Forsooth Miss Haversham, these lands do give me the vapours. Its taken too long to reach the Outer Hebrides, and oh boy it was worth it. Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) runs many ferries to Scotland’s Outer and Inner Hebrides. The Outer Hebrides are a collection of 100 islands off Scotland’s north west coast of which only 15 are inhabited. I visited in November 2016 to tour, camp and photograph the views and detail of Harris and Lewis in the north. I drove up to Uig on Skye for the ferry to Tarbert which lies on Harris just south of Lewis. Confusingly they are different regions of the largest island. Harris is very rocky with many hills while Lewis is more gentle, lower level and marshy.
I prefer to travel inexpensively and chose a route of ‘The class is in the glass’. Put simply invest money in exceptional lenses and your skills to use it. Which means camping. You can set alarms at any hour while not disturbing your neighbours or landlady to catch great locations at sunrise and sunset. In November these arrive around a pleasant 8am and 4pm. Camping’s fragility ? so does very bad weather.
I planned to spend ~12 days under canvas exploring Harris and Lewis to soak up its experience. I lasted one night soaking-up water. Bad Weather. During the first night an ugly depression whipped by and soaked everything. I can cope with cold and wet, but not together. So Camping was abandoned in favour of a better roof. I offered a lift to a local who suggested I look at the Gatliff Hostel in Rheinigdale whose flyer I snapped on the ferry. Alongside the Otter Bunkhouse in Uig on Lewis.
During the trip I ‘bunked’ at these two locations spread apart for good access. This solved what I knew could be a major problem – enough power to run cameras. I have always used good solar panels to charge phones when not using the car, but camera batteries and laptopery demand more than two four-panel chargers can deliver in mid-winter. So a Hostel’s recharging facilities work a treat, as do its heating, hot water and comfortable resting.