Exploring Scotland – Part VI: Outer Hebrides – Isle of Lewis

We left Ullapool in the morning on the ferry to head over to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. It was a two hour plus ferry run, so after writing up a few postcards, I put stuff away and curled up on the large cushions and fell asleep. When I woke, it was close to the time to head down to our Rabbie’s bus, so I gathered my backpack and camera bag and met up with the others in the lounge and headed down to the vehicle deck. Once in Stornoway, we got a brief run around to see where things were before parking at a bus terminal and getting out to explore a bit and grab some lunch. Afterwards we were back on the bus, heading west then north up to the Port of Ness. As we travelled along, we could see at various points along the flatter lands of Lewis, long strips out of the land where they were digging up peat to be dried out and then used as fuel. When we got to the Port of Ness, we stopped off at the beach there to the lovely soft sands; the water was turquoise with the underlying sand and shallow waters.

Port of Ness Beach, Isle of Lewis © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Port of Ness Beach, Isle of Lewis © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Port of Ness Beach, Isle of Lewis © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Port of Ness Beach, Isle of Lewis © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

When we left there we headed up to the lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis. While we were up there, there was a bit of a flurry as a small pod of dolphins that kept surfacing, however briefly. I did manage to get one photo off of a dolphin’s dorsal fin but it turned out quite blurry. That said, the surrounding area with rugged coast was really quite beautiful.

Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Lighthouse, Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

As we made our way around the north end of Lewis, we noted some other standing stones around the island in seeming random places, including those incorporated into crofts on the lands. We drove up to one on a side street where there was one that had been incorporated alongside someone’s garden.

Standing stone, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Standing stone, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

While it was quite overcast in the north part of Lewis, when we returned to Stornoway, the weather was starting to improve and we shown to a few more restaurants in the area then we were dropped off at our respective accommodations. Here I was actually staying at a Guest House, and one of my tour companions, Thea was also staying at the same place, so we decided to take a walk, which wasn’t too far to the Lewis Castle – which is now part of the University of the Highlands and Islands. The castle itself is now being renovated, so there’s a big chain link fence around it. There was a beautiful path on the way up to the castle. There were quite a few rabbits around, too, and I finally managed a good pic of one that didn’t skitter off too far, but needed the telephoto lens.

Path to Lewis Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Path to Lewis Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Path to Lewis Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Path to Lewis Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

An abandoned stairway on the path to Lewis Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

An abandoned stairway on the path to Lewis Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Lewis Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Lewis Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Lewis Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Lewis Castle, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Rabbit in the Field, Lewis Castle grounds, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Rabbit in the Field, Lewis Castle grounds, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Street sign, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

Street sign, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 31st July 2013

We wandered back to the downtown core on our way to find a bite to eat, a local passerby gave us directions to a spot for a good meal, so we popped round to Eleven at Caladh Inn, and had a wonderful supper, so much so that we were planning to return the next night for supper. Given that our Guest House wasn’t far, we walked back after a quick stop round to Tesco’s to pick up a thing or two. I worked a while on my computer before it decided to stop working. Mild panic. Up in the Scottish north with my MacBook not working and not exactly a spot to have it easily looked at to see what’s wrong. So, I decided to work on some more postcards and watch a bit of tele until I fell asleep.

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