Continuing on our SUP Safari Scotland we return to the Uists. We had two days before our ferry left for the Isle of Skye. It would have been nice to stay longer in the Outer Hebrides but the weather outlook was a bit grim. Our ferry options were limited.
Isle of Grimsay
On the hunt for a good coffee we came across a wee community cafe/ centre on Grimsay. Grimsay is a small island that sits between the islands of North and South Uist. The cafe wasn’t open but one of the locals was there. She invited us along to help out in some peat cutting which a local group was holding. This is an ages old activity where blocks of peat are cut from the pear bogs. The blocks are then dried out and used as fuel in fires. We had seen evidence of this all throughout the Hebrides and been intrigued by the process. The peat had been cut a couple of weeks ago and had now partially dried. Todays aim was to build the peat blocks into ’Stoors’ or small piles to further dry the block.
Wheel houses dates back to the Iron Age. They are found in Scotland in the western and northern isles and on the north coast of Cathness and Sutherland. A wheelhouse can be described as a building with a distinctive ground plan. It has a circular outer wall that encloses regularly spaced cells that open onto a central space. The term wheelhouse derives from the similarities of the structure in plan to a wheel with radial spokes.
SUPertunities on North Uist
With only a couple of hours until our ferry leaves we checked out some of the local beaches for SUPertunities. The first one I’d recommend checking out is Clachan Sands. This beach is a popular spot with kite surfers due to the winds. We also saw a hydrofoil in action with a wind wing. If you are into your wind SUPing this is a good place to visit. Other options can be found around the sandy inlets on the western shore of North Uist at Malacleit and Botarua.
A Taste of the Isle of Skye
The next day back on Skye we visit Taliskers Distillery. Still closed for tastings we take a selfie for a friend who is a loyal fan of the distillery and purchase a sampling kit for our own tasting back in Harmony our camper van. If you are into your coffee make sure you check out the coffee shop opposite Caora Dhubh for some really great coffee and try their brownies – sensational!!
A SUP at an Scottish Icon
Leaving Skye we had one more place in mind for an epic paddle session even if the weather didn’t agree. But what would Eileen Donan be without the moody shifting mists for some atmospheric gravitas! Eileen Donan was another place on my list of epic paddle spots in Scotland. While the weather wasn’t as great as it had been I am so glad we got the chance to paddle it!
We had to make a slight detour back to Glasgow to check our wheel bearings. We had new bearings fitted just before the trip. They were making noises that they shouldn’t after only 2 months travelling. Luckily it was a relatively quick fix and we were back on the road for the weekend and heading north. Next stop Shetland with a quick stop over in Orkney!
If you’d like to follow our travels on YouTube you can watch the latest episode here
If you missed part one of our SUP Safari Scotland to the Isle of Arran you can read about it here.