Saturday, 27 May 2006

Silicon information

I did like this news item as a case of how IT can improve your trip to the beach in the Outer Hebrides. Here, wandering around the beach with a handheld PC makes use of GPS. Wander into a certain location on or around the beach, and you receive contextual information, Gaelic song and pictures connected with that location.


I have yet to make it to the beach in question, Traighe Mor. Accounts and pictures (Flickr have some cracking ones) from visitors and nearby residents point to it being one heck of a beach. Below is the Google earth satellite picture of the beach.


Why not visited yet? Because it is a heck of a long way from here. There is a common misunderstanding amongst many visitors that the Outer Hebrides are a few small islands that can be "done in a day". There are periodic accounts of people who turn up on a ferry and have allowed themselves 4 hours to "do" all of Lewis and Harris before the return ferry.

The Outer Hebrides rather longer: 130 miles between the inhabited ends, and a lot more if you add on some of the other islands. The land mass itself is over eight times that of the Isle of Wight. You can do it from end to end by car or public transport - just - in about 10 hours if you time it right (there are two stretches that require a ferry).

Some of the offshoots, such as round west Lewis or Cheesebay (yes, that is a real name) are dead end roads that go on for miles. I recommend at least 2 weeks to get a good idea of what it is like here; locals recommend 3 generations to get a good idea of what it is like to live here :-)

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