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Kintyre and Islay Adventure: Scotland 2018!

Re: Kintyre and Islay Adventure: Scotland 2018!

Postby Dave » 12 Aug 2018 17:02

Seamouse wrote:The accommodation looks amazing. So glad you have had mostly good weather, the blues in your pics, could be the Carribean!! Hope the rest of your time there is just as enjoyable. Looking forward to seeing the rest.

Hi Chris - speaking of the Caribbean, how's this ? :-)

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For our first walk on Islay, we drove to the north of the island to visit a wonderful beach. The last three miles of the hour's journey were on probably the worst 'road' we've ever suffered, but thankfully the car seems to have survived it!

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The beach was about three miles long and the sand was perfect. We didn't see a single person but we did see lots of seals in the water, sometimes only about ten yards away.

Fred on the beach:

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Me on the beach:

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Me making footprint patterns: :-)

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At the end of the beach we stopped by some rocks and had lunch:

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We were by a stream which we followed inland and saw a nice little waterfall:

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The route back took us past a great many cows and calves, which was okay(ish)... until we had to get past a big bull with a ring through its nose. There wasn't a barrier between him and us and I don't mind admitting we were nervous - especially when he began to make threatening noises!

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There was a gate nearby and we were relieved to go through and on our way. We returned to the car and rattled our way back to civilisation. We stopped on the way back in Bowmore for a quick look around and to do some shopping. This is Bowmore's distillery - one of many on Islay:

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Islay is very different to Kintyre. From what we've seen so far it's quite similar to the Outer Hebrides, although the roads aren't nearly as good!

We love Scotland! :-)

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Booked cruise: Marella Explorer - Caribbean, Christmas 2018
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Kintyre and Islay Adventure: Scotland 2018!

Postby grannyM » 12 Aug 2018 17:34

I am glad you had a better day for weather there than here Dave. It's been pouring down here all day so good you were further west and north.

As you will no doubt now know Bowmore distillery is one of the oldest in Scotland still operational - Established in 1779. I do hope you had a sample. :thumbup:
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Re: Kintyre and Islay Adventure: Scotland 2018!

Postby Dave » 13 Aug 2018 17:54

Today we drove to Port Askaig to start our walk. We took an extremely small ferry to the island of Jura which took about 10 minutes. There we did a short walk along the coast before returning to Islay. We then walked to a tiny place called Ballygrant where we were delighted to find a cafe. We returned to Port Askaig on a lovely track through the vast Dunlossit Estate.

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Me on the ferry with Islay behind:

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Jura is almost as big as Islay but has a tiny population of around 200. There are lots of deer though and we saw some, although they were a fair way off:

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Fred on the beach on Jura with Islay behind:

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The ferry is neither very regular nor frequent, so when we saw it heading our way we hurried back along the beach to catch it. We were only just in time!

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The walk to Ballygrant was pleasant enough but the next photo I took was at the cafe.

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At Ballygrant we entered the Dunlossit Estate and followed a delightful route through woods and alongside lochs:

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In the distance are the impressive mountains of Jura which are known as the Paps:

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This loch is called Lily Loch:

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Another brilliant Scottish day! :-)

(Today was cloudy but it didn't rain. However, the forecast predicts rain every day for the rest of the week.)

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Kintyre and Islay Adventure: Scotland 2018!

Postby grannyM » 14 Aug 2018 09:35

Dave wrote:
(Today was cloudy but it didn't rain. However, the forecast predicts rain every day for the rest of the week.)


I am looking out at it right now. Welcome to my world. :(
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Kintyre and Islay Adventure: Scotland 2018!

Postby Gillzajoker » 14 Aug 2018 13:49

Wonderful scenery :D
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Re: Kintyre and Islay Adventure: Scotland 2018!

Postby Dave » 14 Aug 2018 16:43

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The Mull of Oa is a rocky peninsula at the southern tip of Islay. The area is wild, hilly moorland and our accommodation is high up in the middle. On the coast to the southwest are two places we wanted to see - the American Monument and the site of an ancient fortress. So we gave the car a well-earned rest and did today's walk directly from the house...

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The forecast was for rain all day so we were prepared for the worst with our most waterproof gear. However, although it rained heavily for the first couple of miles it then fizzled out to just being damp, drizzly and misty.

The American Monument is very high up on a cliff and the views of the rugged coastline were spectacular. The monument is to the hundreds of US soldiers and many British sailors who died nearby at sea in 1918. The monument looks like a lighthouse and is very impressive:

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On the way to the monument we startled a deer which went bounding away across the heather. That was exciting to see, but the wild goats we came across were truly awesome (which isn't a word I use very often!). I honestly didn't know that goats could be so big - or have such huge horns. TBH, they were quite scary!

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As well as wild goats and sheep, we also had to navigate our way past a great many Highland Cattle. They're docile, but those horns!...

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Our second destination can be seen in the next photo. It's the top of the big rocky cliff in the centre of the photo where there was once a stronghold of some kind.

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On the way we had to get across a ravine with very muddy sides...

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...but the views as we headed for the stronghold rock (still in the misty distance) made the effort well worthwhile:

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Nothing remains of the fort, which was once perched on this rock hundreds of feet above the sea and reached by a narrow rock bridge, but it's certainly possible to imagine the incredibly harsh and dangerous conditions endured by the occupants:

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This is another view from the same spot. Behind Fred is Beinn Mhor, the highest point on Oa and which we had hoped to climb, but the weather wasn't in our favour - the low cloud meant we couldn't even see it!:

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Heading back down, we made our way across a lot of wet moorland until we found the track leading home...

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Another fabulous day's adventure in wonderful Scotland! :-)

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Booked cruise: Marella Explorer - Caribbean, Christmas 2018
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Re: Kintyre and Islay Adventure: Scotland 2018!

Postby rdw123 » 15 Aug 2018 07:06

Looks like you saw more animals than people! Shall miss your photos when your adventures are over.
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Re: Kintyre and Islay Adventure: Scotland 2018!

Postby Dave » 15 Aug 2018 08:05

rdw123 wrote:Looks like you saw more animals than people!...


That's very true Ruth - that's one of the many things we love about Scotland. Once we leave the beaten track it's rare to see anyone at all. :-)

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Booked cruise: Marella Explorer - Caribbean, Christmas 2018
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Kintyre and Islay Adventure: Scotland 2018!

Postby Gillzajoker » 15 Aug 2018 09:31

Another great day out for you. :D
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Kintyre and Islay Adventure: Scotland 2018!

Postby grannyM » 15 Aug 2018 09:41

Another challenging walk. Islay is a beautiful island. Pity about the mist because the view from these hills must be spectular. :(
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