This is what I love about the area of the West Coast of Scotland, you never know just what you will see but it is without a doubt going to be amazing.
This created an extremely eerie atmosphere and as I walked along the sand alone I had the fright of my life when a shape suddenly came out of the mist. Fortunately it was not a sea goblin but in fact a cow, meandering around by the sea. As darkness arrived I made my way back to the tent for some sleep.
Just after midday I across to Barra and drove around the whole of the Island, stopping off at various spots to take in the scenery of the golden beaches on the east coast, the sea life and the standing stones. Making my way up one of the highest peaks Ben Tangabhal (332m) on the Island in the heat of the sunshine I found a spot and taking in the views of the whole of the island, looking down to Halaman bay.
As evening approached I headed back down the West coast to Cleit where I spotted another perfect pitch for the night in the sand dunes by another amazing beach. I hadn’t seen anyone around so I literally had the beach to myself – or so I thought. Once the tent was up I cooked dinner and sat looking out to sea whilst I ate only to notice something bobbing not too far out in the water.
In closer inspection I realised it was a seal, who seemed to be bobbing in the sea looking right at me. I headed closer to the shore to get a better look and there he was just looking over to me. I made my way onto a rocky outcrop in the sea and sat there a while watching as the seal watched me. He seemed as intrigued with me as I was with him and after a while slowly closer and closer. Next thing I knew there was another seal head bobbing up and down in the water, and then there was the three of us – just looking at each other yet at ease in each other’s company – them bobbing in the sae and me on sat on the rocks near the shore.
This was an amazing experience in itself as I felt really comforted by the presence of these creatures in an otherwise lonesome place. My exploration around the boulders brought its own incredible experience as I found that by going through a small, low tunnel in the boulder it brought you out into small, beautiful bay – completely hidden from view and had the most magical atmosphere. I sat here for a while pondering, whilst taking in the atmosphere and looking out to the seals who were still bobbing about looking at me. As the light faded so the mist returned so I made my way back over the beach giving a final wave to the seals as I headed to my tent, feeling so lucky that I was in this amazing place.
For a small island Barra has so much beauty and features some of the best beaches and coastlines I have ever seen, add to this the abundance of sea life and birds it really is a special place. Next time I'm leaving the car on the mainland and take the plane in!