Now as I said Orbit had been here before so I had to let her lead. Anything else would have been bad form…but as I awoke in my overheated B and B and ate a cooked Scottish breakfast – the black pudding was a dream..I wondered what Orbit would do with this wet and windy day…maybe she’d let me miss out Vatersay and we’d go straight to Eriskay..yeah’s that’s probably what she’d do…she wouldn’t want me to get soaked first day of the trip…
Full from my brekkie, I paid the B and B owner. She gave me a few pounds back as “she felt bad as the weather was so bad”. She suggested missing out Vatersay owing to the conditions and said “it’s just up and up anyway”. She had that look in her eyes I have seen often during my trips which says “are you crazy? You are in a perfectly warm place where you could read a nice book and drink coffee and instead you are heading out dressed like a fisherman on a bike of all things”.
So at the junction at the top of the B and B drive I waited for Orbit’s lead. Damn…left to Vatersay…and it was raining cats and seagulls again…in a big way..within minutes I was soaked to the skin. And a nice big hill to get sorted. My mantra…you can’t go backwards on the bike so forward it was! I met Andy and Helen, my inspiration on this rainy day!
I’m sure Vatersay would be lovely on a sunny day. Wet feet and wet everything else took a little of the joy away but still the scenery was nice. We went to the end of a road passing a beach which would have felt at home (and perhaps happier) in Thailand! When the road turned to dirt we headed back. Orbit said it was time for Eriskay.
The ferry to Eriskay leaves at 11.10 so it was a prompt cycle through the wet to get there in time. The small shelter had an optimistic sign outside – teas and coffees inside…ya dancer! Of course, Scottish style, the machine was broken. I was well envious of 2 guys from Ayr who had a little gas cooker with them and promptly brewed up some tea! I got chatting to 2 americans from Idaho who had come from Paisley with their bikes. An inspiring pair I was to bump into them again along my trip. They had funny little mirrors attached to their specs to see traffic. Helen joked they could do dentistry in their spare time!
It was a bit of a rocky ride over to Eriskay. Guess the weather was not so good. Still there was a warm waiting room inside to warm the cold feet.
And then that ambigous question came up…”is Eriskay hilly?” Helen asked one of the guys from Ayr. “No it’s flat” came his reply. A pause ensued. Then “well undulating”.
Off the ferry at Eriskay we got. To be faced by a huge hill. Undulating Orbit asked???
Still the beaches were beautiful and the causeway over to South Uist magnificient.
I took some lunch at Daliburgh where Andy and Helen were spending the night. I met a guy from Airdrie there over to work on the island for traffic management for the new broadway connections.
It was raining still so wet anyway I continued on…to Nunton on Benbecula. There I was welcomed into part of the former home of the Clan Chief of the Clan Ranald and more importantly a wonderful fire….
It was time to rest, dry off and exchange stories with the other travellers..2 of whom had just returned from 5 days camping on St Kilda…..