|chapel Saint Barr on Barra|
|boat Oban to Barra|
|beach on south Uist|
We took the Oban ferry to Castlebay on the isle of Barra. On the edge of exploring the whipped dark blue seas held time aloft and the tides carries us across. The bright westward skies shone brightly as we sailed oe’r swells and past looming mountains….
To the edge of Scotia’s Western Isles, to their stunning and varied landscapes, beaches, rocky outcrops, purple mountains, and a haven for wildlife, the roar of the Atlantic surrounds all here.
This is a place of strong contradictions – from rugged coastlines, to the largest stretches of clear white sands and turquoise waters; and in the late light the bluest softest hues.
I read of the great Bards and Myth makers. I read of the crofters forced to leave their homelands for unknown fates in far away lands – to Canada, to Indian reservations and not to the farms that had been promised and of how they missed the Atlantic seas. At the Castlebay museum I read of Father John MacMillan. North Uist and south Uist are Protestant and Catholic – and they get along!
|Caisteal Chiosmull castle Barra|
Out on the peninsula we found the small chapel of Saint Barr. South of Barra, lies the quiet island of Vatersay connected by a small bridge. We took photos at what could have been a tropical island, although there was cool there. Another photographer told us of the shrine to Eilidh MacLeod, who lost her life a year ago at the Manchester bombing. So sad she left this beautiful place to die at the Arianna Grande concert.
|waves at nature reserve Uist|
Early on the Friday we headed across on the carefully manoeuvred crossing to the more prosperous isle of Harris. Harris is the most developed Western isles. I had expected it to be more isolated and remote than Lewis. The Harris beaches on the west coast look out over the welcoming Atlantic and are well worth photographing. Tarbert is nestled in its northern mountains – a ferry port with Harris Gin and Harris Tweed shops. Then we took the treacherous Gold Road over the rocky eastern side and stayed at the beautifully renovated old school house.