It is a beautiful but breezy Friday.
This morning the MV Clansman cut a striking image.
Due to the prevailing conditions she departed slightly early.
On Friday mornings the ferry arrives at the Isle of Tiree at 9:35.
How this past week has flown by.
Today has the appearance of a catch-up day.
It is time to look back on Monday’s second walk of the day.
Our son was due to sail on Tuesday evening.
The forecast for Tuesday was for strong winds and rain.
There was no mistaking the fact that the forecast was spot on.
With the forecast in mind we decided to do a second walk on Monday.
In the morning we had walked at the island’s west end.
Monday afternoon saw us at the east end.
Neither of us had walked from Salum to Miodar and on to Caolas.
We had visited the three locations on several occasions.
However, we had never joined up the dots.
Monday morning had been bright and sunny.
In the afternoon it was still bright but more cloudy.
In many ways it proved to be ideal walking conditions.
We decided to follow the walk detailed in the book ‘Tiree Walks’.
Instead of parking at Brock we choose to park at Salum.
We did not want to walk out and back the same way.
So we took the circular route.
Since coming to Tiree it had been a long held desire to to do this walk.
It felt good to be walking along the track from Salum to Miodar.
We did not know exactly what to expect on the walk.
The coastal scenery was certainly different.
On the walk you pass through a number of different habitats.
These include machair, in-bye grassland, and sandy bays.
There is also sliabath and wet grassland with pools.
Add to that a rocky coast with small inlets.
Finally there are several small lochs.
We have always appreciated the beach and bay at Salum.
It was at Salum that we were first conscious of seals following us.
Today the tide was out but it was a beautiful sight looking through the Machair.
Throughout the morning’s walk we had kept catching sight of Ben Hynish.
As soon as we had parked we look back across to the same Ben.
Ben Hynish and Tilley the Turbine are two great landmarks.
They both help you get your bearings.
Saturday’s walk on the south east end of the island included a raised grassy bank.
Without digging down we felt this feature was probably a natural pebble bank.
The start of the walk on Monday afternoon was also on a raised bank.
We wondered if it was a natural feature or by the hand of man.
As we looked out to sea we were able to make out the Isle of Rum.
There it sat between a blue sky and a beep blue sea.
The sun broke through at just the right moment.
At Caolas we were back to white shell sand beaches.
It was low tide and we were able to walk along the beach.
The township of Caolas has some very special views across the Hebrides.
– Mull and the Treshnish Isles, Coll, Gunna, Rum, Eigg and the Western Isles –
There are even views to Ardnamurchan and distant mainland peaks.
The view towards the Isle of Mull was dark and threatening,
Our feeling was that while we were enjoying the sunshine they we were having rain.
The waters of the Gunna Sound reflected the sky above – sunshine and dark clouds.
There was time to watch the bird life on the beach and rocks.
A walk through Tiree’s island landscape is rich in wild-life.
The Isle of Tiree inspires artists.
Yet it is as if nature is its very own artist.
For the Christian it is the touch of the Creator’s hand.
Tiree is a beautiful place to live and work.
But one thing it is not – a romantic isle removed from reality.
Men and women have to work and face the daily pressures of life and living.
Has it been a good year for Tiree’s crofters and farmers?
When the sunshines you can hear the grass being cut and bales being formed.
As we completed the circuit at Salum we had a colourful reminder of all the hard work.
This is ‘Life on Tiree’.
It feels like autumn is upon us.
Yet days like Monday and today still have a touch of summer.