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Cycling the Western Isles, Sept 2016

 

 

Western Isles trip Sept 2016

Waiting for Ferry at Arisaig

Waiting for Ferry at Arisaig

Drying out after a wet camp

Drying out after a wet camp

 

A rock house

A rock house

Toibermory Main Street

Toibermory Main Street

Kilchoan Ferry

Kilchoan Ferry

Lots of Prehistoric sites on the Isles

Lots of Prehistoric sites on the Isles

 

Standing stones

Standing stones

Wild Camping on Mull

Wild Camping on Mull

 

 

Sat

Left Fort Willam lunch time and got foot Ferry towards Corran and headed South. Stopped at 6 pm, rainy and midgy. Too midgy to cook so I had cold food! I hate Scotland!

Sun

Left at 8 am, damp pack up. Headed for the ferry to Mull. 2 hour wait for ferry, quite hilly here! I stopped about 10 miles before Iona, quite windy and hilly. Lovely beach site

Mon

Stayed in bed til about 9.30. Very wet and windy, decided not to do Iona and headed back. A very hilly wet trip across Mull, and no accommodation at Tobermory so I took the 4 pm Ferry to Kilchoan, and stayed at a campsite near the ferry. No one there to collect money, nice shower in the facilities next to the site.

Tues

Nice ride across Ardnamurchan, quite hilly, nice café for lunch. I got to Arisaig and decided to camp near the beach. Nice sunny day today, and I used a campsite near the beach, and got dried out. Swam in the sea.

Wed

Rainy again, so headed to Mallaig and got an early ferry to Skye. Then headed across the island. At about 2pm I hit Broadford and stayed at the hostel and got dried out again.

Thurs

Headed to Uig through the Cullins, but hardly noticed them, too rainy. Lots of tourists looking a bit soggy. Ferry from Uig to Tarbet left at about 6 so would be dark when we docked, so I spent a couple of hours on the internet and public phone finding a room. I ended up at the Harris hotel £90, a bit expensive!, but very close to the terminal. Not very smart but obviously grand once upon a time. Nice to get warm and clean and watch TV!

Fri

Full Scottish breakfast then headed south, into the wind! A tough ride to the south of Harris where the ferry was cancelled, so I hung out in the Calmac building trying to replan my itinerary. Met up with John Humfries fro Diss who writes for the Scottish Islands mag. Ended up sharing a room with him in a local B and B.  We ate out at the only restaurant in town. Very nice and he managed to get his glasses blown off due to the high winds. He lost them but did have a spare set.

Sat

Full Scottish again ,I’ll be pitting on weight. The ferry left at 8 and it was a rough ride to Berneray on North Uist. The islands were now much more wild, few trees etc. I decided I needed to get to the south ASAP and try and avoid being stuck due to weather. It was 50 miles into a strong wind over undulating roads. A very tough day. Very few services. Beautiful wild beaches and golden sands. I got to Lochboisdale in South Uist at about 6 pm, camped wild on a slope near the beach and had a baked potato at a very nice café. Rang Calmac to check on the ferry and had a shock to find it left at 5am instead of 7 due to the weather! This meant decamping at 4 am in the dark and rain.

Sun

I made the ferry and had a sleep on the 3 hour crossing over the Minch. Nice breakfast too. I left Mallaig at 8 .30 and had another tough cycle back to Fort William, I was hoping for a tailwind!. I reclaimed the car and headed home.  Not the most exiting trip, mainly due to the weather. I cycled about 500 miles overall, some of it quite challenging. I’d like to revisit the Outer Hebrides again, but with better weather!

Updated: October 11, 2016 — 12:38 pm

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