Refreshed and positive, I am now keen to finish this challenge. Our little group is a slick, organised (but jaded) cycling gang. We realise that we can leave all of our belongings at the hotel for our trip up to the Butt of Lewis and collect them as we pass Borve on our way to Stornoway and the ferry to Ullapool. To celebrate our final day in the saddle, even the elements are encouraging. No rain and a generally helpful wind. Off we go. 11 miles to the end of the official Hebridean Way … and the Butt of Lewis is stunning! Lots of photos here and the pleasure and relief brings smiles all around.

Panniers are tightly packed, the battered trailer lives to fight another day and my backpack feels like part of my body. We now just need to pop over to Stornaway. It is hard work – the land is bleak and our energy levels low. However, we have achieved our ambition and it is a great achievement. S and P manged horrid colds throughout, G (when not being too aggressive over cattle grids or speeding down hills out of his saddle) came to an understanding with his trailer and all of our possessions made it to a fine restaurant in Stornoway. I salute my surgeon who has given me my ‘adventure-life’ back with this new hip, that barely twinged, over this challenge. I never thought such adventures could be possible a year ago. Fish and chips at Digby Chick were delicious and well deserved. And so to the ferry and home…

My view from here …

I have enjoyed our ‘high adventure’ in the Outer Hebrides and will return to walk the sunkissed beaches that have only been vague promises this trip. One thing that struck me, was the number of English people we met in the cafes, hotels and galleries. Mr Fish the Diver (sounds like a happy families card, I know) has been running his hotel, as have Shirley and Stephen of Berneray, for decades. A waitress in a cafe turned from Ilkley to live on South Uist. The Outer Hebrides would not be my choice of home – I would miss trees! I would be inaccessible to family and friends wanting a quick catch-up. On an arty front, I am inspired and have already begun a series of Outer Hebrides landscapes and have a commission too (thanks S & P)!

Acrylic (Wip) The Butt of Lewis

I wonder if our tour of this chain of islands would have been enhanced by the sun? I have many fond memories of places and people – J & J, Barra and Harris – I want to be in your company again one day! For now I close my Outer Hebridean chronicle and blow my nose … not tears at the end of the adventure, but a foul cold, probably contracted on that wet cycle up and down Harris!

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Published by Carol

Welcome to the home of my thoughts, hopes and inspirations. Please feel free to browse and comment. All of my posts are honest and heartfelt. I hope you feel at home here!

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