Saturday, 15 September 2012

Sat 15th: Barra to Benbecula

A fairly relaxed start as we only had to make the ferry at 11:10 and it was only 5 miles or so to the terminal. The scenery around the west side of Barra was lovely- golden beaches to our left and big hills to our right. We even made it round to the airport before getting on the ferry - apparently the only one in the UK where the planes land on sand. To be honest it did just look like a big sandy bay, and we couldn't hang around to wait for the planes.

Once on the ferry we had great views of the gannets fishing - some impressive diving! But no signs of any otters...

On South Uist the scenery wasn't particularly inspiring, just views of rolling dunes and fields with hills to the far distant east. Eventually rising out of the horizon we spotted the church Our Lady of the Sorrows at Gearraidh na Monadh - I had to take a photo it was so ugly!

The ugliest church in Scotland
In Dalabrog we stopped off for lunch at the hotel- according to the guidebook it's bustling, but there was no-one there when we were! And then it was just keep plodding up the road.

Chapel at Howmore
Howmore Hostel
We had a few diversions and stops on the way. First to visit the supposed birthplace of Flora MacDonald (she of Bonnie Prince Charlie fame) - not much there really - a plaque, a plinth and some random bits of stone...

Did a loop diversion off the main road just for a bit of change an came across a strange derelict building - a large but ugly manor house we later checked the guidebook to find was destroyed by fire the day it was completed. Back on the main road a off again to check out the ruined chapels and graveyard at Howmore - along with our first sight of thatched cottages held down by rope and stones!

The wind was getting steadily stronger during the day, but in the right direction if we stayed on the main road. Then as we turned off for the last diversion we hit the wall of air. It might have only been a few miles but it took ages. Fortunately the cafe was still open when we got to the Hebridean Jewellery workshop! Great coffee and cake, and I managed to avoid spending lots of money on very nice jewellery...

I made a bit of a faux par on the route planning - I told Mal it was about 30 miles today.... Well with the diversions it was more like 50! Whoops! If I get it that wrong every day, we're going to be knackered by the end of it!!

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