On Saturday we missed the best weather window so far, however for the evening we wanted to attend a concert of traditional music by students from Lews Castle College, ad sometimes paddling has to give to culture. Anyway, the window of opportunity lasted about three hours, so not much was missed. The concert was fine and it had a raffle. Sadly we missed on all prizes containing wine whatever quality, yet we won as well.
We won a tea light holder which could be placed in an empty bottle of wine and was made from glass. Something very practical when one travels by kayak. It now lives in the bow of my boat and awaits a very special occasion when it would be lit.
The next day it was time to move again. I am not going to bore you with the description of the weather. It suffice to say, that when it became so huge, that when we reached the sound between the island of Killegray and Ensay on route to Toe Head on Harris, we turned down wind. After some significant surfing trying to avoid all breaking waves over the shallows, we finally reached the calmness between the islands. We were in sound of Harris and while Killegray still looked pretty much like it belonged to Berneray and North Uist, all dunes and beaches; Ensay was quite rocky similar to what we saw on Harris.
We thought we would stay on Ensay and enjoy some remote island camping. We reached a beautiful sandy bay to land, which was dominated by a grand house. We went to explore but soon decided that we did not like the place. What seemed romantic and beautiful at first, was turning into spooky. The house seemed old, build in the beginning of nineteen century. It had stairs leading to its spectacular doorway from the beach. Closer look convinced us, that we wanted to leave and seek camp elsewhere. Looking through the windows we could see once grand rooms, with chandeliers, armchairs, sofas and tables. One room had grand but very old piano covered in dust, both rooms had libraries full of books which looked that they were read, still nothing looked used for long time.
Later we found that the island was last inhabited by the 1930s. There was a chapel close by, locked, and apparently used biannually, which didn’t add to our feeling of welcome.
We decided to leave and paddle over to Harris. Trying to avoid Levenburg we ended in a very small bay close to half built house surrounded by sheep. Obviously they must have been missing their humans, they seemed to be very pleased to see us first. They were following us round, bebeing and memeing, coming right close. At some point, once we cleared our tent patch from all the golfballs and pitched it, they entered almost inside. Going to pee seemed to be impossible as one became surrounded by desperately sounding animals. Once we retreated inside, it did not stopped. Lying in the tent we could still hear it: thump thump on the canvas, and I imagined the sheep pulling their sleeves up and trying to build some kind of poogloo around us. Sweet dreams.