Thursday, 16 April 2009

Desert(ed) Island...

Something we have talked about doing pretty much each and every year since we first started visiting the Hebrides is walking across at low tide to visit the island of Vallay - just off the coast of North Uist.  At last today the weather and the tides were right so we set off 1.5 miles across what is for most of the time seabed to explore. Vallay was occupied until 1945 but since then has been abandoned. Vallay House itself is now largely derelict and is unsafe to enter, although it is possible to look in through some of the windows to get a flavour of the former grandness of the interior. If you are interested in finding out more historical details then Google "Vallay House" and it throws up some interesting links. There were others there when we first arrived but once they had left we had the place to ourselves - quite an odd feeling being on an entire Island without anyone else there, we agreed! The house itself is marvellous, and there are remains of lots of other buildings to look at although at the moment we're not clear on what a lot of them are. We'll certainly be hoping to go back at some stage in the future.

It seems almost impossible that already we have to be thinking towards packing up to go home.  Tomorrow will be a day of shopping for Salmon, Pate, oatcakes and Scallops to take home, and revisiting places and people for a last time before driving aboard MV Hebrides on Saturday morning to begin our journey homewards. It'd be hard not to feel a lingering sadness about the idea of leaving but we'll leave that for the ferry on Saturday - to do anything else now would be to spoil our last precious hours here, and anyway we'll be back -once the Islands have got under your skin it's unthinkable that you would not return.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm visiting Uist at the moment,
touring in a landrover which i
sometimes sleep in, sometimes
outside wrapped in a duvet and
piece of tarp if the weathers ok.
Special place 4 sure. Genuinely
cosmic. The beach at Solas - Traigh
Lar is incredible, being a giant 2
miles long crescent. This weekend is
May bank holiday, origining from
pagan natural cycle festival, and
there will b plenty of sessions and
dances. In fact theres 1 in Berneray
bim 2nite that i mite chek out!
Bizarre that Vallay is abandoned -
think i'll go and visit. When stormy
this place is very atmospheric..
reminds me of North Wales in that
sense. Get hold of some snorkeling
gear including wetsuit if u plan a visit
here - the sea is ideal 4 this, but
cold. Check the beach is safe 4
swimming first with locals who r
outstandingly friendly and who make
this place so special. It can b very
emotional because this genuine
sense of community is generally
absent elsewhere in UK plc (sic).