It’s been a week since I posted the previous instalment of our trip to the Hebrides. Given that we’ve all probably lost the plot somewhat, I thought I should do a quick summary of what has gone before.
(islands marked in bold italics)
Day 1 Saturday
Travelled up to Skye to catch the ferry to Tarbert – drove in the dark to our B&B at
Galson on NW Lewis.
Day 2 Sunday
Walked around headland at Butt of Lewis – packed lunch at Port Nis – Steinacleit
stones – machar and storm beach near Barabhas – dinner at the B&B.
Day 3 Monday
Black House – Norse Mill – Black House Village – Beach at Uig Bay – struggle to find somewhere open to eat – eventually dinner in the pub.
Day 4 Tuesday
Escaping cows. Drive down to Leverburgh on Harris – Butty Bus – Ferry to Berneray – Beach on Berneray – drive over causeway to our hotel – Langass Lodge on North Uist.
(islands marked in bold italics)
That brings us, somewhat hastily, up to date – time to move on. In this post I think I should talk a wee bit about our new accommodation as we’ll be here for the next 2 nights.
I took us less than an hour from the beach on Berneray to Langass Lodge, a drive taking us over the characteristic “cnoc and lochan” landscape of North Uist.
One member of staff didn’t make a good impression upon our arrival. The woman who showed us upstairs discovered that she was unable to open fully the door to our room. She then dismissed the potentially dangerous, and now seriously defective, dampener on the top of the offending lump of wood with a vague statement to the effect that she thought that it had been fixed. A bit of fiddling with the levers at the top of the door allowed it to open fully. She left us to unpack…and subsequently to do battle with the door.
Given that this person appeared to be management and had obviously prior knowledge of the fault, I naturally assumed she would be sending someone to fix it, or at least make it safe, either tonight or tomorrow. No one appeared. I could have jogged her memory, but had the suspicion from her reaction to the door problem that she considered the guests requirements of little import…and I was now curious to see how long it would take her organise its repair. As a result I just about wrecked the bloody thing a couple of times during our stay, my memory being fairly appalling. Luckily we avoided staved hands and face-in-door bruises.
You will come across this particular lady once more – on our departure
The old part of the hotel was a homage to the extermination of wildlife, sorry “country pursuits”. Paintings, drawings and the odd stuffed trophy littered the walls of this dark panelled old estate house. In fairness it advertises stalking facilities on its website but I hadn’t been paying much attention when we booked. It took Maisie which was the most important thing…and it had a restaurant. Given our experiences trying to find food in the islands I was prepared to dance with the devil himself to have the guarantee of a meal…that wasn’t flapjack.
We did enjoy the food, served in the modern lounge extension with a tired FD curled up on the floor at our feet. I recall the fresh haddock in batter with affection…and by this time near starvation. Our bar meals were served with a huge basket of real chips…a plus point on any menu. As we munched our way through dinner J wrote down the notes for the past couple of days while The Fatdog good-naturedly harassed nearby diners and passing serving staff.
Our room, in the old part of the hotel, was very well equipped but a bit on the small side, with the wardrobe door creating havoc to movement when open…but we got by. J reckoned their new executive rooms were a lot bigger…but a corporate meet-and-greet bunch had occupied those. Unfortunately said group detracted somewhat from the peaceful atmosphere in the lounge, but overall I couldn’t say it bothered us. Well it didn’t bother us then – but it did me at around 1am when the drunk and loud lingerers in the bar below were still keeping me awake. Once they had all departed I eventually drifted off only to be woken by some wannabe deer executioner who ran a noisy shower before 6am. I was tired by breakfast time…and, after a few days of irregular snacks and meals, my stomach was beginning to rebel.
The following morning, as FD and I plodded our way across the gravel car park to serve up her breakfast, a group of serious faced meeters-and-greeters were to be found huddling around the open tailgate of a muddy landrover. Guns were being explained to the trainee psychopaths; affirmative grunts and nervous laughter accompanying the instruction process. As I dished out the Pedigree Chum, The Fatdog checked out our hidden stash of Kalishnikovs, destined for the Red Deer Liberation Army.