Deers, cows, and Harris Tweed

We were back on the road again, being driven around our friend in Lewis and Harris.

Two items were on the agenda for the day: a shopping trip to Tarbert (where we had landed a couple of days ago) and a hike.

We first went to a shop selling Harris Tweed, which the island is famous for. Harris Tweed is a type of tweed fabric that is handwoven by the islanders, following traditional methods. The material is known for its durability, warmth, and distinctive patterns. The fabric had been woven for hundreds of years before its marketing potential was recognised in about 1850. To qualify as Harris Tweed, the fabric must adhere to specific production standards and be woven with pure virgin wool.

We also popped into the Isle of Harris Distillery. We knew we couldn’t do a tour but looked at their whisky collection. They had recently released eight batches of their Hearach single malt whisky. It was the talk of the town. People discussed which batch(es) they had bought. Each bottle was £65. Knowing nothing about whisky, I couldn’t tell if this was typical or not. I didn’t attempt to taste the whisky: it would have been wasted on me and probably knocked me out!

After some of the group tasted and bought some whisky, we drove to Tràigh Hushinish beach, near which our afternoon walk was to begin.

The walk was about 8km. We saw some wonderful scenery. It started well when we met some fluffy Highlands cows, who seem to be admiring the view.

The wildlife theme continued when we spotted some distant deer on the hills. The deer look close to us but were far away. I had my old compact camera, which has 30x zoom on it and was able to take these photos. They avoided us during the walk but we could regularly hear the stags (it was rutting season).

We had a brief moment of excitement at our lunch stop when we saw the elusive eagle flying in the distance. Again, with some rapid focusing, I was able to capture its majestic flight.

During the walk, we were lucky (again) to have good weather. The views were stunning and if we didn’t know where we were, we might have thought we were on a tropical island!

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