I slept fitfully thanks to the gale force winds and Rich’s snoring, but after a lie-in and lemon curd on toast breakfast we felt fit enough to brave the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo and walk around Castlebay’s harbour. Wearing our Autumn finery meant that whilst it was indeed a bit blowy, we stayed snug, and largely upright thanks to walking poles.

Most of the shops and services were closed due to the severe weather, and the ferry had stayed in the dock overnight, but this allowed us time to get our bearings. Castlebay is small but has a bank, post office, Co-op, tourist information office, community centre and several cafes and restaurants, so is very well served for a community of its size.

Amazingly, whilst the ferry wouldn’t be leaving for Lochboisidale until the next day, flights were still landing up at Traigh Mhòr. One hell of a turbulent ride no doubt!

From the village centre we walked to Leideag and followed the track to the phone mast. Here we were befriended by 4 fat ponies all wanting cuddles and food. They’d obviously chosen this spot to shelter from the wind and hail, and it made for a pleasant respite from the elements.

On our way back to the apartment we popped into the TIC to ask about the all important chippy van round, and were most distraught to find that it’s off the road because of mechanical problems. So much for fish and chips on Friday, but the very nice lady behind the desk assured us that that the Tartan Cafe serves a good plate. Cafe Kisimul had also closed until November, so we wouldn’t be getting our much anticipated curry either. Fortunately we like to cook, and the Co-op was well stocked, but still. You have to eat fish and chips outside when the weather is really bad. It’s the law.

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