Today we left our campsite at Kilbride (an extremely well-run one it is too, Donald) and started our journey north across the causeway first to Benbecula.  Before leaving South Uist, however, we had a few things to accomplish.

First of all, our second and probably last visit – at least for this holiday anyway – to the internet café at Lochboisdale.  What a lovely little place it is – well-run with very friendly staff and good simple food.  We caught up with the blog for the time being, using their excellent internet connection and updated the podcasts.


Our next destination was Flora MacDonald’s birthplace in the settlement of Milton.  Here there is a simple cairn with plaque and a board with a bit of information about the famous friend of the Jacobite cause.



When Prince Charles Edward Stuart needed refuge, Flora dressed him as her maidservant, Betty Burke, and smuggled him off of South Uist in a boat bound for the Isle of Skye.  She then settled down to married life with her husband, emigrating briefly to America where they got involved in the Civil war.  Obviously a woman of considerable character.

This is such natural countryside, the grass covered in daisies and wild flowers such as the Cuckooflower.


We then paid our final visit to Loch Eynort and, although we saw some far off seals on the south side, our passage was halted by workmen delivering a wind turbine and effectively blocking the road.


We waited a while but it was obvious that the operation to lift it off the trailer was going to take some time, so we turned around and tried our luck on the north side of the loch.  There we saw once more the person who we had come to refer to as the Lady in the Van, after Alan Bennett’s eponymous heroine.  In fact the van was actually a Land Rover but readers of this blog might cast their minds back to the terminal in Oban when I described a lady and a dog in the queue for the ferry to Barra.  We thought she might have been a local, stocking up with shopping at Tesco but in fact we saw her many times on Barra and Vatersay and it was obvious she was camping with a tent.  Then who should turn up at the campsite at Kilbride but her again, her faithful dog always with his head stuck out of the window of the Land Rover.  How she managed in that tent in those winds we will never know.  It seemed we were destined to be in the same place at the same time and we gave her a cheery wave as we passed.  We would be surprised if this was the last time we saw her on this holiday!


Another little pony of this region – this time a bay colour with windswept mane:


And a much better view of the seals, with one swimming towards a rock already inhabited.  Is it my imagination or does the seal on the right of the group (featured image above) bear an uncanny resemblance to Robbie from Pingu?


Throughout the islands there are various religious shrines.  This one on Benbecula is typical:


Benbecula is a smallish island and it wasn’t long before we were crossing another causeway – this time onto North Uist and again with an otter warning!



A pair of Eider Duck (male shown) were swimming in the loch as we drove over.


And, contrary to expectation, only the first group of Highland cattle we have seen since coming to the Western Isles.  It seems shaggy manes are all the rage this year…


We found the campsite at Balranald very easily – it’s situated in the middle of what is the RSPB reserve of the same name, on the north-west coast of North Uist.  The weather hasn’t been wonderful today so hasn’t encouraged too many photos but hopefully that will change.