Hebridean Adventure, Part 4
Eriskay & the Uists
The next day I jumped on a ferry across to Eriskay to stay on South Uist at a lovely little campsite called Kilbride. I chose the campsites owing to their proximity to good launch sites and sand beaches. This one didn’t disappoint. It had nice facilities, a really good café and a white sandy cove right there in the doorstep.
The first day the weather was a bit grey and rainy so I opted to ride. The road north of Kilbride towards North Uist, whilst it follows the coastline, you can’t actually see it so the ride was a tad dull but I managed a 39 mile round trip to the far side of the land bridge to North Uist and back.
The following day looked better for paddling though a bit overcast still. I headed north with the ebb tide and planned to ride the flood tide back which worked perfectly.
Long stretches of sandy beaches and glass calm waters accompanied me, along with huge seal colonies everywhere. Seals are such timewasters, I could spend ages just sitting still in my kayak watching them.
About 10 miles later, I spied a good lunch spot on a long, sandy stretch of beach which looked immaculate at first glance. I didn’t have to womble far from my landing spot to find scraps of litter and lost fishing gear everywhere. Then, I came across a half buried trawl net with a dead, decaying dolphin carcass right next to it.
I picked up as much small litter as I could and shoved it in the hold of my boat and set off back to Kilbride, damp, windswept and tired.
There was a teenage girl on the campsite who is scared of spiders.
I was on the loo this morning when I heard screams coming from the shower cubicle opposite: “Muuuuuuummmm!!!!! It’s craaaawling!!! It’s got it’s tentacles out!!!!”
Now, last time I looked the friendly daddy long legs in cubicle 2 doesn’t have tentacles...but anyway...
Next thing, we had screams coming from her tent as one had moved in for the night. She practically burst through the side wall of the tent like a hedge backwards to escape the deadly beast. The whole campsite was now trying to find - and remove - Mrs long legs to get a good nights sleep....
The next day I spent a while driving around the islands and enjoyed some sand in my toes and a brief paddle in the crystal clear waters of Eriskay while I waited for the ferry to come in.
I didn’t want to go home.
It had been such a stunning adventure, with a seemingly unlimited amount of freedom and the only thing that curbed it was ferry times - but even then, I managed to jump early ferries whenever I showed up and there was nothing too much trouble for the Calmac staff.
To follow my adventure is photos, check out my Instagram page.
I highly recommend the following campsites and eateries if you are ever heading over the Outer Hebrides:
Enjoy this final little AV which sums up my mini adventure in the Outer Hebrides. It was an absolute pleasure to visit and I hope it will not be too long before I can return...
About the Author
Christine Grosart is a Paramedic, working offshore mainly on diving vessels.
She started beach cleans around 2011 and has gone on to be a trustee, secretary, instructor and underwater photographer for the charity Ghost Fishing UK.
She wrote the first training course for scuba divers to remove lost ghost nets, in the world.
In 2009 she visited the far reaches of Wookey Hole cave and still holds the British female cave diving depth record.
In 2020 she became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for her work with Ghost Fishing UK as well as her cave diving exploration. In the same year she was included in the BBC Radio 4 Women's Hour Power List.