Colonsay Explorer

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July 27th 2006
Published: July 28th 2006
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Weather Report

Rain during the night and low cloud / overcast to begin with. Sun gradually broke through and the afternoon was hot and sunny.

Bathed in the sea- there are no facilities and then had breakfast to be on the road shortly after 8am. Followed the road north through attractive mountain moorland for about forty minutes before arriving at the track for Kiloran and Balnahard Bays. Probably could have taken the bike but decided to walk - proved to be quite a long hike ! Lovely views first of Kiloran Bay - wide expanse of empty golden sand - before I eventually arrived at Balnahard Bay. Again a lovely expanse of sand with some rocks accommodating birds. Spying a gaggle (?) of cormorants on some rocks I decided to sneak up and take a photo. All was going well until a pair of arctic terns spied me and decided to attack. While they did not actually land blows (unlike those on the Farne Islands some weeks back) they did eventually drive me back.

Retraced my route for a mile or so and then followed the road to the west coast. Again lovely countryside and beautiful coastal scenery with rocky headlands separating sweeping bays.

Now decided that I would try and visit Oronsay the small island attached to the south end of Colonsay by a causeway covered at high tide. It is important for its priory ruins that may have been used by St Columba. They certainly date from the sixth century.

This is where the day went a little awry. I arrived at the head of the causeway a little unsure in which direction to proceed but saw a line of rocks placed artificially in the sand so followed that. If I had bothered to look at the land I would have realised I was not heading for an island but another part of Colonsay. Don’t tell anyone ! Spent a good thirty minutes looking for non-existent ruins and getting irritated. Did manage to take some good photos of the coastline however.

Retracing my steps to the causeway the error of my ways slowly dawned and I began to cross the causeway. However I realised that I would have little time on Oronsay (or too much if you get my drift) so retreated. And explored that part of Colonsay I had yet to inspect.

Arrived back in Scalasaig (capital / ferry terminal) shortly after 5.30 to find the store still open so made some purchases and fell into conversation with the store owner and asked him about some construction work I had seen. He referred to this as the islands ‘white elephant’ - apparently they are building an airport. Could be another ‘Knock’ - refer Google if uncertain !!!! Anyway the plan is two have a couple of flights a week from Glasgow - will be interesting to see how it works out.

Returned to camp to dine and later wander along the shore. The sheep with the funny voice that I befriended last night (I omitted that from last blog) is deceased. Lying on the beach - fortunately some distance from me. Sad. Guess I will have to inform …


11th September 2006

"White Elephant"
The "Airport" could be vital for Colonsay's future. The plan is for 2 flights PER DAY to Oban. This would allow High School pupils home every weekend and could help to attract young families to the Island. The project has caused some division on Colonsay but, as an ex Islander, I can see the advantages.

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