|This was one of those totally unplanned holidays which started a day early becuase of a major fire on our local common (I'm asthmatic so we left the area reasonably quickly).|
So unplanned and without any idea as to what or where we were going, we drove a far north as we could on day 1 and covered 550 miles (in the UK, this is very good going in a day).
We then carried on North and ended up at Cape Wrath on a little campsite called Shigra, which is basically a beach and nothing else. Visits to various 'attractions' followed - Cape Wrath itself - this is the most North Westerly point of mainland UK, Handa Island which is a nature reserve - saw Puffins and Sandwood bay, excellent wildlife scenery and swimming.
When the weather got too hot (yes, too hot) so we moved over to the Outer Hebridies onto the Isle of Lewis and over to its North West coast to a beach at Cnip (Kneep) at Bhaltos (Valtos) and spent a number of nights camping wild on the Machair (at a permitted point that is). On the night we arrived at Bhaltos, we were fortunate enough to witness a sundog (ice halo creating a rainbow effect in a cloud). It was the first time I have ever seen one.
After 5 days, we moved to the Isle of Harris, camping wild for 1 night and then moving on to the Isle of Skye. We stayed for 2 days on the Isle of Skye before time ran out and we had to start the journey home. The car finally clocked 100,000 miled on the route home (which makes 30,000 miles in just over 12 months.... guess its the holidays that do it!)
We spent quite a few days walking when the weather was not too hot, swam in the North Minches (the sea between the mainland scotland and the outer hebridies). Saw some wonderful sunsets and lots of midge and thousands upon thousands of orchids. The orchids in the Machair were in full flower when we arrived. It was fantastic. I'm an orchid enthusiast and even grow my own at home etc... but much prefer the wild native orchids of the UK and the machair is an excellent place to find them.
Hopefullly this collection of photos will contain quite a few of those orchids along the way and show the wonderful scenery off.