Off-grid island campout

Going out out

Having taken so long to get electricity connected to the Small Mission Hall, it’s ironic that when the opportunity arises, I like to go for an off-grid campout.

I’ve learnt here that the weather can change quickly. That means you need to be prepared for all seasons at any one time. If it’s good, grab the opportunity to make the most of it whilst you can.

Love my Anthony Burrill Letterpress poster interior
Love my Anthony Burrill Letterpress poster interior

The bank holiday weather was looking good, so why waste it? Quickly grabbed some bits, filled up the tank and headed out for a mini road trip/break.

What plan

One of the great things about the Outer Hebrides is that there are plenty of amazing places to explore. I needed to clear my head a bit, so as is my way, nothing beats a bit of time by the sea.

Pit-stop at Calanais Standing Stones
Pit-stop at Calanais Standing Stones

I was making plans up on the go. I decided to pop into the famous Callanish Stones as I was passing by. Nice little cafe there, perfect for a pit stop en route and to think about where I wanted to go next…

Calanais Standing Stones
Calanais Standing Stones

It’s crazy to think that these amazing standing stones have been arranged like this for some 5,000+ years! Let alone the engineering skills required in getting them here and standing upright!

Sunnies weather

I don’t go anywhere without a decent pair of sunnies, yes, even in the Outer Hebrides! This year I’ve become a brand ambassador for Kyloe in the Wild. I like their ethos and products, otherwise I wouldn’t be repping them in the first place.

Great opportunity to test them out on a real-world road trip. None of this Instagram van life fluff here! Polarised lenses, lightweight/non-ship frames, funky colours and of course, eco-friendly frames too. Great for driving in. Pin-sharp optics and comfy to wear. A big thumbs up from me.

Road trip verified – my new Kyloe in the Wild sunglasses
Road trip verified – my new Kyloe in the Wild sunglasses

No catches, no affiliate links etc, but if anyone wants to grab a 15% discount on some, feel free to use my personal discount code of 2kool4skool at Kyloe in the Wild and grab yourself some for your summer adventures…

Awesome landscape

My destination for tonight was a small island that’s part of the Outer Hebridean archipelago called Bernera. No ferries this time, the island is accessible by a small bridge.

My kind of road trip view…
My kind of road trip view…

You don’t need to travel far in the Western Isles for a change of scene. The landscape here is very different from the moorlands of Ness. Far more rugged, remote and mountainous in this part of the island. If I had big deep pockets, it would be right up there in regards to an awesome location to build something special!

Jelly Bean house

Nearby to tonight’s stop over there is a reconstructed Iron Age house based on what has been called a ’Jelly Bean’ design.

The ruins were discovered during a winter storm in 1993 when a large part of the beach got washed away revealing the ancient stonework. Archaeologists confirmed that they were the well-preserved remains of a small Norse settlement of five houses dating back some 1,500 years!

’Jelly Bean’ Iron Age reconstructed house
’Jelly Bean’ Iron Age reconstructed house

Easy to see that back in the day, they understood the location and climatic conditions and built accordingly. The dwelling was built partly underground, with a big turf roof above. Plenty of protection from the elements. Many similarities to the traditional blackhouses like the ones at Gearrannan elsewhere on the Isle of Lewis.

Ding dong

I love this beach. It was where I saw my first ever Time and Tide Bell installation – a brilliant art project. I managed to get to see another one on my trip up last year at Morecambe Bay. That’s two down, another nine to go, plus I think there’s another couple under development as well.

Time and Tide Bell at Traigh Bhostadh (Bosta Beach)
Time and Tide Bell at Traigh Bhostadh (Bosta Beach)

Now I’ve seen the most northerly/remote one, maybe I need to do a road trip around the UK to try and see them all? Sounds like the beginnings of a plan right there!

The sun might have disappeared when I arrived, but I’d still rather be here than almost anywhere else.

Solar success

As is the way, the morning brought the sun back out to play. Not being one to miss an opportunity, I quickly set up my foldable solar panel before setting about the day. Always good to keep the leisure battery topped up.

off-grid campout solar power top up
off-grid campout solar power top-up

Nice to be up with the sun in the morning and have a stroll along the beach. I did do a shoes and socks off dip in the water, but it was shall we say, a tad too chilly for me! Hats off to any cold water swimmers out there. You are clearly made of sterner stuff than me!

Spoilt for choice

New day, new places to explore. I wanted to head further west to another spectacular location. On the island, you are genuinely spoilt for choice. There were some stunning locations en route – I need to be going back to check them out again. Just can’t do everything on this mini trip!

Spoilt for choice – beaches a plenty…
Spoilt for choice – beaches a plenty…

This early in the year is out of season (for some) so not everything was open. I’m fairly self-sufficient, so no big issue for me. Being in this kind of landscape simply recharges my batteries.

New day, new views – campout lifestyle
New day, new views – campout lifestyle

Beautiful beaches

Great to have another unblemished beach on the doorstep. I am not quite sure what it is that draws me to the sea. The panoramic views, the incredible cloudscapes, the crystal clear waves lapping upon the sand? Whatever it is, the therapy is good for my soul that’s for sure.

Reef beach panorama
Reef beach panorama

I know a lot of people love their clear blue skies but I’m a big fan of clouds. For me, a great cloudscape makes the view. Clear blue nothing is a bit boring in my eyes.

When I die, I want a job in the cloud design department!

Crystal clear water at Reef Beach
Crystal clear water at Reef Beach

Write time

Great to grab the opportunity and take some time out to just chill for a bit. Catch up with a bit of writing, take a few pictures and soak up a whole load of nothing.

Aircooled Adventures in the Outer Hebrides
Aircooled Adventures in the Outer Hebrides

Life often gets filled up with a bunch of stuff that consumes us. Good to ditch it all once in a while. Sometimes, that’s just what you need. Sometimes, that’s all you need!

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2 thoughts on “Off-grid island campout”

  1. Hi , you’ve pick the right place to get away from the stuff that consumes us .

    Love going to see the Calanis stones.
    Must make an effort the next time to see the others across on the next hill …..Callanis mk2 . Look out for them the next time you pass by.

    Keep meaning to stop by The mission Hall when I see the vans there. Always somewhere to be …….

    Reply

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