Unclear instruction on the website about the timing of the start of the course meant that I had a day to kill today. Probably just as well as it might have been my only chance to check out Tarbert, the town/village where I am staying.

The cloud cleared and the rest of the day was sunny. A stiff breeze though, which was a prompt to be sure to put on layers under my jacket and to wear my scarf. I staggered up the hill with camera bag and tripod, good training for the rest of the week.

I stopped just after the cattle grid from where I had a superb view of Tarbert and of the Sound of Harris. Taking my time, (PS would have been pleased,) I set up camera on tripod with a polarising filter and took enough shots to put together a panorama. The new Harris gin distillery can be seen on the left side of this photo taken with the phone.

Packed up the bag and took a few photos of the Lewisian gneiss and granite exposed in the wall of the cutting . Fabulous folding and metamorphic foliation. I rather wish I was on a geology field trip.

Back down the hill to the Harris Tweed tourist shop to buy a few souvenirs. Sat in the sun on the seat outside for a bit then made my way to the neighbouring distillery. Oh my. They had a canteen that served wonderful hot soup, tea, coffee, and - wait for it - gin and tonic. I had soup, tea, and yes, a G&T. The base is the local sugar kelp along with several spices including juniper, cassia, liquorice and peppercorns. It's a very clean tasting drink that leaves the palate clear. They didn't stint with the gin either. It took me about 45 minutes to savour it.

Alas, I had to leave but almost as soon as I had, I bumped into Yvonne, who's also on the course. I told her about the distillery and that we could have a refreshing G&T. She didn't need persuading. We went back in.

Making our way back to the hotel around 4.30 pm, I invited her to have a sobering cup of tea. We chatted . Gin overcame me. I fell into bed and slept for an hour.

All six course participants were at dinner. The course leader, Paul Gallagher, arrived at 9 pm. I introduced myself but am now back in my pit to be ready for an 8 o clock start in the morning.

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