The Postman’s Path is a cycling challenge that tests a rider’s mettle over rugged terrain. But until 1990, the trail was the only means of getting vital supplies to remote islanders, and it was the job of one man to walk its 10km route three times a week
• All photos by Tristan Tinn. This article first appeared in Sidetracked
I stand at the end of the concrete slipway, looking out over a mercury-like sea. A seal pops its head through the surface before slipping back into the Hebridean waters. Low clouds hang with all the weight of Harris Tweed and the late July dusk illuminates the craggy coastline surrounding the small harbour.
At my back is the house of Kenny and Moira MacKay, who are in their 80s. I imagine the pair looking out on a similar, but forever dynamic view over the preceding decades. Over the years little has changed inland either, except for one additional feature – a strip of tarmac road that drops steeply into the village of Rhenigidale (or Rèinigeadal in Gaelic). This road was built in 1990, making this small group of houses on the east coast of the Isle of Harris the last in Britain to be connected by road.