Monday 26/12/05 - Boxing Day
Brilliantly sunny morning, with the sun rising in a blaze of orange at 9.15. The mainland hills and Skye are visible over Arnish. Breakfast taken late, at around 10.30. We decide to head out to Ness, and we duly head down the A857 at 12.30. We're packed up with hot water, teabags, Lucozade and pastries. There is some traffic on the Barvas road, but as we near the village, the way ahead is blocked. Fire engines and an ambulance are parked on both carriageways. A car is sitting in the moorland beside the road, and after a while, firemen drape a tarpaulin over it. This indicates a fatality. (The BBC later reports on this accident - click here). The car is turned back, and we head for Carloway via the Pentland Road. A shortcut is taken from Laxdale to Marybank. Once there, the level of traffic is up on normal. Word will have gone round about the blocked road. Fantastic views in between drivers who don't pay attention to traffic. One of them fails to pull into a passing place, which forces us to back up a long distance. Great views over to the hills of Harris and Uig. At Carloway, we turn right to go to Dalmore beach. A slightly chilly snack on a picnic bench. Some hardy souls are out windsurfing. When they leave the water, they say they're actually sweating. The door to the gents' toilet cannot be locked. I hold the door whilst completing business, but when another gent goes in, the inevitable happens. A lady pulls up with a bucket and cleaning things, and opens the door. Oh oh. We drive nextdoors to Dalbeg to enjoy the beach and the surf, which spectacularly crashes in. The sun sets in a blaze of colour, which is even better on the way back to Carloway. Someone smashed into the busshelter at Dalbeg, which is a concrete edifice, and knocked one of the four wings off. We call into Callanish at 3.50 pm to watch the dusk creeping in over the ancient monument. The visitor centre is closed. In the winter, it only opens on Wednesdays through to Saturdays. At the stones, someone is pontificating to a group of Russian visitors. We return to Stornoway in the gathering gloom. A few fools decide to drive right on our tail, keeping no distance worthy of the mention. Signs at Garynahine and Leurbost advise drivers that the Barvas Moor road is closed. Boxing Day dinner consists of pasta, boscaiola, olives, bread, sundried tomatoes, peppers and much more. Very filling. Had fizzy red win alongside. Manage to draw out supper until 11pm, with tales of people of our acquaintance. Close the evening with coffee and chocolate licqueurs. Bed at 1.30 a.m.. Again.