Part 1 – Vatersay to Ardmore
The day dawned with grey skies and a cool moderate breeze from the East. First objective was to reach the official start of the Hebridean Way towards the southern end of Vatersay Island. This was easier said than done as the locals had strong defences in place. Before we’d had a chance to warm up we faced a stiff climb from Nask to the War Memorial reaching gradients of 8-12%. On making it over the top, among all the gasps for air, a comment was heard “Well that’s warmed things up a bit”. We were rewarded for all that effort with a lovely sweeping winding downhill to the southern tip of Barra which is then linked to Vatersay by a causeway.
The road then followed the Eastern coast of the island where there is a memorial to the crew members of a catalina which crashed on Vatersay in 1944. With heads bowed our group raced on until reaching Vatersay village. “Now where do we go?” we asked looking round at each other and for some indication of the ‘start point’. Just then, a breathless Neil came up behind us yelling some colourful language “Hoi you numpties, (or words to that effect) you’ve already passed the start. It’s about mile further back”. With sheepish faces, the ‘flock’ about turned to follow Neil back to the official start.
Photo op completed, it was time to retrace our route back towards Castlebay including the steep climb back to Nask. From there our route headed up the west coast of Barra through Borve and hugging the beach to Allasdale before heading inland to the ferry terminal at Ardmore.