Mealista is one tough island to get to. I first saw it from the slopes of Griomabhal, during a hike to the Ardveg. Its golden beach was shining in the sun, and I promised myself that someday I would visit the island.
That promise has not been kept - yet. Sitting off the remote west corner of Lewis, it is far from any port, so day trips are rare. The Islands Book trust occasionally organizes a trip from Huisinish, and I signed up for one last year. But the trip was called off due to stormy weather.
A second attempt was made last August, when I was on a cruise with Northern Lights. We set off from Scarp, hoping to spend a few hours on Mealasta. But the sea was too lumpy to safely land.
Mealasta was once inhabited, and one of the strangest island tales I've heard, the story of the Pairc Murders, involved men from the island. In the late 1700s, a ship carrying timber, manned by men from Mealasta, sheltered from a storm in Bagh Ciaraich (in the Pairc, on the east side of Lewis). The crew was murdered, and their cargo stolen. See this link for the complete story.
Here is a photo of Mealasta taken from the heights of Scarp. Some day I hope to try again to set foot on Mealista of the golden sands.
|Mealasta as seen from Scarp - its beach, on the shore facing Lewis, is not visible in the photo|