Day 4 - Barra, Vatersay and South Uist

Posted by: Rob on 26/05/2023
Cloud then sun


36.06 mi
12.07 mi
26/05/2023 08:31 BST
9.48 mph
29.77 mph
7752.88 Btu
0.10 hp
Elevation Gain
Elevation Gain:
2667.32 ft
2621.39 ft
Elevation Range
Elevation Range:
355.64 ft
0.66 ft
72 °F
54 °F
190.88 mi
101.34 mi
399.65 mi
190.88 mi
101.34 mi
399.65 mi

Island Hoping!

I didn't get to sleep until quite late last night as I wasn't particularly tired - probably because I'd spent most of yesterday sitting on a ferry! Subsequently, I didn't get up until about 7. There was a ferry to Barra at 10:15 so I had plenty of time.

The weather was not so great now! Cold and overcast with a fine rain. This was forecast though and soon started to clear. Although not until after I'd packed up!

I set off into the murk. It was only about 5 miles to the ferry, but I stopped quite a few times to take pictures so I wasn't too early.

By the time the ferry set off the sun was trying to come out. The passenger seating area was outside. It would be grim in the rain! There was a small area to take shelter below, but I didn't realise that until I got off!

Once off the ferry I looked for a food source. I'd only had a cereal bar and a Tunnock's Tea Cake for breakfast and that will only get you so far! After a couple of miles I found a nice café, so got a coffee and a cheese and ham toasty.

Setting off again, I was tackling Barra on the east side first so I didn't repeat anything - the official Hebridean Way route uses the west side, but I'd do that on the way back.

The main town is Castlebay which seemed to take forever to get to despite only being about 8 miles. It was very up and down with some good views although I suspected the views on the west side would be better.

Once I arrived at the town I realised how it got it's name. There is a castle in the middle of the bay!

Next up it was onwards to Vatersay and the official start of the Hebridean Way. A pretty small road with a couple of hefty climbs.

The highlight of this section was the wreckage of the Catalina which is a plane that crashed in 1944. It's incredible that it's still there after all this time. You can go right up and touch it. Just bits of it lying on the hillside.

After that, it was just a short ride to the start sign. I was a little concerned about time, what with having to get a not very frequent ferry, so I took a pic and turned right around.

I then picked up the road on the western side of Barra. This was less hilly and there were lots of sandy beaches.

I got back to the ferry in good time but the café was closed for some unexplained reason. There was a vending machine though, so I got a drink at least.

The ferry back to Eriskay was much more pleasant as it was really sunny by now. Although as soon as I got off it clouded over.

I stopped off at a little shop and got some supplies. The Proclaimers were on the radio! I got some "Glasgow Rolls" to go with whatever I decided to cook. (I've just eaten them. They're just bread rolls like any other!) as well as water, snacks etc.

Done with ferries for the day, I had a decision to make - go to the same site I stayed at last night, or go to another place a few miles further on. All this doubling back on myself is all down to the available ferries getting over here in the first place. In the end I decided to go with what I knew and went back to the same place. At least I knew it was good - I'd be gutted if I got to the other place and it was rubbish!

Anyway, I've just had a chilli con carne thing with my Glasgow rolls. Dessert is a Tunnock's Tea Cake and a Tunnock's Caramel Wafer. Weather is clearing up again. But that doesn't mean much - it changes by the minute here!

I may well be off grid tomorrow, so if I don't post anything, it means no WiFi or phone signal!

The bottom half of the internet

Currently 1 comment

If you want to post a comment you're gunna need to Login

Register if you don't have an account. It will take seconds! No email required!

Karen on 26/05/2023 21:23:34
It looks really beautiful, although weather looking a bit more Scottish now. Tunnocks for breakfast is hardcore! The plane site looks really interesting and incredible that it is still there.