Oh dear! I'd better go and find out what their proper names are - Loch an t-Sàilean to Loch a-Chnuic.Another of those - looks easy on the map stretches but, as with most of the east coast, believe me, it isn't! Ages ago I had asked Fiona Middleton, wife of land owner, George Middleton, if she would accompany me for this stretch and we finally set off on Saturday 12th January to do it. There having been two Loggerhead Turtles recently washed up on Islay's shores, we scoured the storm battered beaches for 'bodies' but, fortunately, didn't find any. The tide was quite low, enabling us to cross briefly to Eilean Imersay before cutting across to Kildalton House for refreshments before setting off on the more arduous section of the walk. Yes, we missed out some nooks and crannies, but the last time I attempted this difficult section I had to make a hasty retreat as the coastline is impassable. The path from Kildalton House to Knock Bay is now largely overgrown with rhododendron but we bravely fought our way through bush, brier and bog to the small bay. Just to make sure we also walked this tiny sandy bay before retracing our steps to the road and the car.
Friday, 11 January 2008
Granny Rock, near Machir Bay
The 'gravewood' at KilnaveThis was another 'niggly situation'. I knew I had done most of the coastline from Ardnave to the head of Loch Gruinart, but that there was a tiny stretch inbetween Ardnave and Kilnave that I hadn't done so, just to be on the safe side, I did the whole stretch again - yes, all one mile of it! (or there abouts). My younger brother, Tim, and my parents were here for Christmas so Tim and I walked this short stretch of coast and mum and dad came to meet us at Kilnave in the car. We took the obligatory photos through Kilnave chapel window and decided this would be a good place to rest in peace. Lots of old gravestones here, but the most interesting is the 'gravewood', a grave marked with a carved piece of inscribed wood. Nice! Later we discovered that a Loggerhead Turtle was washed up at Ardnave on 29th December. We did this walk on the 27th December and the circular walk round the peninsula on the 30th December and didn't see anything! Typical! The gaps are closing up but those two longish stretches on The Oa loom heavily on my mind. I had arranged a walk at the beginning of this month, but the weather wasn't suitable. Weather providing, I'll close up another short gap at Kildalton Estate. Here's Granny for you, Armin!