening:
Another unsuccessful trial to see otters at Loch Eport.
On the other hand it's like a perfect dream - and lonely.
Somewhere in the distance a vast beach can be made out...
A dream-beach indeed, spreading in front of us when we reach it after a few miles' walk:
A bit chilly - otherwise we should take a swim.
Now and then the scenery gets rolling and varied - a restored old fishing lodge...
A castle in a loch, difficult to reach...
A few skulls of big and small whales...
Old grave stones, unreadable due to the moss...
On we go northwards...
passing beautiful, lonely lochs...
Reaching Berneray in the north of Uist.
The small fishing port of Berneray...
The name of this place is somehow... unpronouncable. The Isle of Pabbay in the distance.
The ship taking us from Uist to Lewis, the next Hebrides island, is waiting for us already.
The sign in the small waiting hall is most soothing. Clearly no ferries get lost here...
Docking off to Leverburgh on the next islands: Harris and Lewis
Also the next island falls into two parts:
Lewis and Harris
After a pleasant journey Harris comes into view. Approaching the port of Leverburgh
Contrary to Uist, Harris is not that 'flat'. There still are dream beaches.
Now and then it's a real roller coaster...
and the great beaches give way to barren land...
and rugged mountains.
A wee bit more exiting than quiet Uist.
Passing beaches and lochs, bens and glens...
to our next stop, in the north west of Lewis.
The dream beach right at our doorstep.
Quite a distance to the next restaurant. However, weeks ago already we booked a table at the Gallan Restaurant.
Nice meals - for a price.
The setting at our doorstep is changing almost by the hour...
Sometimes the landscape feels melancholic, sometimes even almost threatening.
By no means miss the 'Standing Stones of Calanais'...
This is said to have been erected more than 4,000 years ago.
Also the ancient village of 'Na Gearrannan' (Garenin Black House Village) is worth a visit.
9 old cottages have been rebuilt here. They are acutally inhabited and we are permitted to enter...
Take care of your head! Living is confined and ceilings are low.
A loom with good reason. On this island the tweed was 'born'.
To our surprise we discover an old German 'Singer' sewing maching. Not quite that ancient...
Heaps of peat in front of the house, used for heating.
On we go along rugged landscapes...
Some time we reach the biggest town of the Hebrides: Stornoway
Not much on, to be honest, except the ferry terminal. So we take a look at quite a witty tweed shop.
Here we get the hint to look out for whales on our journey back.
Not to keep you on tenterhooks: No whales! Moreover the deck getting the sun was closed and painted.
What a daft idea!
Ullapool at last and the end of the most boring tour of this journey.
Next time we'll go via Skye...