Having experienced the incredible sights that Barra provided I was keen to see what else the islands of the Outer Hebrides had to offer, and so I hopped on the ferry that travels from north Barra to the small island of Eriskay, home to the infamous ‘Eriskay wild ponies’ (that I later discovered lived up to the ‘wild’ part!). It didn’t take long before I caught sight of more of the Island’s wildlife, as when the ferry was about to set sail I noticed two otters diving & fishing near the harbour, and a short time later we passed a small colony of seals sunbathing on the rocks.
Whereas I had to get a ferry to Eriskay, the way to get from the Island to South Uist is pretty simple by the fact that the two islands are connected by a causeway. My first impression of the area was a good one as I approached a sign just before the causeway that stated ‘Caution! Otters Crossing’, which is a nice break from the usual ‘Cows crossing’ signs you see on the mainland.
At this point I decided to venture off the A865 to explore the more rugged, ‘wild country’ terrain in the hope of spotting some eagles that have been known to venture around here. Unfortunately it was not meant to be as no eagles were spotted, though there were plenty of other raptors including buzzards, hawks and falcons, and also a marsh harrier bombing down on its unsuspecting prey.
My next stop was Benbecula were I made a visit an arts and crafts cafe along the way and taking time to explore the area and all its wildlife that it has on offer.
As the evening drew on I made my way to Shellbay campsite where I was greeted to a warm welcome by Alan the owner. Having wild camped for 4 nights it was a nice change to be on a campsite with hot showers, amenities and people and it was also near the beach, so I still had the experience of sleeping by the sea (of which by this time I had been accustomed!).
I cycled around passing a small quaint graveyard and stopped off at various points to go down to the shore. As I headed back to the campsite I thought about all the incredible things I had seen on South Uist, and the variety that the landscape has to offer.
South Uist is an incredible place with so much to explore and such a contrast in landscapes. My only regret is not bagging a couple of peaks on the Isle whilst I was there but fear not, it just gives me another excuse to go back there!!