Harris, day three
I discovered the panorama feature on my camera! The beautiful beach in the first shot is Tràigh Iar (where we went on our first afternoon). After we'd mooched about photographing Luskentyre beach (middle photo), we drove right round the estuary to the other side (third photo), past Seilebost where the tide had come in, and stopped for coffee at a brand new community enterprise centre, Talla na Mara, from where the top photo was taken. The centre is an exciting concept, designed to provide facilities for local residents, visitors and businesses. There is a restaurant, exhibition space, creative arts workshops and office space.
On the same site there were six new residential buildings, which appeared to have charging points for electric vehicles. I was a little surprised at that but perhaps I shouldn't be. Electricity is probably easier to access than vehicle fuel on Harris and the distances you'd need to drive are not huge on a small island. A lot of the older properties on Harris are functional, pebble-dashed bungalows, as well as many empty, derelict crofts. From what I can gather, the population plummeted by 50% since the 1950s and by 2007 35% of properties were holiday homes. It seems that there has been some fresh thinking and investment in the last ten years, resulting in an increase of 20% in the population of West Harris, and some very modern and innovative residential building projects. (See HERE for some examples, from the Skye-based design team that built the community centre).
And then there was another sunset, enjoyed from the dunes overlooking Seilebost: