The view from my tent. When I could look out. The swarms of midges were pretty thick up there.


Adventures from Day one in the Outer Hebrides, 9 June, 2018

When embarking on an adventure never yet undertaken, always expect the unexpected.  My first day on the bike, starting from Stornaway, my goal was a 46 mile ride south to Horgabost campground on South Harris.  But the unexpected happened.  I underestimated the effect of the weight of my load (camping and traveling and photography gear), I underestimated the height and quantity of hills (mountains), and I greatly overestimated my ability to overcome the previous two.  That, perhaps was the biggest thing.

After reaching the top of the climb up Clisham, battling the midges the entire way, I was faced with a choice: Keep riding or stop for the night.  I went about 200 yards, then realized continuing would yield nothing better.  Everything food would be closed for the night and I still had another 20 miles of unknown hillage to get to my campground.  It was 8:30 p.m. and at my current pace I would get there sometime next week.

So I stopped.  There was an old road next to the road and off that I found a level spot relatively flat and free of sheep “gifts.” After flying the drone around a little (first and last successful flight as after that it was wind wind wind), I set up camp.  I was hoping to be able to take some long exposures of the evening sky but the midges found me quickly and from the time I pitched, there was a constant swarm hanging around waiting for me to emerge so they could commence their feasting. Emerging happened only when absolutely necessary.  My tent held them off like a boss.




A flock of locals waited outside my tent to greet me in the morning

The bike almost packed back up and ready to go for another day’s riding.