Thursday, 23 April 2015

Hello, I've been away, now I'm back

I have been away to the island of Coll off the West coast for Scotland for a few days. My uncle and Aunt live there and I try to visit every year, to see them and to enjoy the scenery and the beaches. I love it there, it's so quiet, unspoilt and beautiful and for a photographer and beach lover, perfect. We didn't manage last year, so I was really looking forward to getting there last Tuesday.

The beach across from my Uncle's house, my favourite place in the world

I took hundreds of photos but I won't bore you with them all! We were so lucky with the weather again after a rocky start on Tuesday when it was wet, windy and a bit choppy on the boat, but it could have been a lot worse. It's a three hour drive to Oban from home then just under three hours on the boat from there to Coll, for me the travelling is part of the adventure, so I don't mind.

Turf roofs at Sorisdale, Coll

Once on Coll it's a ten minute drive to the north part of the island, and once at the house we are spoiled, well fed and well looked after. There were no views to be had from the house when we arrived on Tuesday evening, so we settled down for a quiet evening of dinner and catching up.

Fabulous sea colours, my colours

This is our fourth trip to Coll, so we've seen all of the island, and with only two of my boys with me this time, it was different again. Morning is usually a bit of a lie in then breakfast sitting looking out the full length windows across the water to the island of Rum and Skye behind.

In front is the Island of Rum and behind the Cullens of Skye in the evening light from An Croic, Coll

My first visit when on the island is to the beach right across the dunes from the house, it's my most  perfect place in the world. It's a fairly small beach but the white sand curves around the small bay and in the weather we had, the sea is turquoises, jades and pale greens, lapping in sun dazzled lazy waves like a tropical island paradise. There are plenty rocks and dunes around the beach to clamber and explore and rock pools to investigate for sea anemones and interesting seaweed. Once I've had my fix, sat on a rock and absorbed the silence, open views and light for a while, walked the beach and taken loads of photos I head back to see what the day has in store.

My favourite beach opposite my uncle's house with the Isle of Rum in the background

Over the course of the three full days we were there, we went to Sorisdale right at the top of the island to retrieve a barrel my uncle had found there. He's going to recycle it into a compost bin. On the way back we stopped at Struan beach for a walk with Robbie their dog. In the evening if the sunset looks promising we climb the local hill opposite the house, every evening on this trip the sunset was beautiful.

Sunset on the first evening from An Chroic

The next day we visited Cliad beach which has seals on the rocks just off shore, they are curious creatures that swim along following us as we walk along the beach, silently watching us with those sad looking but intelligent faces. We counted over 10 in the water following us at one point. We collected pretty shells and interesting rocks, it looks like my sons have inherited the habit of coming back from a beach with pockets of nature's treasure from the beach.





Sunset from An Chroic on Wednesday night with the Outer Hebrideas on the horizon

On our last full day I went down to the village to pick up some gifts to take back, being a small island shopping is limited, which is a good thing for the purse! They have a great deli, village store and a post office that sell gifts.

Arinagour village, Coll

Chains at the harbour, Arinagour, Coll

Geese on the loch

After my shopping trip I headed to the south of the island to see what photos I could take, the weather was gloriously sunny and the views amazing, There were plenty lambs and geese in the fields.

After lunch my Uncle took us to the only beach we haven't visited, Gallanach. Every time you think you've seen the best beach, the next one is even better. We walked along to the north end of the beach and climbed the rocky promontory where we got great views all around.

paddling, yes it was cold, but good

Gallanach beach, Coll

Robbie

Enjoying my wee holiday and the views

Three men on a rock

We finished the day by attending the local kids holiday concert which was very entertaining then dinner out at the Coll hotel in the village. The food was great and the views over the harbour enjoyed as we ate dinner.

last sunset, again we could see the Outer Hebrideas on the horizon

Fortunately sailing home the following day was so calm and sunny, we enjoyed sitting out in the sun on the deck, reading, photographing and enjoying the views which made the sailing go very quickly. An easy drive through the hills and glens in glorious sunshine finished off our trip and all too soon it was home to auld claes and porridge, well dinner cooked by David for us coming home.

Again it was a wonderful trip and a very relaxing break for me, it will probably be my only holiday this year, due to my courses and some other stuff I am contemplating so I made the most of it.


6 comments:

  1. Proof indeed that if we could guarantee the weather you would never need leave our beautiful country!
    Amazing photography Rona, thanks for sharing your wee holiday.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Angie, I agree totally, there is no where better in good weather, especially north on the west coast, the beaches are usually empty and the wild life and light, scenery and views are a joy and so up lifiting :)

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  2. Oh my goodnesss. I have always wanted to visit Scotland and the islands. Olly loves the Katie Morag books, and he'd love to take a ferry to see where she lives too. Your pictures are so beautiful. The sunsets, the empty beaches, the sublime colours...... oh you lucky thing!
    Leanne xx

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  3. Hi Leanne, The author of the Katie Morag books lives on Coll and that's where the stories are based, infact she served us coffee at the childrens show on our last night! She is lovely. I read the books to my 3 when they were wee too. I love the west coast of Scotland but haven't seen a alot of it too my shame, I've been to the other side of the world in both directions but never to the very north west of my own country. In fact our plan for our honeymoon next year is a road trip around the north of Scotland and out to the outer Hebrideas and all the way down the islands and back to the mainland further south :) For me as I said in my blog there is no where as perfect as the islands with their beaches and the colours of the sea :) xx

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, it's the best place, I love it :)

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