Distance covered 28 miles
People bumped into 4
Rescues made 2
Max Wind – Off scale

In which we are rescued by a Bernie Fish (world’s best landlord 2015) and people are encountered who are stangely familiar but are also unable to carry off a tweed hat.

“Well if you don’t want a lift,” asks Bernie (landlord at the Loch Erisort Inn and also World’s Greatest Landlord 2015), “can I at least take your bags?”
” Are you sure it’s not out of the way for you?” I ask.
“Look the wife and I normally take a run out on a Monday and we might as well go to Tarbert as anywhere. It’s no problem at all.”
“Well if you’re sure then it would be great if you could take the panniers, but we are happy to pedal.”
“Look”, he says, a picture of concern, ” I’ll give you an hour’s head start and when I see you on the road I’ll stop and see how you are getting on.”


It’s a little over an hour when Bernie passes us and we are struggling. The wind is right up at the promised 40+ knots and as the gusts are coming side on to us we keep having to stop. But as soon as Millie sees his car she is a ball of energy, up out of the seat for the first time that day to try and catch him lest he doesn’t stop for us…

Bernie Fish (World’s greatest landlord 2015) can fit 2 passengers and 2 bikes in his Discovery. So after a quick vote, in which only Suzy gets a vote, it is decided that I will pedal the rest of the 12 (largely uphill) miles  and she will keep Millie company.

OK I won’t pretend. It’s brutal. The wind is so strong that I have to push 3 times. At one point I tried to take a picture of one of the snow poles they have along the roadside with my bike against it. But the wind blows my bike over. Then I have to chase my hat which fell out of my handlebar bag. Then the wind blows me over. But here’s a picture of the pole anyway.


Not only am I pedalling on some of the downhills but on a couple I’m descending speedway style, with one foot dragging on the ground so concerned am I that I’ll get blown over.
The arrangement had been to meet up in the Hebrides Hotel in Tarbert but when I get there it is closed! The attached bar is open but they know nothing of my family (although a group of customers tell me they passed me on the climb in their car, but inexplicably didn’t stop to help).
I finally find my bags in Tarbert’s greatest cafe, the First Fruits. It’s the same cafe where we met the taxi driver on Day 2 – after a brutal rejection from Tourist Information it was Suzy’s next port of call when she was looking for a home for our panniers, and he cheerfully agreed to store them in the corner. The girls rejoin me shortly after and we do what I hope all cycle tourists do when arriving somewhere warm and welcoming – we immediately take off most of our clothes and spread them over his whole establishment.

“Any idea where we can go to spend a couple of hours before the ferry?” We ask him after lunch and 4 pots of tea.
“Have you been to the tweed shop?”
“There’s a library”.
Well it’s raining by this point so we wander out, unenthusiatically, towards the library only to bump into Family Morrice (Riderz members and coach) drawn like a moths to the flames towards our bikes, who are also on holiday on Lewis! (or possibly Harris). So we head back into the cafe to compare holiday stories and then follow them around Tarbert for a while because they look dry and warm and we want to learn their secret. (They were smart enough to bring a car and rent a cottage.)


Some wear tweed better than others!

We manage to get soaked again just waiting for the ferry so repeated our “taking over our enviroment” trick by dis-robing in, and then falling asleep on, the couches of the observation deck of the good ship MV Hebrides whilst waves crash over the windows…

The adventure is over we are back at the car in Uig on Skye, but it’s still a 5 hour plus drive home so we are having one more night away – staying in Woodbine House which happens to be operated by Andi Dunkel who rides for Team Skye (Cullin Wheels).

Probably the best B&B of the trip and one which definitely deserves it’s accolades. (Andi was also very tolerant when, going to bed a couple of hours after the girls, I couldn’t remember which room we were in – we’ve been in a few B&Bs this week).  He didn’t seem quite as impressed by my ’12 miles of cycling in quite a stiff breeze’ as he could have been either, but then he’s doing the Arran iron man this summer so he might have different standards to me.



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