Off to North Uist in the Romahome
Setting off bright and early from Kirkbride campsite on South Uist, we headed north through the flat west coast of the island, crossing the causeway onto Benbecula and then the causeway to North Uist. We stopped at Chairinis at the site of a battle between the MacDonalds and MacLeods in 1601, which was the last battle fought in Scotland using only swords and bows and arrows. The battle took place because one of the MacDonalds divorced his MacLeod wife. Sixty Skye MacLeods set off to North Uist to wreak revenge and were chopped to pieces by only 16 MacDonalds, The site is known as Ditch of Blood, for obvious reasons.
I went around the houses (or crofts) a bit finding Balranald campsite, which is just past the RSPB visitor centre, but soon got settled in, with Jinty resting his poorly paw in the sunshine by the Romahome. After a cup of tea and a cheese scone or two we set off for a walk round the nature trail, about 6K, but on lovely springy grass, taking in flower strewn machair, white sandy beaches, small lochs and views out to uninhabited islands. There were lots of birds.....lapwings, oystercatchers, and I think a fulmar, although most sea birds tend to look similar to the uninitiated (i.e. me)
I chatted to a local woman walking my way, and, curious about what people do on the islands asked her about her life. She was a very happy woman, with her husband away at sea for 28 days at a time while she was running a B & B on Uist in the summer and spending the winter in southern Spain. She was looking forward this afternoon to greeting her guests with home made scones and then cooking herself a steak for tea, accompanied by a glass or two of wine, and the final of Britain's Got Talent on the telly with no moaning from anyone about anything. As I say, a very happy woman.
Before setting out on the walk I was particularly keen to spot the Great Yellow Bumblebee which was in the RSPB leaflet, and spot it I did, and spent a pleasant half hour trying to photograph one, which is more difficult than it sounds as they're so big they pull the flower over and then dangle upside down beneath it. Photographing one buzzing about in flight was an impossibility, so I just did the best I could.
There's a coffee and cake kiosk on site and I succumbed to a big piece of chocolate cake and an equally big cup of coffee. Good job I'm not here for too long, with cake on tap. The cool breeze which had been with us most of the day disappeared in the evening, and it was fleeces off, sitting in the sun reading a book until it was time for a walk on the ubiquitous white sandy beach before bedtime.