Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

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Ron
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby Ron » 2 Jul 2012, 11:36pm

Your apparent enthusiasm to catch the first ferry out to Eriskay after arrival at Castlebay makes this sound like a high pressure tour!
Why not allow a full day on Barra to allow for a circuit of that island and a dip down to Vatersay as well? :)

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al_yrpal
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby al_yrpal » 3 Jul 2012, 12:21am

Ron wrote:Your apparent enthusiasm to catch the first ferry out to Eriskay after arrival at Castlebay makes this sound like a high pressure tour!
Why not allow a full day on Barra to allow for a circuit of that island and a dip down to Vatersay as well? :)


As well as that the plane landing and taking off from the beach is a must see and the obligatory ten minute discussion/argument with the guy wearing the flourescent orange overalls and the velvet crab fisherman in the hotel bar is a must do. Soak it up...

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

joegallus
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby joegallus » 7 Jul 2012, 7:12pm

Hi Andy – thanks for posting your record of your trip. I really enjoyed the read! It is always interesting to see the things that other people notice whilst touring. I am not very good at noticing things on my travels and I want to get better at that. It was intersteing to see that you had a mixture of time on your own and time riding in company, and how that influenced your experience along the way. The point about the pressure to go at a pace that does not suit when riding with others. was well made. When I go out with my pals we keep together for bits of the ride, but often we just go along at our own pace and link up every now and then. We always make contact along the way just to check that others have not had some problem and need help. This means everyone is free to choose a pace that suits them. That seems to work OK.
Tigger – I get your need/want point about GPS. I am pretty good at traditional navigation but I also love using GPS. Last year I cycled from St Malo to the Mediterranean with my daughter. We covered 900 miles or so and never got lost. We could just bimble along and enjoy the ride. You also get a good record of the stages you have done and you can use that to reflect on the trip if you want. It was also helpful for finding campsites etc, so they are not just about getting from A to B, they do a lot more. On a longer tour the issue with GPS is keeping it charged. As we were camping the whole way I used my dynohub to keep everything charged. If you are booking accommodation on your trip, I guess you will be able to use their domestic supply. I hope the weather is behaving itself by the time you get under way!

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Tigger
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby Tigger » 9 Jul 2012, 9:46pm

joegallus wrote:Tigger – I get your need/want point about GPS. I am pretty good at traditional navigation but I also love using GPS. Last year I cycled from St Malo to the Mediterranean with my daughter. We covered 900 miles or so and never got lost. We could just bimble along and enjoy the ride. You also get a good record of the stages you have done and you can use that to reflect on the trip if you want. It was also helpful for finding campsites etc, so they are not just about getting from A to B, they do a lot more. On a longer tour the issue with GPS is keeping it charged. As we were camping the whole way I used my dynohub to keep everything charged. If you are booking accommodation on your trip, I guess you will be able to use their domestic supply. I hope the weather is behaving itself by the time you get under way!

Hi Joe... yes, I'm certainly wondering what the weather will be doing come September! Been admiring photos taken in the OH - mostly set in fab weather - and thinking I might not see these views if the mist is down at sea level for two weeks! But then again, it might be an 'Indian summer' and be amazing...
Your Med tour sounds fab - 900 miles - that's about a LEJOG distance isn't it? How long did you take?
You are right that I'll be ok with charging my gadgetry (um, Edge 800 now ordered, resistance was futile!) since I'm, apparently, a credit card tourist. (Is that meant to be a detrimental term... or just a descriptive one?) But if my tour goes well I'll defo consider camping and changing to a dynohub.
Anyway, 9 weeks to go 8) and tho I'm behind schedule, mileage-wise, I'm happy with my progress.

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Tigger
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby Tigger » 9 Jul 2012, 9:53pm

al_yrpal wrote:
Ron wrote:Your apparent enthusiasm to catch the first ferry out to Eriskay after arrival at Castlebay makes this sound like a high pressure tour!
Why not allow a full day on Barra to allow for a circuit of that island and a dip down to Vatersay as well? :)


As well as that the plane landing and taking off from the beach is a must see and the obligatory ten minute discussion/argument with the guy wearing the flourescent orange overalls and the velvet crab fisherman in the hotel bar is a must do. Soak it up...

Al

Thought about your relevant/ interesting points guys, and though I'm aiming for the second ferry of the day, I don't think I'll be able to 'soak it up' this year. Maybe next year, once I know better what I can achieve on day 1 of 8!?!

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al_yrpal
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby al_yrpal » 10 Jul 2012, 10:16am

Twas all in jest! That bloke is real though. I love going into pubs on tour. Some of the characters you encounter add to the experience. You are always bound to meet a few. It's a great ride and its all right on our doorstep.
Have a great time
Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

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Tigger
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby Tigger » 30 Sep 2012, 10:27pm

joegallus wrote:At this stage I am envisaging day 1, i.e. the crossing to Castlebay, being either Saturday 18th or 25th May (b/h and half term (in Wales) will be w/c Monday 27th)

Hey Joegallus 8) any update on your dates? Like Starfire I have to book leave well ahead, especially if it involves half term.

Having done my Barra to the Butt (wheeeeeeee :D) I'm planning to return for a there'n'back roads and circular routes trip but would be great to meet up with you for a day's ride/ cafe or pub stop/ ferry trip or whatever works out...!

gloomyandy
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby gloomyandy » 1 Oct 2012, 9:45pm

Hi Tigger,
interested to hear what you have planned for your next trip. Myself and my partner spent a week on Harris in July this year (I'd been on a solo tour of the Hebrides in May, so it was pretty much an island year). We were based just south of Tarbert, in a cottage just of the golden road. We had many splendid days out on the bikes and a couple in the car for longer runs. We had days out on the islands and then returned back to the cottage to watch Wiggins and co in le tour, really it doesn't get much better!

Andy

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Tigger
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby Tigger » 1 Oct 2012, 11:13pm

gloomyandy wrote:Hi Tigger,
interested to hear what you have planned for your next trip. Myself and my partner spent a week on Harris in July this year (I'd been on a solo tour of the Hebrides in May, so it was pretty much an island year). We were based just south of Tarbert, in a cottage just of the golden road. We had many splendid days out on the bikes and a couple in the car for longer runs. We had days out on the islands and then returned back to the cottage to watch Wiggins and co in le tour, really it doesn't get much better!

Hi Andy :D lucky you, getting to go twice this year!

Well, it's far too early to call it A Plan... more like a primordial soup of idea-lets :wink: I've wondered about a fixed base like your cottage - not excluded the idea yet but think it may be too limiting for the places I want to see. I feel that aiming for much more than 40 miles a day would be a mistake - for various reasons. And I think that B&Bs were absolutely right for my first tour but I had a problem with them and breakfast which points towards hostelling for my second tour.

In order of must-see...

Huisinis (?35 miles return from Tarbert hostel)
Glen Valtos/ Timsgarry/ Uig and road to Mealasta (from where/ to where?)
South Harris circuit, thereby including the Golden Road (from Am Bothan hostel) (about 45 miles?)
South Uist machair/ Benbecula/ North Uist circuits (? 2 days/ from Howmore hostel)
Tolsta/ Bridge to Nowhere (from Stornoway hostel)
Lewis Pentland road (from/ to?)
Rhenigidale hostel (from/ to?)
West coast of Barra (more likely a circuit of Barra)
Berneray hostel
Scalpay from Tarbert
Great Bernera
Tiumpan Head

Hmmm, curses, that looks like at least two holidays :wink:

How I can tie these idea-lets together will be my labour of love for the next 7 months! Oh, and I also want to look at buying or possibly even building :shock: my next bicycle so I'll be a busy bee over the winter...

chrisc
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby chrisc » 2 Oct 2012, 1:20pm

Interesting thread, as Mrs Chrisc and I had been thinking of touring the Hebrides in 2013 also. Hmm .. looks like it might get busy up there !

Joegallus said :

Leave the car in Oban and get the ferry to Castlebay


Perhaps a silly question but where would you leave your car ? In the street ? In a car park ? I would be loathe to entrust our humble carriage to chance for a week or two like that, genteel Oban notwithstanding. We were looking at one-way car hire to Glasgow and rail thereafter in consequence. Similar return from Inverness.
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Other : 1963 Denton retro (now back in the loft!)

gloomyandy
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby gloomyandy » 2 Oct 2012, 11:19pm

Chris, I parked my car in Oban for the 8 days or so I was on tour. This was in early May, things were pretty quiet. I parked just along the sea front from the ferry terminal near a restaurant called the Seafood Temple. I've done this a few times now and so far so good! If you don't fancy doing that there are a couple of places that offer secure parking, or if you contact the camp sites I think that you may be able to leave the car with them.

Tigger, sounds like you have a few plans there. I can certainly recommend the the Gatliff trust hostels. The one on Berneray is particularly special. That one in particular can get very busy at times though. When I was there in May there were eight of us staying, but a few years ago when I visited in August the place was totally packed with probably 25 or more. I find it harder to enjoy a place like that when it is so busy, it is harder to get chatting to people when there are larger groups about. Makes it harder to get any sleep too!

Huisinis is a great ride, we did that this year, pretty hilly though. The area around Uig is really nice with more fantastic beaches. If you do the Golden road make sure you visit the Art cafe at Skoon. There are lots of small roads on South Uist, often going out to old abandoned villages that are well worth a look, can take a while though as they tend to be out and back trips. The road to Rhenigidale is pretty steep, the village is interesting but it seems to have lost some of the magic since the road was built. Try walking the old path in or out to get a feel for how it used to be (probably a bit too precarious to take the bike along though).

Hope you are going to start a thread to tell us all about your new bike. I'm sure we will be all more than happy to help you spend your money!

s2vmx
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby s2vmx » 9 Oct 2012, 9:48pm

Funnilly enough I've been reading a few accounts of Hebridean tours on CGOAB - especially Andy's, which I really enjoyed.
Still not decided on a preferred route. However, I've an incling to head from Oban to Barra and then cycle up to Stornaway and come back to the mainland at Ullapool, then cycle via Aplecross back to wherever I've left the car. This will be limited by the following constrints: Time and My ability.
This may force a chnage of plan once I put some daily mileages onto paper along with ferry times and allow for travelling to/from Liverpool.

But I'm also planning on May so may bump into some of you .

Stu

Richard Barrett
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby Richard Barrett » 10 Oct 2012, 9:07pm

Whatever you do don't forget to drop in for a coffee - first house on the left in Maraig

fredN4
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby fredN4 » 26 Oct 2012, 1:15pm

joegallus wrote:Hi all
I am planning to go ‘chillax’ touring in the Hebrides next May. I am flexible on dates but thought it might be good to go for about 8-10 days, taking in one or other of the bank holidays. May should be good as it will help to avoid the dreaded midges. The rough plan is to leave the car at Oban (I will be travelling up from S Wales). Ferry across and cycle Barra to the Butt. Back down to get the ferry from Tarbert to Skye and back to Oban from there. I am not wedded to this route and am happy to explore other route options (there are a few to choose from!). I will be taking camping kit.
I am 52 and have done a few medium length tours in the recent past (ranging from 300 - 900 miles). I find that I tend to bimble along about 9-10mph and my preferred daily mileage is around the 35 miles mark, but I can up that to 50 mpd if needed. I am keen to visit as many pubs as possible and to be in good enough shape at the end of the day to see the sights and join in any local festivities. I am reasonably well house trained and sociable.
Any advice/comments from others who have toured this area, on good routes/places to go, etc, welcomed.
best wishes
Joe

Was in Stornoway years ago while in the RN. Bloody pubs closed at 9pm. Take you waterproofs.

mattsccm
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby mattsccm » 4 May 2013, 8:02am

Thought I would wake this one up as its close to my little bunch going.(and others) Trying to confirm any ideas about a 1st campsite after landing at Castlebay on Saturday evening. Has to be no more than an hours ride I suppose. Vatersay would be good but I do seem to be picking up suggestions that camping is limited.
your suggestions please. :D