Slow Forward on the Hebrides (4)


What else is there to be experienced in Slow Forward mode on the Hebrides? Well, a lot!

Since our plan to organize a local sea kayaking trip from back home with one of the more famous operators was frustrated for lack of reply we did cross that off and forgot about it. But then we got a hint from a local which leads us to Bart van den Bosch from Harris Outdoor Adventure. Bart turns out to be a personified stroke of luck: he immediately understands what we do and don’t want and subsequently provides us two sea kayaking novices with an efficient yet relaxed introduction to the sport, including the most important paddling, rescuing and navigation techniques. All of that packed into a day-long tour to the islands in Harris Sound, where we are being closely accompanied by curious seals seemingly checking out whether we have any intention to compete for their territory. Which, of course, we don’t as we feel much more as tolerated visitors, humbled by their impressive presence.

The acquaintance with Bart leads us to other fine experiences: his girlfriend works in Temple Cafè, something of an exotic oasis in the culinary landscape of Scotland. For the first time in weeks we feel glad to eat a healthy meal in contrast to our usual diet of canned food or fish and chips.

Also Bart shows us on our map a beach where we may camp in our van in complete solitude, and also points out the most promising fishing grounds. Both prove to be true and consequently I can serve up a feisty grilled Pollock, 180 degree view of the sea and an almost kitschy sunset included.


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