Day 11 September 14th - Visit toTimsgarry

Trip Start Sep 03, 2007
Trip End Sep 24, 2007

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Friday, October 5, 2007

This day started of with brilliant sunshine a welcome relief after yesterday.

In the morning we travelled to Stornoway once again and met with Callum Ferguson author of the book entitled "Childern of the Blackhouse".  Our visit with Callum was very interesting as he talked about his experiences as a writer and about his connections to Canada (childern living in Truro, Nova Scotia and Alberta - he was leaving the next day for Nova Scotria).

We then travelled the 35 miles to a place on the west side of the Isle of Lewis called Timsgarry from where it is believed Rannies maternal ancestors the MacIver's and MacAulays originated from almost 200 years ago.  The countryside leading to Timsgarry was varied and rolling with most of the road being suitable for two way traffic - some portions of the road were obviously new and improved!

As we neared Timsgarry we passed through Gleann Bhaltois where the mountains towered above us on either side and a stream ran quietly beside the road - what must this have been like when our ancestors lived here.  then suddenly we were out int the open with rolling hills and a magnificent seashore before us - this was Timsgarry. 

Timsgarry is only a few homes gathered together on a hilside with numerous other homes scattered across the hills and valleys.  There was the Heritage Center and a Primary School.  In the Heritage Center we met a Mrs. MacKay who told us about the displays and how things had changed in this community over the years.  She appeared sad as she told us "aren't you glad your ancestors left".  She then went on to tell us about the big homes on the hillsides and how these belonged to "people from away" and how these people were so different and that it was not easy to talk to them.  She continued to tell us about the 21 childern who attended the school next door and how at age 12 they would have to go by bus to Secondary School in storonoway and that they would not return after going on to University - it was a story that makes one really think about this place and the beauty and what it once was and how it is changing rapisly.

After that we travelled on a bit further to an old abandoned Church and a grave yard where perhaps some ancestors lay buried overlooking the magnificent beach.

On the way back we took a side trip to Niosa Mhor where again saw magnificent sandy beaches and some lovely country.  Late in the afternoon we had a late lunch / early dinner at a tea  house in Cairisiader - perhaps one of the best meals on the whole trip not fancy but very nice and the people were very friendly.

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