On the Sunday afternoon, I left Huisinis and headed back along the road I’d travelled. I always find it interesting how very different any route looks when going back in the other direction.
The rain, which had been a steady drizzle, strengthened a bit:
But I decided to press on to my objective: the eagle observatory in Glen Meavaig (pron MEE-a-vayk). There is a good car park on the road, and a very clear track leading up the Glen. In fact the track continues north through the glen, east through the mountains, and ends near Bogha Glas, close to the Lewis/Harris border. I was very glad only to be hiking the mile and a half in!
My map told me the name of the prominent peak to the right: Sròn Scourt. “Sròn” means nose, which sounds about right. I doubted I would see any eagles, as the rain was thickening, and you couldn’t really see the heights where they live.
The peaks on the other side are called “Cathadail Grànnda”. Grànnda means “ugly” – a bit harsh, don’t you think? The track follows first on one side of the river (Abhainn Meavaig, the River Meavaig), and then crosses to the other side:
What really struck me on this walk was that on all sides there was water. There were waterfalls tumbling off the hillsides, water gurgling in the bog, water trickling through streams. The air was full of the various sounds of moving water. I was very grateful for the well-constructed track, because if I had stepped off in any direction I would have been in serious trouble, up to my knees or more in water:
The sky darkened:
The holiday selfie:
And there, around a curve in track, it was! I was very grateful for the wooden ramp (covered with chicken wire) that led you from the track into the little building.
I was even more glad I wasn’t trying to hike through to the other side, having read this sign. I couldn’t imagine trying to ford a river, in such wet conditions, in the middle of nowhere! Then again, there must be experienced outdoors people for whom it would be possible.
It is indeed a wonderful feeling, peering into the glen looking for eagles. Golden eagles and sea eagles nest here, though I wouldn’t know the difference, or indeed if I was seeing a buzzard. I think all birds of prey were happily tucked away somewhere equally dry while I was there.
I was very glad of a chance to take my wet coat and gear off for a while. The hide isn’t heated, but I spread my things out anyway.
And I just sat there and knitted!
I was also very glad to find I had tucked a peanut and chocolate bar into my bag, because I was getting hungry!
I enjoyed a peaceful time just sitting, watching, listening, and knitting. And after a while I was ready to go back. The hike back down to the car took me less than 25 minutes, because it was downhill and also because I was going at a clip (though carefully, as to not sprain my ankle). The rain was pretty heavy and I was very eager to get back to Tarbert for my dinner.
By 7:00 I was going up the steps of the Harris Hotel, which is so familiar that it feels like home. I stayed there on my first solo jaunt two years ago. I posted about the hotel here. I love the garden:
It seems like such a feat to me, to make a garden out of the rocky landscape. And I love seeing trees when I’m on the islands. I love trees at any time, but they are precious commodities in that windswept coastal environment.
I had a delicious tea, including a lovely apple crumble. If I hadn’t been driving, I would have treated myself to a wee dram, I think! I’m not much of a drinker, but I had that pleasantly tired out feeling that you get after an afternoon of fresh air and some exertion. I got more knitting done, and the waiter was very friendly and kind.
As darkness was really descending, I drove back to Scalpay and to a lovely warm bed. My only regret was that I had eaten so much that the delicious home-made Victoria sponge that had appeared by my tea tray was just a cake too far. It’s not often I say that!
In my next two posts, I’ll share my third and final day on Harris. The weather was fab!
Thank you all for reading and I wish you an excellent start to the week.