Not long back from my trip from North Uist and Berneray and have to say that this was my best ever trip to Outer Hebrides. I picked the week when the weather was at its best, dry and sunny although on some days slightly windy. Even managed to get a little sunburned on the top of my folically challenged head
Day 1 travelling up from East Kilbride to Uig was uneventful. Took my time stopping off to take photos and enjoying the scenery. Took me nearly 9 hours but I was driving fairly slowly
The first highlight of the holiday was at Uig harbour around 5pm. I was photographing a curlew when I noticed out of the corner of my eye some movement amongst the sea weed. It was an otter with a large crab in its mouth. I managed to get some decent photos before it went back into the sea. 5 minutes later it reapperaed with another crab. This time I managed to get a little closer and get even better photos. away it went again and another 5 minutes it was back with another crab. I managed to get within about 20 feet of the otter I could hear it munching away at the crab. It did not care that I managed to get so close
Stayed at the Noth Uist Outdoor centre hostel. There was only 1 other person there so very quiet and peaceful, just what I wanted. Stayed here for 3 nights
Day 2. Went to Balranald RSPB place and had a lovely walk around there taking photos. Got some decent shots of Whooper swans.
About 3/4 of way round there were some cows on the machair. I started to walk around them as I made my way to the gate. They clocked me walking this way and started to follow me cutting off my path to the gate. Now there were about 20 of them. I changed direction to avoid them but they still followed me and would not let me near the gate. Even when I started to speed up my walking they would do the same. managed to get to the gate eventually to finish the walk
Later that day around 6pm at the hostel I was overlooking the loch at the hostel towards 2 crops of land. I saw 2 dogs and a guy on a quad bike the guy was shouting on the dogs but they were not listening. Then I saw what they were chasing 2 deer. The deer reached the end of the first strip of land with the dogs not far behind. they then jumped into the water and started swimming to the other stretch of land. This time I only had my binoculars, no camera but what a wonderful site watching them swim.
Day 3 went to Flodda island for about 2 hours but no sign of any seals
Took a walk on Howmore beach which was lovely in the sunshine and saw only 2 other people
Day 4 made my way to Berneray and did the Udal peninsula walk from www.walkhighlands.co.uk. probably a similar walk that was on the Monty Halls programme. Walked for about 5 hours and did not see a soul, Bliss. One disappointment was the lack of posts marking the route. They were few and far between and several of Monty Halls posts were lying on the ground. Some of the views on this walk were spectacular and I took some great shots.
At the old roundhouse it was a sunny and warm day. However standing there alone I felt a shiver and it seemed to go very cold, spooky
That night at the Berneray Hostel where i stayed for 2 nights, about 8pm I saw an otter walk across the beach. It came towards the hostel across the rocks and sea weed. I watched it for about 10 minutes and took some photos but it was a bit dark to get any decent shots
Day 5 I walked the Berneray circuit. The walk was perfect glorious sunshine no wind and the beaches apart from the fist 200 metres or so where there was lots of sea weed were simply beautiful. Walked for about 4 hours and again saw no one. Went to the seal viewing area and managed to get some decent photos of a few seals
There were 5 others staying at the hostel, some workmen doing work on a nearby building but they worked between 8 and 22.00 so in effect I had the hostel to myself
Day 6 travelled back to East Kilbride. The water was very calm so had a lovely sailing back to Uig
Notth Uist is normally a stunning place to be but with the near perfect weather it made it even more special
Roll on next year