outer isles

7

Life’s a beach

Waking amongst an army of other campervans under the beating sun, it felt more like Portugal than the Western Isles. Not ones to shy away from prime outdoor weather, we threw everything out, hooked up the solar, gave the rugs a good slapping, and relished the chance to dry out our home on wheels after - what felt like - an eternity of rain.

Turning right back onto the one-track road and discovering its end a few miles further on, we dawdled along the grassy curb-side to ogle the stunning golden beaches running into turquoise waters, lapping up the small islands scattered along the coast. Keeping a number of locations in mind we drove back to Mangersta sands with an afternoon stroll in mind; after the shortest walk of our lives - roughly 500m - to the beach we decided this was where we’d stay tonight. And in the tent no-less.

Such a short walk prompted a rather ridiculously giddy air; without a monster trek it allowed us to bring luxuries such as the Goal Zero to charge our phones and copious amounts of water for far too many hot chocolates: hello Glamping! Camping beachside allowed Theo to hunt for some prime burnable wood, and we sat around a camp fire bite-free whilst the mosquitos kept at bay.

Up early the next morning (well, 7:30am counts as early?), I sipped my coffee outdoors as Theo still slumbered, poking the ashes of the now defunct fire. Itching for something to do I strolled along the still quiet beach, peeking into rock pools, paddling in the shallows, admiring the sand formations, and slowly noticing the colossal amount of trash littering the shore. Camouflaged amongst the rocks it took me a good hour or so to forage an entire crateful of plastic, netting, rope, and toothbrushes which only made the smallest dent in the litter but was therapeutic nonetheless. Debris is no joke in the oceans, so every little helps in matters like these, especially in remote locations.

Theo is capable of sleeping in no matter what, so it came as no surprise to discover him still snoring soundly once I returned. The only way to rouse him was to remove the outer layer of the tent, taking photos of him until he emerged.

flickr

Eaglais an Fhiosaich by Impact Imagz
Via Flickr:
The remains of an old chapel built to serve those villagers of Ness who spent their summers out on the moor tending sheep and cattle.