Day 18: Lochmaddy to Lochboisdale

It's hard to believe that the wonderful 50-mile cycle ride that we have enjoyed today followed almost exactly the same route as the nightmare in the wind and rain of two weeks ago on 26th May. Although we have ridden up and down the islands between North and South Uist on five other occasions in the past, this is the first time that we have seen them in fine weather. The landscape is so much prettier in the sunshine.

As well as appreciating the lovely weather, we had a few 'adventures' along the way today (none of which involved punctures - hurrah!) These included meeting a bulldog who wanted to be our cycle escort, various encounters with wildlife (mainly birds - buzzards, an eagle, four or five corncrakes, and skylarks above us much of the way - plus an otter when we checked into our hotel), and a pop-up comedy show at lunchtime.

The comedy show was remarkable because all it comprised was two haulage company workers decanting goods from one large lorry to a smaller one in a supermarket car park. We stopped next to them because here there was suitable seating at which we could eat the sandwiches that we had bought for our lunch from a Co-op about 10 minutes earlier. To begin with we just chatted to the two men as they moved various items of furniture, commenting and joking on the increasing size of the television screens destined for the houses in the islands. Then a coffin came out of the larger van and the comedic tone suddenly turned very dark. 'This is the proof that we deliver anything' the men boasted, 'except babies'! I was in stitches with this and their other jokes.

About 10 miles before we reached tonight's destination of Lochboisdale we passed some large stone dykes along the South Uist coastline. We guessed that these are to protect the dunes and the machair, and then decided to stop the bikes and peer over to investigate. It was at this point that Mr hazelh saw the baby oystercatcher chick that I have blipped. My first extra shows how the photo was taken - although the shot that I have used for my main blip is actually mine and not his. The second extra shows the chick with one of its parents.

We're now delighted to be back at the Lochboisdale hotel in the same room in which we stayed on the way north. The holiday fun continues!

Exercise today: 50 miles of cycling.

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