The Outer Hebrides is a chain of islands in the far Western corner of Scotland. Few people even know they exists and only recently did Guidebooks gave it a blurb on their pages. It is a chain of some 500 island which only 17 are inhabited by a very hardy people. Today it is easier to visit because of air, ferry and road links. The Western coastline has some of the world's loveliest shell sand beaches and one is almost alone in most of them. It is the Machair that drew me to the Outer Hebrides, these grasslands which in Summer gives this incredible display of wild flowers much like a colorful Persian carpet. Less people mean less land given up for cultivation and grazing, thus leaving wide tracts to be Machair.