Stumbling my way through the mists of time. Or: It’s a wee wet, windy and wobbly walking among the ancients — black houses, brochs and standing stones of the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides

A pleasant scent - moist and earthy - signaled that peat was burning. A marker depicted an interior. Despite the homely scene - smiling occupants - I wasn't convinced that living in such circumstances was as lovely as it would have us believe.

Through wind and rain, over hills, valleys, shingle and sand: Tales of a walking holiday in the Outer Hebrides

Ripples of turquoise waves, edged with white froth, rolled onto a broad expanse of empty, white sand. Wisps of white clouds streaked a vivid blue sky. In the background, rolling hills lay in gray-green shadow. Long ago, it was this picture that first alerted me to the presence of the Outer Hebrides, islands of the north-west coast of Scotland.