Today we are hoping to find the secrets of Allt Chrysal.  We know they are to be found near the causeway to Vatersay in the south of Barra but where exactly?

When we were in Barra two years ago I had picked up a very small leaflet on Allt Chrysal which described it in detail but neglected to say where it was!  We have been over the causeway to Vatersay many times on this stay but never have seen a sign on the road.  Looking at the little sketch on the rudimentary leaflet map, the only clue was that it was near a small hill stream.

We spotted a stream and hoped for the best.  There was also a small path and up the top of it, hidden from view from the road, was a beautifully laid out information area complete with pictorial boards!


The hill was rather steep and stony so I’m afraid I left all the climbing to Peter who bravely set off and took some photographs.  What we needed was a knowledgeable guide as it was difficult to detect the rocks that were significant from the ones which were just natural!  The picture shows the remains of a late 18th century blackhouse farm with a byre next to it.


Apparently the blackhouse was built on a much earlier site and excavations have revealed at least six phases of human occupation, beginning about 4500 years ago.  All these secrets were discovered in 1989 during the archaeological survey which preceded the building of the Vatersay causeway.  Local tradition records that the farm was abandoned when a ship sank in the Sound of Vatersay and the rats from the ship swam ashore and invaded the farmhouse.

Having tried to take in all this information and more, we drove to our favourite bay to see if there was anything new on the shore line.  And there was…




Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin


Driving out to the south of the island we saw this Passing Place sign with some hand painted horses.  Sheep would probably have been more appropriate…




Lamb of the day!

We saw a seal who appeared to be floating on the water but presumably was lying on a hidden sandbar!



Driving back along the Atlantic west coast the sea was calm and a pair of Shags were out on a fishing trip.


Nearing the campsite and the narrow bit where the two coasts could be seen at the same time, the sun was sinking in the sky.


Good news!  When checking the weather forecast at the café, the next four days show wall to wall sun, better temperatures and low wind!