ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Saturday, 22 June 2013

PARADISE . (20/06/13)

I left the island of Lewis on Saturday. I drove south through North Harris to a town called Tarbert* and entered South Harris. If you look at the map below you won’t see that the boundaries between Lewis, the posh end, and North Harris. They are arbitrary. A wee isthmus divides the North Harris from South Harris.

When I arrived end of the highway into Tarbert with brakes smouldering I debated whether or not to fill up with diesel. It was raining so being idle and a bit nesh, I passed on the refuelling. Almost immediately the highway reverted to a cart track. A steep cart track! I was in South Harris.

Whatever the moral downside of having an empire may be; whatever  the idle, lazy, incompetent, soft, southern, fat governors are, they are very keen to have their empire mapped properly. Thank the Lord! I pulled up in the first convenient driveway to consult the Ordnance Survey Map. All was well I was on the only road.

The road got thinner as I took the C97 to my destination at Flodabay. The back wheels kept dropping off the blacktop on every sharp bend. I didn’t get out of second gear for five miles. I was feeling a bit frightened when I met a fish freezer truck bowling along towards me at sixty miles per hour. Frightened…I then became terrified…..I hit the passing place with all six wheels locked up and the dogs in a heap round my feet. The fish truck thundered by with a wave and a toot. After changing my trousers and cleaning up as best I could, I settled into the system and got to enjoy the road and scenery. There is a method here, if you spot a bigger vehicle pull over and quickly, if the oncoming conveyance is smaller then just keep going and blast past with a cheery wave and a tap on the horn Think Mr Toad and ‘Wind in the Willows’ Toot Toot!….

In the UK we have ‘A’ roads and ‘B’ roads and bridle ways. Here they have introduced the ‘C’ road a ‘C’ road is like a narrow ‘B’ road, it’s a tarmacked drovers track. They do the job I arrived at Flodabay.

This is a campsite and a very expensive one. It is well worth the money. It takes just four vans, has electric, water, forty acres of bare rock, lochs, bog, orchids and other plants like heather and moss. It has great views over the Minch, an Eagle, two Buzzard, Wheatear, Stonechat, Pipets and some birds I don’t know. The owner is a incommer from Chorley, I’m chest deep in Lancastrians up here. He has fenced the sheep out and is planting as fast as he can go. He is determined to restore his little corner of Harris to the state it was in before the Clearances. He’s been at it for ten years but these things take time. He has stopped land drainage so one can walk on sphagnum moss rafts, it’s absolute heaven though heavy going. I have this temptation to bounce on it. Not a good idea!……If one breaks through then ones welly is full. Even the dogs have learnt to tiptoe across it.

There is just one downside…A great big modern lodge owned by our ruling family. He’s planted Rhododendron in his garden. I only hope the big, daft , elephant eared bugger lives to regret it. His sister-in-law is staying there at the moment and had the cheek to moan because I’d left a light on. It is only dark here for a couple of hours. I didn’t do it on purpose your Highness I was awake and writing. I need light to enable me to place letters in the right order…..Kcuf Fof!. Daft old bat. Fancy Planting Rhododendrons.

image

image     This is a grand spot. I came for three days and stopped for seven. I’ve provisionally booked for January. I wish I could have stayed longer. No internet but I did have EE phone. I’ll get an EE dongle for my next visit.

_V0G6953      The view from the van.

_V0G6966     The view looking westish.

_V0G6968      When it gets it’s act together the light is just wonderful. No HDR required.

It’s as if the glaciers retreated a few years ago. Rock scraped bare……

_V0G6970      Rocks left balanced.

_MG_0744     A Four Spot Chaser. I did have one hot, windless half day. There were several of these patrolling their territory and occasionally falling out. They kept me amused whilst waiting for the illusive otter. For my part I did my bit for the midges by providing food for pregnant females. Irritating little devils they are.

_MG_0733    Here’s another view…..just in case it’s something else! I reckon I can see eight spots.

I’ll hunt some more snaps out for tomorrow and get catching up.

Have fun.

29 comments:

  1. That sure is a beautiful place you've landed in Adrian!...well worth all the effort, and danger, that you went through to get there!! I'm looking forward to see some more of your 'snaps'...I bet those Rhododendrons look very photogenic?...to be on the safe side though, you'd best curtsey and tug your forelock before you take a picture!

    I bet that old biddy gets really upset at all the 'foreigners' who turn up to invade her space, and then have the nerve to leave the lights on!

    Have fun, and remember...TURN THAT RUDDY LIGHT OUT!...[;o)

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    1. The Rhododendrons will end up being burnt out. They look good at Muncaster. They come with royalty.

      I've took pictures of tiny flowers. Even I know the Rodedrendom It's hard to spell and harder to get rid of.

      I'm organising a rave for the solstice next year. I'll invite them for a spliff and a chill.

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  2. That looks a great place to stay Adrian, i look foward to some more photos when you post them.

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    1. Peter, you have probably seen the best.

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  3. Seems an odd thing to moan about, leaving one's light on, what are they vampires or something? As for the Rhoddy's, burn it Adrian. I was a bit worried with the lack of posts I was begining to have visions of you stuck inside a massive wicker man:) Great images

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    1. Douglas, they are an odd lot. They came from Germany.
      Who was the totty in the Wicker Man? One of the best bits of cinema was that beauty bonking a wall.Edward Something was the bloke. She was super fit.

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    2. Edward Woodwood? I remember him from the "Equalizer",can't remember the young lady though....

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    3. Brit Ekland I think she was.

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  4. Four-spotted Chaser is my favourite, thanks Adrian.

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    1. Bob, they are eight spotted. I'll catch up.

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  5. Glad you enjoy your travels, Adrian. Wish I was there. Don't forget this old Canadian girl, eh :)Love, cat.

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  6. I thought only the Welsh drove like twats. Seems you got some up there.
    Lovely looking place.
    'scuse my ignorance, but what's EE?

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    1. It used to be T Mobile and Orange.
      It is a grand spot.

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  7. Hi Adrian great reading about your adventures and that place looks fantastic. I did wonder what had happened to you but then I knew you have trouble getting on the internet. Keep safe and on the right side of that lady!!! Margaret

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    1. Margaret, I really enjoy this place.

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  8. Fantastic landscapes and dragonfly photos. Not sure I understand what's wrong with rhododendron... Oh, just checked Wiki, some species apparently regarded as invasive in the UK... The ones we've got here I think usually stay where they were put!

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    1. Monica, they take over and end up being dug up chopped up and burnt. they still come back.

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  9. Your dragonflies and vistas continue to be so lovely! Good grab of light there in the mountains!

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    1. Maria, I was happy to find them.

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  10. Again , this reminds me of some parts of the Arctic. Northern Quebec is like this.Bare rock, moss, a few plants and some small willow and birch( 6 in. High).

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    1. Red, it is very temperate here.

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  11. The Islands would be covered with Rhododendron if it weren't for the sheep. They keep them down. Which is why the Islands in the middle of some lochs have them but why they were rarely seen elsewhere. Now there are few sheep the wretched plants will have a chance to get established. Once established, as you say, they are virtually indestructible.

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    1. Graham, they are one of the less desirable of Victorian achievements.
      It's a grand spot in spite of them though.

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  12. I always smile when I pass a road sign near here which points to Paradise. One thing I do know - it doesn't look anywhere as visually attractive as your views.

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    1. It's not a bad place at all John. It can be very bleak but I enjoy desolation.

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  13. I forgot to say is that the Chaser photos are really superb - but you know that anyway.

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    1. Graham, they are middling.
      They are territorial and land back where they start from. I bent the Cotton grass so as to get a head on shot and the little sod parked under the grass.
      I'm a bit depressed over it's intransigence.
      Big Bertha with a borrowed extension tube, the tripod, the gimbal head, a remote shutter release, a polariser for the first one, two tins of midge cream. Hey Ho! they are middling sharp not bad for the thick end of £2K not including the camera and time.
      I love playing and South Harris has little else to keep one amused.

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    2. PS. I meant £12K which is ridiculous for a snap of a fly.

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