A good night’s sleep works wonders and Peter and Alfie took an early morning walk over the grass and along the beach.  The tide had left more seaweed than usual on the sand but Alfie had a whale of a time, running and jumping – sheer bliss.


We stopped at the airport for the first time this holiday.  There were hordes of passengers waiting to board the plane when we got there and the café/waiting room was pretty full with excited travellers.  Amazingly, the lady who owns the café with her husband recognised us immediately even though it had been two years since we were there.  Mind you, we did go in there every day, consuming all sorts of delicious cakes while accessing the free wifi!

As I have said before, Barra’s trees are few and those that are there are often shrivelled and bare.  These form an interesting barrier just before you reach Castlebay but I like their artistic skeletal shapes.



Our lady

We were going into Castlebay to visit the Co-op and were alarmed that the carpark seemed to have disappeared to be replaced by a building site.  It looks as though some sort of extension might be taking place and, sure enough, the shop will be temporarily closing after Tuesday until Saturday!  In any other place that would not cause a massive problem – you’d just go to Tesco or Sainsburys – but of course  it is the only grocery store on the island apart from a tiny general shop.  It might be a good idea to stock up on Monday!

From Castlebay it’s a mere half a mile to drive to the causeway over to the island of Vatersay – our favourite bird watching area.  Now, what we were forgetting is that Madge is rather longer than Bessie and Peter found that driving up onto the grass area above the stony beach was impossible. Mind you, we couldn’t actually see any birdlife amongst the seaweed so we decided to give it a miss.  What we did spot, however, was a Northern Diver and a Black Guillemot diving in the bay.


Alfie loves sandy beaches and we took him down to the beautiful white sand cove where he met another terrier type and they exchanged a friendly word before moving on.



Back on Barra’s east coast, the gorse was out in full force, providing a stunning covering to the rocks.


One of our favourite spots, Earsary, was looking very pretty with its lobster pots.  The thing about Barra, unlike a lot of our west country, is that they are not placed there for artistic effect.  They are actually in use.  Barra doesn’t have to try to attract tourists – they come for the natural way of life and, thankfully, still in reasonably small numbers.


A quick check on the old jetty is necessary and we find a new handwritten sign to add to the Fish and Ships one (see any of our previous Barra trips for that):


I love the gentle sense of humour here.

Unbeknown to me Peter was taking photos while sitting in Madge:


Back at home, Peter went out with the camera and captured some birds…


Meadow Pipit

Lovely first day…