Lochmaddy is where the ferry comes in on the Isle of North Uist. It has a ferry terminal, two hotels, two shops, a doctor’s surgery, a bank and a scattering of houses. Probably not somewhere that people spend a week of their holidays. But Lochmaddy is where the lifeboat brought us to and it turned out to be a great place for Heidi to recover from her slipped disc.
The spare part we needed was a new fresh water pump. We contacted David Richardson – a Sales Engineer at Ferrier Pumps Ltd. David had the part on our boat 46 hours after we ordered it, and that on a remote Scottish Island. Contact him at 71 Cumbernauld Rd, Glasgow, G31 2SN, 0141 554 3454, firstname.lastname@example.org www.ferrierpumps.co.uk
One shop sold the groceries we needed to live and the other sold the screws and glue that we needed for a few repairs to the boat. The hotel sold whisky and John MacDonald at the ferry terminal received spare parts from the mainland for us. Every one was friendly and continually asked about the status of Heidi’s back. As the first person to be rescued by the new lifeboat she was something of a celebrity.
The village has about six roads and, during our walks, we combined them in every way possible. Now that we are leaving, people are going to wonder what happened to the two people who walked past their house three times a day. I am sure we can draw a detailed map of the village from memory.
Once Heidi was able to sit longer than 20 minutes we took the “anticlockwise” bus to the neighbouring hamlet of Sollas which has a stunning white beach backed by huge dunes and washed by waves off the Atlantic, about 30 houses and the biggest supermarket on the island. We walked along the beach, drank coffee in the community center and filled a trolley at the co-op. Luckily the bus driver delivered us to the end of the ramp at the marina with our three full bags of provisions.
Tomorrow we plan on leaving Lochmaddy to continue south. We will take pleasant memories of the village and people with us.