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Archive for November, 2012

November surf and turf

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I am now convinced that the tidings of horrendous weather that have become the standard reply to me raving about the Islands are designed to keep the picture perfect landscape here free from tourists. My last trip took me back to Tolsta beach where I have posted about on athomeinthehebrides previously. Once again I had the place to myself for most of the day.

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Tolsta is a great place to come as the car park is right on the beach and has facilities that makes sure the dunes and beach are kept pristine.

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When I arrived I bought a secondhand surfboard and I am still not convinced by it. That being said, as a beginner the majority of boards I have surfed on so far have been foam meaning that they are really easy to get up on and are less likely to hurt if you wipe out…which still happens a lot!

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I also brought my fins and snorkel so that I could have a look sub surface. During this time I managed to get a few of the waves and water…

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Despite the fact my wetsuit is only 3mm the water wasn’t unpleasantly cold and every time I go in up here I resolve to do it more often. Another source of inspiration to swim more in the open water comes from my friend Ella the Mermaid who is currently blogging about her preparation for her channel crossing which she is doing in aid of Cancer Research UK.…I’m not sure I could match her hours in the water but I’d sure like to swim in the sea up here a bit more regularly.

After drying off I headed out to the lighthouse at Arnish for a walk round the cliffs.

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The walk I go is fairly short (3 miles) but it usually takes me about 2 hours to do because I can’t help but stop to watch the waves crash on to the rocks or the different sea birds that inhabit the steep faces.

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While it is true the chain of Islands that make up the Outer Hebrides share some fairly obvious commons features, it is amazing the different character available on each. My latest trip took me out to Great Bernera which until 1953 was only accessible by boat.

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The paddle itself took in a calm sea loch and then some open but sheltered sea.

I couldn’t believe how clear the water was and how full of life the bottom was. Perhaps my favourite part of the trip was seeing the tiny orange star fish that lined the bank of the sea loch.

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During our time in the sea loch we also saw otters and a Slavonian Grebe.

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Mike managed to get a little bit of film footage of the trip…

Conditions changed slightly in the open water and as the sun came down the paddling was simply magical!

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