We’re not heading home just yet…. our tour is over but we have an extra week out in the islands, part pilgrimage and part research for a future tour for people who want to travel with us to new and interesting places. Three ferry crossings brought us to Islay in the southern Hebrides, and from here we will travel onwards to Colonsay and Oronsay.
I must say, our arrival wasn’t the smoothest — the midges were out in force, and we had a rather hideous hotel experience our first night, but sometimes life is like that — the best experiences require a bit of effort. We got incredible support from the local tourist information office who found us the loveliest B&B for our second night. We now know exactly where to stay when we come back to Islay, and I have a few new friends I might never have met otherwise. Emma from Glenegedale House met us with this beautiful surprise when we arrived:
and we are staying in a superb room in her home, which gave us a perfect view of this evening’s sunset.
Jeff has been talking about his love for this island (and it’s smokey whisky) ever since I met him. Even though I’m not a whisky drinker myself, I’ve wanted to see the island, it’s crosses, and it’s landscape. It was worth the wait. The morning’s light drizzle gave way to an afternoon of dazzling sunshine – with nary a midge in sight!
Scotland has so many colours, and after the grey of the morning, it was magical to watch everything start to sparkle as the sun came out. This is big sky country, and the sea reflects that big sky with its myriads of moods, turning the water the most marvelous shades of blue and turquoise, which contrasted with the brilliant yellows, pinks and blues of the flowers along the roadsides.
I’m eager to see Colonsay tomorrow, but hate the thought of leaving this island, it’s beautiful landscape, and my elegant and comfortable sea view bedroom! Perhaps now that I have found both beauty and friends, we will find a way to come back soon!
(It pains me not to tell the stories of these photos, but I simply don’t have time to write anymore before we have to head for our ferry. Perhaps I’ll return to them once we are home and I am sorting through my stories and memories…)