Thursday, 10 March 2011

Hebrides Countdown...

A shot from 2008 for you this time - in fact, I had a feeling I'd posted this before, but can't find it now so perhaps not!

This is the road out to Huisinis on Harris - someone on Flickr describes this as "12 miles of some of the most challenging single-track roads in the UK!" and I can't really disagree. This road is my Mum's worst nightmare - with blind summits, hairpin bends and sheer drops with no warning whatsoever. It also presents the very real prospect of meeting a bus coming round one of the corners as the village at the end is served by a regular service. I'm a pretty confident driver, and coped with this one OK, however, the one and only road I have EVER encountered that I flatly refuse to drive ever again is also on Harris - known as the Golden Road due to the high cost of building it, it is a truly terrifying prospect with far fewer passing places than you usually expect of Hebridean roads.

There is a lot less single-track now than when we first visited back in 2002 - then the main road from Berneray to Eriskay was single track for almost its entire length. Now, they are gradually changing the whole lot to "normal" roads - which whilst more practical (particularly when you find yourself leaving Lochmaddy just as the ferry has come in!) are far less characterful. Here and there the old road remains, as a footpath, or parking place for peat-cutting locals and dog walkers. In places you can even still drive on it although as it's no longer being maintained this won't apply for much longer.


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