Isle of Harris: Tarbert, Tweed, and a Stroll (Day 17)

We woke at our beautiful beachside campsite a bit after 8am, and it was sweltering! The sun had come out strong and early. We had a breakfast of “pancakes” from a mix (more like French crepes, really), which was a major hit with the kids. Eventually we made our way down the road to Tarbert, which is actually where we arrived on the ferry a few days previous. The drive was very beautiful and we arrived around 2pm. We had a long shop in The Harris Tweed Company’s shop and tweed stores. Not only was it a great shop, with lovely products, but we also watched an excellent video there about the weaving of tweed and the harvesting of peat.

MAS 2012 06 18 IMG 1933 MAS 2012 06 18 IMG 1935 MAS 2012 06 18 IMG 1938 MAS 2012 06 18 IMG 1950

We purchased a few gifts, some lengths of tweed, and an amazing handbag for me (my birthday present). I covet the shoes, and wanted to buy yards and yards of fabric.

MAS 2012 06 18 IMG 1954 MAS 2012 06 18 IMG 1957 MAS 2012 06 18 IMG 1959

After our shopping, we found the post office and shipped a big box full of stuff we’d collected (at great expense!!!).

We drove on and found a tiny campsite called Minch View a little way south of Tarbert. It was almost completely full, so we got a special spot away from the other campers with no electric hookup. We didn’t mind about the electric as we felt we had the better spot. The campsite is on the “Golden Road”, so-called because it was so expensive to build. It is on the southeastern coast of Harris, which is rugged and dramatic, with lots of rocky terrain and little lakes and inlets. This is in sharp contrast to the west coast, which is full of large, open bays with bright white sandy beaches that go on and on.  (Kubrik used tinted aerial shots of this region as the surface of Jupiter in “2001: A Space Odyssey”.)

MAS 2012 06 18 IMG 1979 MAS 2012 06 18 IMG 1991

After getting settled in at our campsite and having a lovely dinner in the sunshine, we took a stroll down the road. We saw someone fly fishing in the little lake across the road, and then we met a local who was out enjoying the evening weather with her two black labs. She was trying to corral them, but the dogs wanted to keep us company so she gave in and came out to join them, and us. She let the kids watch the dogs retrieve a toy from the lake across the street from her house, and the kids thought it was pretty fun. After chatting a bit and meeting the cat as well, we strolled home and to bed. It was a very memorable evening – a perfect mingling of quiet, beautiful scenery, fresh dry air, perfect temperatures, and warm sunshine that you just want to savor.

MAS 2012 06 18 IMG 1999 MAS 2012 06 18 IMG 2006

Tomorrow is our last full day on Harris. We’ve booked passage to North Uist for the day after….so we have a lot to see tomorrow!

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