The chain of mountains that effectively acts as the border between Harris and Lewis reach their highest point at the summit of The Clisham, or An Cliseam. You can see a decent part of these remote uplands in the photo to the right, taken on our visit to Luskentyre Beach (The Clisham is the peak in partial shadow on the right). The summit of the mountain is relatively benign, but there are one or two steep drops nearby.
When driving north to explore Lewis ourselves, we took the chance to check out the base of The Clisham hill as it is bounded by the main road that links Tarbert with Stornoway. We discovered several orphaned sections of what appeared to be original sections of the earlier, single width road. The picture below shows where Martin stops on his own drive to the standing stones on the Monday, and the gentle slopes that he finds his way up when reconnoitring his ascent route for later in the week.
It's a remarkable drive to get to the stones from The Clisham, the terrain shifting from the drama of the South Lochs, through small roadside settlements, and finally navigating the long straight that pierces through a wide expanse of desolate and watery flatlands.
We reached the Callanish Stones Visitor Centre and, together, took advantage together of the displays, facilities and hospitality on offer (Trish would have been in her element here). We also introduced ourselves to the Centre manager, who was keen to hear of my plans for the book (that's what I chose to believe, anyway - who knows?).
We took the plunge (the weather had been mixed most of the morning), and explored not just the main site, but also those outlying structures that litter the countryside around. Being sober, we encountered none of the difficulties experienced by Martin.
NOTE: I couldn't resist including a picture of the Centre toilets, which play such a pivotal role in Martin's two visits here; also shown is the manager's office directly behind the main reception desk, in which Martin is 'interviewed'.