Harris Weekend meet, 8-10 June 2018

There is always a sense of anticipation on the ferry going to the Western Isles.  Leaving Loch Broom, the swell of the sea makes itself felt and the mountains of Wester Ross and Sutherland get smaller on the horizon.  In what seems like no time at all, the hills of Harris rise up from the Long Island and the Loch Seaforth is nosing its way into Cala Steornabhaigh.  The fumes, noise and bustle of the ferry traffic in Stornoway are quickly dissipated as we drive through the lochs of Lewis into the surprisingly mountainous road through the North Harris hills.
Ten club members made it to Drinishader for a long weekend meet.  The chance to be in the Western Isles in good weather was not to be missed, so some came early and some stayed on to the following week.  One intrepid soul –  Jim – took his bike on the ferry to Tarbert and cycled through Harris before joining us for some hill walking.
And so to the hills.   An Cliseum made a nice short Friday evening walk after settling into the Cottage Hostel at Drinishader for Douglas, Michael, Nell and Arthur, leaving the round of the Mullach and the Mulla Bhos for a future trip.  Jim and Sarah took a more measured approach, leaving An Cliseum until the next day.

 

The fine weather took six of us up Tiorga Mor  with a dubious sighting of a hazy Hirta from the summit.  We wandered over Toirga Beag to gawp at the impressive crag of Sron Uladail – above.  Jim, Ewen, Nell and Michael made their various ways down to Gleann Chliostair, while Douglas and Arthur went on to summit Oireabhal.  The soft drinks and ice cream from the honesty shop next to the big house at Abhainn Suidhe were sublime.
Uisgnabhal Mor was the target for Michael, Douglas, Nell and Arthur the next day.  Jim and Ewen took the old postal path from Urgha Beag to Reinigeadal and back to the Harris Hotel, from whence they were recovered happily sipping pints of beer.  Jim and Sarah had to head back home, but still had time for a local coastal walk with Alan and Gina who were staying next door.  Alan and Gina’s beach wanderings and ascent of Ceapabhal delivered some stunning photos which Alan has posted on the IMC Facebook Group page.
Our final day saw Jim take his bike back on the Tarbert ferry via the Harris Gin Distillery.  Douglas and Michael visited Callanais standing stones (below) just early enough to miss the tourist buses.  And Ewen, Nell and Arthur visited the beautiful Eagle’s Nest bothy on the cliffs at Mangerstadh.

Do check out the IMC Facebook page and Facebook Group page for lots of pictures.