Thursday, 12 June 2008

Miavaig and surrounding area

Wednesday 11th June 2008
A K6 telephone box on the road from Garynahine to Enaclete.

There are major road works going on along this road where they are widening, straightening (and by-passing Enaclete). It reminded me of the 1980s and 90s when one couldn't go anywhere on the island without coming across huge diggers and major road building.

In many places on the island the old roads can still be seen running near the new one for long stretches.

Just off the road near Enaclete are the remains of an old mill. Without someone like David for a guide there is no way I would have noticed this as we passed.

This is Loch Croistean.

At this stage in the journey I somehow managed to alter the exposure of the camera and take some exceptionally dark pictures. A lot of doctoring has enabled me to make some capable of being shown but some are just too dark to salvage. The same thing happened to GB when we were on the Pentland Road the other day. I think it must be exacerbated by the way in which the light strikes the car windscreen because those taken outside the car were not quite so bad. This was the most extreme example of the problem...

We stopped for a coffee at the Old School at Lochroistean. The owner has made a really good job of creating a lovely atmosphere inside (but then a hospitable manner always helps in this regard and hers was most pleasant). In fact, almost everywhere that I have been for coffee on the island it has been served with a smile and a friendly chat.

David does not have the Gaelic but he knew enough to appreciate that this alphabet of leaves was not quite right. When asked, the owner explained that it was the ancient forerunner of Gaelic from the days when Irish and Scots Gaelic were one tongue.

We had remarked on how prolific the Bog Cotton was along the roads and in places it carpeted the whole moorland or crofts in a sea of white.

Approaching Miavaig one comes across a house with lots of little houses, windmills, wells, lighthouses, etc in its garden. (Seen here as photographed on the way back.)

At Miavaig we turned off the main road and headed for Cliff.

Even without my camera exposure problems I find that there are times when the sea and sky are just too beautifully deep a colour for 'film' (or digital pixelling) to capture. Such was the case at Cliff where the blues and greens were just indescribable and in the most magnificent contrast with the white of the surf.

This is Kneep.

Mussel beds near Reef.

And back to Miavaig and its fish farms.

Near Carishader we passed this red K6 telephone kiosk with unusual doors. The red telephone box, a kiosk designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (architect Liverpool Cathedral), is a familiar sight on the streets of the UK, Gibralter and Malta, and despite a reduction in their numbers in recent years, red boxes can still be seen in many places. The rainy British climate necessitates protection of callers from the elements. The colour red was chosen to make them easy to spot. In 1980, at their peak, there were 73,000 of them in the UK. Nowadays they are fairly rare though some rural locations like Lewis have a fair number scattered about.

A couple of views on the way back to Garynahine. Many of the rivers in this area support Salmon.

Approaching Garynahine we passed beneath the standing stones of one of the supplementary circles of Callanish.

We cut off the Leurbost corner coming home, travelling over the moors past the shielings on the Achmore road.

This structure is the remains of the church which was used by the crofters families when they spent their summer at the shielings.

As we approached Stornoway the clouds built up and it started to shower. We had certainly had the best of the weather by going to the West side of the island.


  1. I am planning a short trip to Lewis and came across your blog which I think is very informative and interesting. My Grandma was born in Dun Carloway and married in Garynahine. She was (obviously) fluent Ghailic but sadly died before I was born. I have a long family history with this area and have always wanted to visit, which is not quite so easy as I now live in South Wales. Your blog has given me a great insight into the area and an example of what I will expect. Thankyou for your efforts which are much appreciated. Richard

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. I shall be back on Lewis in a week or so and am looking forward to it very much.


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