North and south Uist

28th Nov continued

So we were on the ferry from Leverburgh to Lochmaddy on North Uist....

One hour and 20 minutes later we arrived at Berneray ferry port and drove off heading for Lochmaddy and the post office to collect our mail. Arriving at the post office we stopped at a single fuel pump and filled with diesel, £1.60 per litre ! (the dashborad was still not working so had no idea of fuel level). 

Then off to the post office/gift shop/cafe and had a mocha and brunch, black pudding and cheese Panini and Halloumi and pesto Panini. Back in the van we found a service point next to the ferry terminal behind the contractors portacabins and emptied the toilet. 

Jobs done, it was onto a small car park at Beinn Langais wood on the way which was at the top of a steep climb for the van and was sloping quite a lot. There was also another van there and so there wasn't much space so we carried on to Baleshare beach along some very narrow and winding (cycle track) roads. The beach was another beauty and we decided to stay for a couple of nights. It was free. 

We settled down and went for a walk together.

Andy went down to the beach and got a fire going and we sat for an hour warming our bones before returning to the van. The sunset was special and then the almost full moon came up.  


Andy woke up and decided to spend the day trying to find out why we had no lights and dash board instruments. He phoned Adams motors and Gary Adams gave him some options for the fault. He checked the vehicle battery connections and large 50 amp fuse at the battery as well as the fuses in the engine compartment but they were all good.

Wondering now whether it could be a relay. We will talk to Green flag when we get back on the mainland next week. So Andy made use of the good weather and the time and cleaned the solar panels, topped up the coolant and checked the oil, torqued the wheel nuts, pumped the tyres up all round and emptied the grey waste in the long grass using the red bucket and finally topped up the diesel heater tank. Sue cooked a lovely dinner of white pudding, Haggis, veg and rice and then went up to her bed in the ‘penthouse suite’ and Andy watched 3 episodes of ‘Better call Saul’ on his laptop as the leisure battery was low. At 9pm Andy ran the engine for 15 minutes to charge the batteries for the night and then went to bed.  


It was time to move on. Staying in one place is great but with the sun being so low in the sky as it is at this time of year we are not getting more than 50 or 60 watts solar charge per day so by driving we can make sure that the split charge relay allows a charge to both batteries.

We left Baleshare beach and started a long journey which would find us at Loch Druidibeag, a park up in the middle of nowhere.

On the way we went back to Lochmaddy to empty the toilet and get 50 litres of fresh water at the ferry terminal (behind the contractors portacabins). Then we had brunch in the cafe along the road and eventually headed west and then south, over many causeways joining the islands of North Uist, Benbicula and South Uist to our overnight park up at Loch Druidibeag. ///aced.goods.scare. There is a box where you can donate £5 to help the community keep these places available. A bargain! 

On the way along the single track road we met some lovely wild Shetland ponies wandering around. We passed them very slowly as they approached us expecting to be fed! 

We pulled into a level gravel car park and locked up and went for a short walk to take photos of the hills, sunset and the Mac shack. 

It was getting cold so we got back to the van and wrapped her up with the screens and fired up the diesel heater, got the booze out and relaxed. Andy updated the blog on the web but decided to update to video media another day when we have power and wifi. 

1st Dec 

Friday started frosty, then rain came and by 10am we had bright clear sunny skies. The sun was warm so Andy took the screens off and we got ready for the road. We headed for the Polochar inn pub stop to see if we could park overnight. ///sleepers.unicorns.rather 

On the way we passed the Shetland ponies who visited us last night and 30 minutes later we arrived at the deserted looking pub stop. 

Andy phoned the inn but got no answer so he went onto their website and booked a table for tonight which was confirmed!  We had a nice walk on the beach for about a mile and took some snaps off the hotel and the van then back to warm up in front of the TV. 

We got ready to go out at 6:30 and walked across to the Polochar Inn for our meal. We were the only ones in the whole hotel. It was like having our own private chef. Sue had Cullen skink, (haddock and potato soup) and Andy had a Haggis starter then both had the fish n chips which was fantastic. 3 beers and 2 wines £77. Back to the van and heaters on and ready for bed. Another good day but an expensive park up! You have to treat yourselves occasionally.

2nd Dec 

We decided to try to book a pitch with EHU for tonight so Andy emailed Kilbride campsite ///affair.vowel.grumbles just down the road from the Polochar hotel. The owner phoned back an hour later to confirm and we drove along the icy road to the campsite and got set up. Once the EHU was connected we put all of our devices on charge and got the electric heating on and then had brunch. 

A bike ride was next and off we went across the causeway which connected south Uist and Eriskay and stopped just over the causeway on the Eriskay side where there was a beautiful small beach so we spent some time there and took some photos. 

Then back on the road to The Politician public house, which was actually a pub built as a house but was a pub! We walked in and were greeted by a very warm pub and friendly staff and tables full of villagers mostly from the isle of Barra enjoying their Christmas dinner party.

We enjoyed a few pints and a couple of Jamesons before heading back in the cold to the van. 

3rd Dec

Woke up to a beautiful red sky as the sun came up over the distant hills and cast it's glow across the sea towards the isle of Eriskay. After coffee and weetabix we got on the bikes and headed for Eriskay ferry port to see how far it was and to suss out the parking as we intended to leave the van there whilst we went across to the isle of Barra. Then we checked out the beaches and the grave yard and then popped in for another pint at the Politician before heading back to the beach opposite the Kilbride campsite. 

After a brisk walk along the small beach we went into the cafè on the site for mochas and paninis and paid £56 for the two nights! Very over priced. Then we tidied up and Andy did the 'blue' jobs and then took the electric fan heater into the facilities block so that he could have a reasonably comfortable shower but the water was luke warm so he gave up! We booked the ferry to Barra online for the morning as foot passengers. £13.60 return for two. We will leave the van in the car park and take our bikes. 

4th Dec

Woke at 7am and started to get van ready to drive to Eriskay ferry port. The wind has picked up a bit but hopefully we can still sail. We drove down to the ferry and parked the van. Got bikes ready and sat in the waiting room until the ferry arrived. It was a small ferry with no cafè but lovely and warm. 40 minutes later we were docking at Ardmhor on Barra.  We jumped on the bikes and set of for Barra airport, the only airport where commercial planes land on a beach. 

We sat in the waiting room and got food from the vending machine as the café was shut. While we were waiting for the plane to arrive we walked across to the massive beach (Traigh eais) and took some video of the dunes and the crashing waves.  

Andy tracked the plane from Glasgow on Flight radar and we hurried back to try to get some video of it landing.

We sat in the waiting room for a while longer warming up and then headed back on the bikes to catch the ferry to Eriskay and the van. We stayed at the ferry port overnight although there were signs which said "No overnight parking", we took that to mean at high season. We weren't bothered by wardens and slept well. 

5th Dec 

We had a ‘meeting' to decide whether to stay on the islands or head for the mainland today. The weather app was predicting high gusting winds from Wednesday and so we decided to go for the mainland in case we got stuck here when the ferries got cancelled so, we set off and took a slow drive north towards Lochmaddy ferry port stopping at a Co-op to get a few essentials. 

We arrived at the ferry port and parked next to the clean water tap and went into the terminal to book our place on tomorrows ferry. £45, it should been £98 but the man booked the motorhome in as 6 metres! We kept quiet!. It sails at 05:30 so early night tonight! After a quick walk to see the Mackerel mosaic in the harbour, taking on 50 litres of clean water and emptying toilet cassette we settled in the van and watched a bit of YouTube before dinner of Pizza and chips and then bed. 

A fairly noisy night as the harbour was busy with people coming and going but slept fairly well until the alarm woke Andy up at 4am.