Friday, May 29, 2009


The rain is still going strong as I leave the ferry on Harris Island.  Head to the south of the island against a head wind.  Visit a nice little 15 century church.  I want to stay there as it is warm and dry.  But I push on. 
Go up the eastern side of the island  that is winding and hilly.  The scenery is great with lots of rock and heather in between.  It was used in 2001 space odyssey movie as Jupiter fly over.  Can't see to far as the clouds are 300' above sea level.
Stop into Tabert and stock up with food as the island keeps the Sabbath and everything closes.  Rain keeps coming down and I push on.  Come to the hill the bikers all talk about.  Takes a while but it's not to bad.  Seek shelter in a covered bus stop during some heavy rain.  Find I am cold and wet so I get moving again to warm up as I have on. my warmest cloths.  Doing down hill the rain feels like hail, but I don't slow down as I am making good time.  Decide to push on to Stornoway rather than go 6 miles down a side road to a warm hostel.  With a few more hills I am on. Lewis part of the island with gentle rolling hills and the rain has stopped.  Coming to the junction and I could head into Stornoway or start my loop around Lewis.  I push on so it will be a shorter day tomorrow.  Get some nice evening shots of the Callanish Standing Stones.  Big stones in rings and lines.   Stop at a hotel at ten till nine and am told they just stopped serving.  Local out front tell me they serve till 9. So my luck ran out there.  Some more miles down the road and I am at another black house hostel.  This is a hostel they put some small sky lights in this one so it is missing some of the dark dreariness of the others, this seems wrong.  This is in a village of black houses.  The other rent for £300+ while the hostel goes for £10. 
72.2 miles
Next morning get a late start as I head a few miles back to a old dun/fort.  It is nice for 2000 year old fort.  Head up to the north end of the island. visiting a few more ancient sites along the way.  Easy going with the tail wind and only light rain.  Nice views of the vast moors and the I come to the jagged north coast.  Heading back the 15 mile the wind is a head wind and bring me to a stop with its gusts.  I finally get to the junction that cuts across the island to Stornoway.  Only 11 miles to go.  I am down to some dried up naan that is causing me to use up the last of my water.  Yes every thing is closed on Sunday.  I push on. 
On each power pole there is a yellow warning sign to keep off as you could be electrocuted.  I asked about it and there is no great tendency to climb these poles in Britain.  So when you lookout across these great boggy  moors with power poles each pole has a sign at eye level warning you off.  Some even have a second at ten feet just in case you missed the first one.  Next the power company will need to ensure all the british people can read the signs.  Stepping off soap box.
Get to Stornoway after traveling through one giant moor and see a Chinese take-away with someone in it.   Step in and the person behind the counter saids we are closed, but we will take you order.  After ordering I glance at the clock it is 10:15 the closing time on the door is 9.  Things are looking up.  Find the hostel were the owner tells me she does not normally take in people after ten.  Then shows me the place in her pajamas and gives me the key and a screw driver to park my bike in the shed.  I need both.  Then I eat and get some much needed sleep.  Luck is better.
63.7 miles
I slept in and do not try for the early ferry.  Good thing as 7 am ferry did not sail as they had problems with the bow closing.  Check back throughout the day and the finally sailed at 4.  Did give a restful day and time to enjoy a pint.
Love & kisses

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