A Nautical Nomad

A memory of a trip I did one year ago when I was persuaded to once more get out on the road to take a tour to the outer Hebrides with a group of Swedish people. This was day five of the trip

Bob Costello

27 August 2018 ·

Trip to the Hebrides day 5.
Well second last day and last full day on the islands .
Day started at 7.30 loading luggage then taking the guys from
Loch Boisdale Hotel to the Askernish Golf course then back again for some breakfast then load up the ladies luggage and on the road to Eriskay, a trip of about half an hour.

Early Morning View from Lochboisdale hotel

Having told them about the “Whisky Galore” incident where the ship Politician, ran aground in the shallows off the island of Eriskay with a cargo of Whisky which was subsequently claimed by the locals, they were interested to see the pub of the same name built in the 1980,s.
We headed there only to find that it was shut and did not open till 11 o’clock. The Outer Hebrides are fantastic islands but they do themselves no favours with their crazy opening hours, or to be more exact, their closed hours.

The Ladies on the beach on Erisky, Unfortunately they decided to keep their clothes on today

Last night after dinner ( which took far too long) I had my, now costomery, debate with the owner of the Lochboisdale hotel, on independence. These debates generally range into the night with copious amounts of beer and wine being consumed in the process and the rest of the bar customers becoming alarmed at times. Last night I had to be careful with the beer as I was driving today, but I am beginning to see chinks in his Unionist armour. His piece de resistance last night was.” Ah but you see I am actually for independence, but I would like to see a border drawn along the highland line, which would give the highlands and the islands, the oil” ” it wouldn’t work” I quickly retorted. “Why” he said ” because you would want to close the rigs on a sunday” I said. Game set and match. We always part the best of friends, agreeing to take up the debate on my next visit.

I digress, so after our visit to the closed, Politician and realising that a closed Politician Pub is about as useful as our real Politicians, I took the ladies a walk along the beach under strict condition that they were not to tear off their clothes and throw themselves into the sea as they did the other day on Lewis. They wandered off along the beach whilst I sat and pondered the meaning of life and the mysteries of the universe. Coming out of my trance I realised that they had disappeared from view around a headland and realising that we had to return to Askernish to collect the men and get to the ferry by one o’clock, I set off after them. When I reached the headland, they were nowhere to be seen. OOps lost four clients. How was I going to explain this to their husbands? My first thought was that they had indeed decided to go for a swim after all and been swept out to sea or been eaten by a sea monster. I headed back to the bus intending driving further along the road that ran parallel with the shore and there they were, waiting at the bus. Hmm , they had decided not to walk back along the beach to where I was waiting for them, in the full realisation that my mind reading abilities would kick in and I would of course deduce that they had taken another rout back, women!!

So back to Askernish where I locked the Women in the bus whilst I went to collect the men and set off to the ferry, getting there in plenty of time where, to kill time I engaged two Jehovah’s Witnesses ( who had set up a stall at the slipway) in a debate about religion in a blatant attempt to convert them to Atheism., I think it was a draw, as they did not convince me of the advantages of their way of life and when I left them, they still had the stall and were handing out leaflets.

Ferry from Erisky to Barra
Leaving Erisky
The group on the ferry to Barra

Really nice trip over to Barra on the ferry in brilliant Sunshine, with the cocelshell beach used as a landing runway for the airport coming into sight from about half way over. After docking we headed straight for the Airport for some lunch and to watch the plane landing , perfect timing.

Plane from Glasgow just landed Barra Airport
Barra Airport ,not quite as large as Heathrow

A nice lunch at the Airport Cafe and then a walk over the Machre and onto the beach on the west side of the island ( see photos below). Sten , (the group leader) went in for a swim but was pretty hyperthermic when he crawled out of the water., I had a paddle. The Women ,unfortunately did not take their clothes off to have a swim. So after we managed to get some life into Sten and get his circulation going again the group went for a long walk along the beach and I fell asleep in the sun.

Sten in an advanced stage of Hypothermia
Me relaxing on the beach on Barra

Back in the bus and a drive down the west side of the island ,stopping at the 9 hole golf course for a wee look. Must be the only golf course in the World to have an honesty box for the £10 fee for as many rounds as you like.

Then on to the Craigard Hotel which sits above Castlebay overlooking Kismul Castle in the bay. Looking forward to dinner tonight as the seafood on Barra is second to none.
Have a good monday evening folks



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