We started the day with an easy 30 km of cycling around the beautiful island of Barra, which left us wanting more time in the saddle to drink in the views.
Breakfast/lunch was eaten watching the local football team warm up for a game behind the well stocked Co-op in Castlebay, before we headed north towards Northbay ferry.
We made good time, excited at finally being able to push our pedals. Such good time that we had a 3 hour wait for the ferry, where we enjoyed the excellent coffee, tea and cakes at the cafe at the tiny dock, striking up conversation with fellow groups of cyclists on the Hebridean Way.
The mist descended as we boarded the ferry to Eriksay, squeezed on with about 20 cars and 20 bicycles, and including the football team we saw warming up for a match in Castlebay. They had lost, but were consoling themselves with cans of lager and banter about the game.
We climbed the steep hill out of the port, passing the Politician pub, and then descended. The tiny island of Eriksay flashed past and then we crossed the causeway into South Uist – mostly exposed, flat and boggy. We wound our way along quiet roads past smallholdings surrounded by a handful of sheep or cows. The thickening mist obscured the distant hills and the wind strengthened, gusting to 30+ km/h.
Fearing for the integrity of our poor tarp we hunkered down in a barn, consigned to sleep on a concrete floor, but protected from the wind and impending rain.
Rehydrated Mac-and-Cheese washed down with tea and whiskey were a somewhat meagre meal at the end of a long day, but as the wind buffeted the tin roof and the rain strengthened we felt warm and grateful in our sleeping bags.