#Holiday Time – Touring the Outer Hebrides day 3 – Barra to Eriskay #Scotland

 

Having woken to find the big ferry departed for the mainland, I checked the status of our smaller transport for the short 40 minute hop between islands. It still showed a warning of possible disruption due to the (still) strong winds, but we checked out of the hotel (they assured us there were plenty of rooms available if we had to return) and set off for Barra’s smaller ferry terminal.

On arrival, the status board showed next sailing as the lunchtime ferry, not the morning sailing we were booked for, so we hung around a bit, with nothing else to do – we’d seen the entire island of Barra the previous day.

And thank goodness we did, because with about a half hour to go before the scheduled time, the board updated to show the original ferry as due on time. Lesson learned – never trust status boards!

I did discover this gorgeous, huge sculpture outside the miniscule terminal building (a room big enough to seat about a dozen people, plus one toilet) – and as otters were on our ‘to see’ list for the holiday, I thought I’d better snap this, just in case we missed out on the live version.

So the ferry duly arrived

and unloaded

on we went

and away! Still windy, as you can hear.

These ferries don’t hand around

Next stop, the truly tiny island of Eriskay

Eriskay is famous for two things – it’s native pony breed, the Eriskay pony, the most endangered pony breed in Europe (considering the size of the island – 1.5 x 2.5 miles – I’m astonished it even has the grazing to support a herd of wild ponies, let alone a discrete breed), and being the site of a famous ship wreck – more on that in a moment.

We drove the mile from the ferry port to the only town on the island, and stopped at the multi-purpose shop for coffee. To my delight, I discovered these behind the shop

Clearly they are quite comfortable living with humans, despite being wild ponies

At the other end of the village, we found this pub, sadly shut, but that was a recurring theme of the holiday. Never mind, nature is always open!

And the significance of this pub? Remember that shipwreck I mentioned?

Have you come across the iconic film, ‘Whisky Galore!’?

Based on the book (1947) by Compton Mackenzie, the first film was an Ealing Comedy, made in 1949, a truly hilarious adaptation of the book, which is based on a real life historical event that happened right here, on Eriskay.

In 1941, the SS Politician ran aground on the coast of Eriskay. Her cargo included 28,000 cases of malt whisky. The islanders set about ‘rescuing’ this bounty, much to the dismay and increasingly desperate efforts of the local excise officer to halt their salvage operations, leading to increasingly ingenious methods of hiding the booty.

If you haven’t seen the film, you are missing a treat, so go, find it! Or even the recent (2016), equally as funny remake.

Anyway, that’s Eriskay. From the ferry to the recently (2001) installed causeway leading to the next island, South Uist, takes all of five minutes if you don’t stop. In fact, our next Guest House was three more islands up the chain – South Uist, Benbecula, then onto North Uist – which, according to our hostess, would take all of an hour and a half, “depending how many sheep there are on the road”!!!

So off we went…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

9 comments

  1. Fantastic Deb. Who feeds the wondering ponies? 🙂

    1. I rather think, as they are wild, they take care of themselves. Ponies native to Scottish islands are very tough, and designed to live on little and coarse grazing – the biggest problem usually is when people keep them as pets and feed them too much; you can literally kill them with kindness.

      1. Like anything else – less is more. 🙂

      2. If only more people could grasp that concept…

  2. This looks wonderful. We are planning to go to Scotland next year.

    1. Fabulous! If you want any suggestions about where to go, I’m your first stop 😀

  3. davidjrogersftw · · Reply

    Deborah, thank you for the lovely post. So restful to read.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it – plenty more of this trip still to come…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: