Army veteran Dan McNeil said today (Monday 6 September) that he had landed in Barradise, after less than a day on the island of his ancestors.
Despite the grey and breezy weather, the marathon fundraiser said he was ‘feeling the love’ even before he reached his dream destination.
Fellow ferry-travellers bought his lunch and shared the trip home with him, while Bayview Guest House provided a room for his first night on Barra soil – theirs was just one of the offers he received for somewhere to stay.
Dan is walking all 11,000 miles of the UK coastline to raise funds for the armed forces welfare charity SSAFA, who provide lifelong support to members of the armed forces and their families.
The charity supported Dan through hard times after he returned to civilian life, and he wants to help make sure other veterans can get everything they need. You can support his endeavour at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/danwalksuk
Over recent weeks Dan has been enjoying a slow tour through the inner isles, leaving Coll for Oban and his crossing to Castlebay yesterday afternoon.
Just an hour after arriving in Castlebay he posted on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/danwalksuk
He said: “Such an awesome feeling coming here and so excited to go round Barra where many previous MacNeils/McNeils walked. One hour of my stay at Barra and I’m greeted with love!”
This morning he walked five miles to Vatersay, stopping to pay homage to those lost in the world wars at Barra war memorial and at the memorial to the men of the Catalina, which crashed at the summit of Theiseabhal Beag in Vatersay during a night training exercise in May 1944.
He said: “So we’ve made it to Vatersay, at the village hall eating some nuts and hydrating. It might be a dreich day but wow, Barra is absolutely stunning!”
Dan intends to wild camp tonight, before crossing the causeway back to Barra and walking round the west side of the island to Borve for a second night. Later this week he will cross the Sound of Barra and make his way north through the islands.
The picture shows Dan on the ferry from Oban