Off to South Uist with two others, whom I cannot name on the open WWW.
Upon departing Stornoway, I discovered I had left my GPS behind. Well, it’s not essential, but I won’t be able to get a reminder where I took my photographs. Never mind. Bus left Stornoway at 9.35, and covered the 37 miles to Tarbert in about an hour. There were roadworks south of Arivruaich, to do with the laying of fibre-optic cables. They were digging a trench by the roadside, which yielded a lot of rocks. Traffic was regulated by temporary traffic lights, which had an unusual effect on our bus. The driver stopped at Scaladale, to check his boot and to reset his electronics. The signal, controlling the lights, had served to open the boot, and stop the windscreen wipers! We arrived in Tarbert to change buses. The rain was falling steadily, and turned increasingly heavy as we proceeded south. Upon arrival at Leverburgh, traffic was backed up near the ferry, forcing the driver to ignore the one-way system. Walking the hundred yards to the ferry left us soaked. The crossing was reasonably lively, and some of the children on board said they felt queasy. When I went to the ticket office, I asked for a “foot passenger”, upon which the man in the office told he had no more foot passengers going spare. Ha ha. At Berneray, it was still raining, so we dived into the shelter on the pier. Several cyclists were sheltering there too, and they had an unpleasant surprise. The lunchtime departure, at 1.25pm, had been cancelled due to low tides, so they had to wait 4 hours for the next sailing. Meantime, they toddled off to the Lobster Pot restaurant in Berneray. Our bus arrived on time, and it only cost me £6.20 for the 50 miles to the bottom of South Uist. The rain lashed down all the way through North Uist, Benbecula and part of South Uist. I had trouble taking pictures of the journey due to the conditions, but still managed a sizeable collection. On passing the Kildonnan Centre, the driver spotted an unusual flag, which he did not recognise. I was able to tell him that that was the flag of the Hebrides, which had been adopted some years previous. Finally, the sun came out as we passed through the machair lands near Stoneybridge, and it remained reasonable. The bus very kindly took us to the door of the Polochar Inn, 5 miles south of Daliburgh, where we will be staying. It is located right on the south coast of South Uist, near a lovely beach and shoreline, looking out towards Barra and Eriskay. After dinner (nice steak), I toddled off for a short walk in the machair at South Smerclete, to what looks like an abandoned house called Tipperton. I proceeded to the beach, which is the start of the miles and miles of South Uist beaches. The sun set at 10.15 in a blaze of red.