Chapter 3: Western Isles

This is the only book chapter that involves two months of travel: September & October. The first week of this journey took place in late September in gloriously wild conditions. So wild, in fact, that after seeing me set out into a rough sea and not return, some tourists reported me missing: fortunately I’d left my route with someone on shore and, after a phonecall from Stornoway police in the middle of the night (in my sleeping bag on the tiny uninhabited island of Little Bernera) I was confirmed safe and well. I also saw plenty of coastguard activity this month, presumably as they gear up for autumn, hence the first picture.

Paddling into a headwind on very messy seas for most of the time, going was a little slow and opportunities  to get the camera out sometimes limited: my lenses have never been so persistently coated in water and salt. But the rare moments of calm or shelter were absolute bliss. I’ve never enjoyed nights in the sleeping bag quite so much as on this trip. There were glorious sunsets and dawns, and I seem to be becoming increasingly habituated to the minor inconveniences (damp, insects) of multiple nights of house-/tent-free living. Here are the photos, north to south as usual. Click on the thumbs for a proper look.