Coastline walker Chris Lewis experienced a real Harris welcome as he approached Tarbert yesterday (Thursday January 10th) with people from across the island gathering to offer him help on his marathon walk.
Chris, a former paratrooper, is walking the entire coastline of the UK to raise funds for SSAFA, the armed forces charity. After being in Stornoway for the Iolaire commemorations over New Year, he set out to tackle the hills from Uig to Huisinis.
On Wednesday he faced one of his most testing days of walking, as he reported on social media: “I was already tired out before walking yesterday. We stayed by the coast, avoiding the easier route through the mountains, and boy did it make us work for it! Every peak we climbed I looked down and there was another and bigger than the last! We managed to make our last climb only 20 minutes before sunset.”
After seeing ‘nothing but wilderness and daunting landscape for days’ Chris was delighted to be picked up by local resident Terry, who had driven out specifically to find him and offer help.
Chris continues: “We were ushered to Harris Distillery where we had a lovely welcome from all the staff – coffee on the house and a place to sit and dry off while my clothes got washed. Alexander who works there bent over backwards to find us a place to stay the night and recharge.
“The Hotel Hebrides In Tarbert offered us a room for the night with food. I am so grateful. The local snack bar gave us free fish and chips and offered food in the evening as well as coming to find me to tell me the Bunkhouse had offered us a night free of charge, even though it’s not open.
“I am blown away by all your kindness folks I really am! No dogs are allowed in the hotel, yet they let Jet in and allowed her in to the bar last night where I had a few pints and met the locals. I could not have asked for a better day. People are epic.”
You can support Chris on his walk by following him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chriswalksuk/ and by donating to his cause at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chriswalks
Pictures show Jet during the walk from Uig to Huisinis and Chris with Tarbert supporters yesterday (Chris Lewis).
Jet and Chris warming up at the distillery’s peat fire (Isle of Harris Distillers Ltd).