by Paul Gallagher Published 01/12/2009
The Lewissian Gneiss is the oldest rock at the surface of the earth and is displayed in its wonderful pink-banded nature at Uig Bay. Once again, Uig Bay is vast and is backed a wonderful mountain range and deserves time to explore and walk across the bay that can take up to five minutes when the tide is out and the white expanse is like a blank canvas. From Uig Bay there is a tiny single track road that leads south, far away from any sense of civilisation and down towards the Lewis west-coast cliffs.
En-route you pass Mangurstadh Bay below the road which is flanked by cliffs and outcrops. If you continue to the area surrounding Aird Feinis you can park your car and wonder over to the cliff tops to experience the Atlantic crashing at their feet. This area is fenced but is often breached in many places by visitors wanting a closer look. I too ventured beyond the fence line but it goes without saying that one wrong foot would prove to be fatal.
Further north on Lewis there is the wonderful bay of Reef which is not far from the aptly named hamlet of Cliff and from here the B8011 wends its way over the moonscape surrounding Loch Roag towards the ancient Callanish standing stones. The further north you travel on Lewis the more the landscape begins to resemble the Uists again and abandoned crofts become plentiful. The exquisite bays of Bal Beag and Dal Mor are a 'mustvisit' on your way up the west coast. At Barabhas my time ran out and my week was up. As I said in the outset there is quite simply too much to mention in one single article but one thing I will stress is that the Hebrides are well worth the effort and the initial journey to get there. Once on the islands, the pace of life is slow and you and the elements become one with the lovely hospitality of the Hebredian folk.
What the Clearances started, however, the First World War almost completed. A huge percentage of Scots were among the vast numbers killed, and this greatly affected the remaining population of Gaelic speakers in Scotland." Wikipedia
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