It’s not just the birds that draw me to Islay, it’s also very rich in ancient history and has some of the best preserved Christian high crosses anywhere in Britain.
Back to Islay and the geese. The aim was to place them in a wider context and I was fortunate that the weather was with me (seems like it’s not been very good since then). The mornings were superb and straight out of the van I was able to work with a perfect backdrop and the geese coming over the waters of Loch Indal. Trying to work them together is not such an easy task, focusing is all against you and the focusing spot had to be continually adjusted.
Islay’s about the perfect destination in winter if you love both geese and a good malt. For such a small island it has a wealth of fine distilleries and they are wonderfully located. Eight distilleries in such a compact area all responding to the natural characteristics of the island.
We woke to rain, nothing unusual about that, but the van wasn’t shaking and it just felt stiller. Looking out to Handa was just too much, we had planned to move back south today but being opposite the island and now with the possibility that today the boat just might run, we had to give it one last shot. We could move down south a little quicker it was a chance we had to take. It had even stopped raining!
Leaving Ullapool we travelled up to Scourie and another impressive site, one I’d not stayed on before. You couldn’t really get much closer to the sea here and overlooking Handa, which was to be our last hope of visiting a single off shore island on this journey to Scotland.
Ardmair was to be our base for the next couple of nights. The last paragraph of my diary entry for our first day sums up what was to be another long but ultimately rewarding day,
…so all in all saw a great sunrise, a magnificent sunset and 16 hours in between which gave very occasional glimpses of the sublime.