Playing Catch-Up

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.

The MV Clansman heads out in the Passage of Tiree bound for Coll and Oban

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 caught this striking photo of a rainbow arching over the MV Clansman as she departed from Tiree on Tuesday evening.

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.

At long last the sun broke through on Tuesday evening resulting in a colourful sunset – close to island house.

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.

Looking through the machair towards Salum beach

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.

Miodar at the North East end of the island

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.

Coll View, Caolas

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.

Salum House close to the start of our walk

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.

At Salum ‘in-bye grassland’ freshly cut.

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.

A different land and seascape from the wide expanse of sandy beaches

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.

Low tide at Salum

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.

Looking across Salum beach to Ben Hynish

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.

A grassy bank for a track between Salum and Miodar

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.

The isle of Rum

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.

An artist at work

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.

One of the many cows we passed on our walk – Tiree is crofting community

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.

Green grass and purple bales.

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.
It feels like autumn is upon us.
Yet days like Monday and today still have a touch of summer.

Creels by Salum House