Monday, 9 October 2017

A Hebridean Holiday Day 4: In Which Eavel Goes Straight Into My Top Ten Walks of All Time. . .

On our fourth day, we headed to North Uist, first taking the ferry to Berneray (which is connected to Uist by a causeway).  The water was like glass.

We could see our afternoon walk in the distance - Eavel, the highest hill on Uist. It's the triangular one almost dead center in the photo below.

Here's a close-up from the start of the walk.  I call it a walk, but it was more like a march as we were pressed for time, having only about four hours to complete it.

The first obstacle was getting across the stepping stones. Our guide tested it out first and thankfully held my hand at several slippery moments.

At one point I thought I'd confused mountains because I couldn't see how we'd get to the bottom slopes with so much water surrounding it.  But no - that is Eavel and the only way to climb it, is to go around the edges of this lake.  At a march.

Getting closer. . .

And now we're on the climb proper, looking back at the edges of the water we needed to travel around.

It was clear early on, that this was going to be a spectacular climb.  Every moment I stopped to catch my breath and looked around me, I gasped at the beauty.  This is looking east towards the Minch.

And here are the magnificent views from the top. I can't capture it in the photos (and the wind was blowing something fierce at the top - I could barely hold my phone steady) but towards the west we could clearly see the outline of St Kilda and we had great views of Skye to the east. Plus the incredible watery landscape just below us.  It was incredible - I've never seen anything like it.

But all too soon, we needed to head back.

And one last look back as we neared the end at about 5pm.  Despite the speed we had to hike, I absolutely loved this walk. Eavel is definitely not the most challenging of hills (it's only 347m) but I have never seen a 360 degree view like it. This was without a doubt my favourite walk of the holiday. Everyone else picked the heights of Clisham, but for me the views are everything.  I only wish we could have stayed at the top longer.


Anonymous said...

My mouth fell wide open, (add a gasp) looking at the photo of the water crossing on wet rocks! The colours throughout your hike are stunning/subtle and yet they have such depth...just beautiful!

Curiously, what is the stone disk with holes and that metal piece in the middle at the top of one hill...very intriguing.

Blithe Spirit said...

Yes, that was the scary bit of the walk - the water was flowing quite swiftly and a few of the rocks quite slippery. It's not that you worry about falling into the water which isn't too deep, but twisting an ankle or otherwise bruising/hurting yourself as you fall. We had to traverse those stones on the way back too - I had to pay extra attention as I knew I was tired. Made it all the way over, then tripped in the shallows, just one foot away from the bank. Didn't hurt myself, just got wet knees!

The stone disk is the top of a trig point, marking the top of the mountain.