Posted by: brendaintheboro | June 16, 2013

Scottish summer adventure day 10

South Uist to Barra
We were the first up at the hostel this morning. We had a comfortable night in our room. There were 7 cyclists and 2 hikers in this little old fashioned hostel.

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It was converted from an old black house, based on the Viking houses of a thousand years ago. Can you see the stone holding down the roof thatch. The walls were about 3.5 feet thick and solid so keep out the rain and resist the strong winds.

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So we got away from Howmore just before 8.00 am and during the night there as a storm, which seemes to result in the wind changing around completely. So joy, the wind was mostly on our backs.
We got back to the main road and were really speeding along so in less than an hour , we were at the Co-op on South Uist and just after we turned off for the ferry to Eriskay which is reached by a long causeway.
The fairly flat South Uist, gives way to a much more rugged Eriskay. I had been dreading the hill from the causeway butit wasn’t too bad although I did walk a bit of it..

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We were just in time to catch the ferry whixh was stood at the landing stage and the bus waved us through so we got on. A Dutch couple talked to us all the way over on the 30 minutes crossing.
It was time for 2 nd breakfast and we sat in the ferry waiting room, out of the wind. There was a beautiful sculpture of otters outside.

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Apparently,otters can often be seen here in real life.
We had no idea where we would stay and a couple of other cyclists recommended going to Vatersay as the community centre is open with water and toilets for free camping. However , we passed Croft 183, which Jon at the cycletourer website  said they had used in 2011. We decided to have a quick look and boy, are we glad we did. It’s wonderful.

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Here s the combined shower toilet block. BUT THERE’S MORE.
A great kitchen with fridge, microwave, inductiom hob amd  pans to use on it. No need to sit outside your tent cooking. There is also a dining area and a TV. The owners could not be more w.welcoming.
After we got pitched, the weather picked up a lot so we set off fr Castlebay _ the only real village on the island. We went to the Co-op and also to a local produce evemt at the school and we also had a squash and home made cakes. We completd the  circuit of Barra which is  all of 14 miles around.
I used the kitchen to cook chicken in sweet thai chilli sauce and noodles followed by cake and custard.
Best of all, the site owner has offered us a lift to the ferry tomorrow morning as he has to go there anyway. It will save us a big climb. Great. Oh, forgot to say, there’s a washer amd drier  just leave a donation fo use.

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