We spend our lives rushing around and being busy, trying to squeeze as much as humanly possible into as little time as possible. But having spent a couple of days in the Western Isles we were starting to realise we needed to slow down in order to truly experience and enjoy it.
Having arranged for medical supplies to be delivered to Cathy, the wonderfully kind lady we met in the previous blog post, we had no real rush to get home, and could just see where the journey would take us. There was something incredibly freeing about having absolutely no plans, no sites booked, and no rush to get back. A change of pace was just what we needed, and our next stop was the perfect place for that!
As we arrived at Cnìp campsite our jaws dropped in awe at the view. The white sand that contrasted with the turquoise sea was like something you’d see in the Caribbean, and was perfectly framed by the green hills that surrounded us. The beachside pitches had no electric hook-up but with our new solar panel this wasn’t an issue, and we found ourselves an idyllic spot right by the sand.
Once we’d settled in Stephen went for a stroll and came back like an excited child, exclaiming “you’ll be able to get your chair down on the sand!”. This is a very rare occurrence for wheelchair users so I’m used to admiring beaches from afar, but when the conditions are just right it’s like winning the lottery!
Again, by total coincidence, Andrew and Dougal turned up! And they brought the sunshine with them. With clear blue skies overhead and armed with motorhome grip mats in case I got stuck, we made our way down the shallowest pathway to the beach and the sand was just firm enough for me to drive on. We were unable to believe our luck as we strolled down to the shore together, watching the sparkling waves gently lap up at the sand as the sun began to sink. And in that very moment, we were in heaven.
Having found our new favourite campsite, we extended our stay to 4 nights. I had quite a bit of writing to catch up with and Stephen also had some work to do, so our days were spent shut away in our mobile-office looking out at the incredible view, then every evening the lovely site owner, Finn, would wander around to collect payment (a staggering £10 a night!) and have a good natter with all of the campers.
After this we’d make our way down the sand where we’d watch the sun go down. Amazingly it doesn’t get dark there until after midnight, if at all in the summer months, so we spent most evenings down on the beach. Not only enjoying the fact that it was unintentionally accessible, but it was one of the most stunning beaches we’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.
On the rare occasions we managed to drag ourselves away from the tranquility of the site we found ourselves picking up supplies at the surprisingly well stocked Uig Community Store and visiting the Callanish Standing Stones. Much like the islands themselves, the stones have an atmosphere of their own, and as they stand tall and proud over the surrounding hills they have an air of mystery about them.
After 4 days of bliss it was time to say goodbye to Finn and that incredible view, and continue the adventure south. We could’ve happily stayed there for a lot longer but Harris won’t explore itself! And we couldn’t wait to see what else the islands had to offer.