Monday, 6 October 2014

Hebrides 30: Port of Ness

Given that the weather forecast promised one last fine day, we decided to head to the Butt of Lewis: the Northern-most tip of the island.  The light was beautiful in Lemreway before we set off, though, so I thought I'd make a panorama of the view from our front door.

The journey involved driving through Stornoway, across the Barvas Moor, and then through several tiny villages until - eventually - we reached Port of Ness (or Port Nis as it is in the Gaelic).  Incidentally, we were gradually getting the hang of deciphering the road signs, which in this part of the world are only in Gaelic.  Unfortunately, the maps we had with us (courtesy of Cambridge University Geography Department) were in English, dating from long before Scottish independence became such a hot topic.

While driving around Lewis, we occasionally encountered items which looked like Trolls' picnic tables.  These are enormous Stonehenge-like structures, to be found strategically positioned at road junctions.  Eventually we twigged that they were bus shelters, offering temporary respite from the Hebridean wind and rain, no matter which direction the weather was coming from!

Port of Ness is a small, sleepy town, just South of the Butt, and formed the basis for the fictitious town of Crobost in Peter May's Lewis trilogy.

Pleasant enough, but the bright, contrasty conditions weren't ideal for photography.  Based on my experiences at Luskentyre and Uig Sands, it seemed a good idea to see whether something similar would work on the sea and cliffs.  To me there's a beautiful simplicity in the abstract forms created by the camera movement, and the technique certainly does a good job of dealing with the extremes of contrast.  Each to their own, I suppose.

Apologies if you're bored stupid with me waving the camera around.  I promise you that this is the final set of the trip!

Having exhausted what Port of Ness had to offer, and failing to buy an ice cream from Schrodingers Cafe (which appeared to exist in a state of being both open and shut at the same time), we headed off for the lighthouse and seabird colonies at the Butt of Lewis itself.  Look out for the next inimitable instalment...