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High Isles - Eriskay
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Please note that the above coords are not for the cache site. See below for more information.
This is a relatively simple cache close to the highest point on the island of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides. The height gain is fairly small, as is the distance.
This cache belongs to a new series started recently by the Mugdock Mudpies (a family of four from Glasgow,) that has caches on the highest points on different islands in Scotland. On some islands the cache could be relatively simple, Barra for example, but a cache on the highest point of Skye would be a little more interesting!!
The island of Eriskay is situated near the bottom of a string of islands to the west of Scotland called the Outer Hebrides, with its highest point being Ben Scrien (Beinn Sciathan) at 185 metres. The island can be accessed by causeway from South Uist or ferry from Barra. The crossing will take you about 40 minutes, sometimes with great views of seals and other wildlife. Information about ferries can be found here
Once on the island, whether you are in a car or on foot or bike head up the main road, (this is easy to find as there is only one road!) Coming from Uist you will go through the main village of Balla. Follow the signs for the Sound of Barra ferry, although Ben Scrien is very obvious from anywhere on the island and following your nose is the easiest thing to do.
When we put out this cache, we got the ferry from Barra and cycled up the hill for about a kilometre, parked the bikes and basically just headed straight on up. Alternatively, you could leave bikes/car in the village of Balla or nearer the coast at the other end of the island. The walk up is straightforward; just follow your nose as there isn’t a path. In places it can be quite boggy, and there is a low fence to contend with, but apart from that there are no other problems. That’s not to say, however, that you won’t need suitable footwear and equipment, walking boots and other kit such as waterproofs are very important. A compass may be useful.
On the way, please bear in mind that the coordinates above may not be 100% accurate, we think it’s a combination of poor satellite reception and incorrect conversion. If you have any coordinates that you think are better for the summit of Ben Scrien, feel free to email them to us via our profile.
Once on the summit, where the above coordinates will take you, you can use your compass and walk 50 paces on a bearing of 330° or use the additional hint below. From the cache you should get views of the South Uist hills, and if you are very lucky with the weather, St. Kilda.
There are many options for the walk down. We went pretty much due west from the top, down the shoulder and towards the cairns marked on the OS map. If anyone knows anything about them don’t hesitate to post it on a log, we’d love to hear it. On the way look out for Eriskay ponies, unique to the island.
No visit to Eriskay is complete without a visit to the delightful pub, ‘Am Politician.’ Named after the famous ship, H.M.S. Politian, which ran aground of the coast of Eriskay it carried crates upon crates of whisky. Locals duly did all they could to salvage this cargo and their exploits are covered hilariously in Sir Compton MacKenzie’s book ‘Whisky Galore.’ The film made from it is well worth seeing and available to buy on both Barra and Eriskay. The pub, known to the islanders as ‘the pollie’ is very welcoming on a wet day and the memorabilia inside is hugely interesting. Just ask at the bar.
Another point of interest is the main beach on the west side of the island near to the ferry terminal called coilleag a’ Phrionnsa, where Bonnie Prince Charlie made his first landing in the UK. The monument just above the beach honours this.
The island of Eriskay is a beautiful place and we hope you enjoy finding this cache.
PS: Many thanks go to The Bruernish Babes for looking after this cache.
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Last Updated: on 11/15/2017 3:34:20 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (11:34 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum