The Armin Grewe Homepage
Picture of the Port Charlotte Hotel in the morning sun Picture of Ruvaal lighthouse with the Isle of Colonsay in the background
Picture of the pier and houses at Scalasaig All too quick it was time to say good-bye to Islay. After a last breakfast at the Port Charlotte Hotel we loaded our bags and the various souvenirs into the car and left for Port Askaig to catch the ferry to Colonsay.

During the ferry crossing we had mostly sunny and calm weather with excellent views of the Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain distilleries, Ruvaal lighthouse and over to Colonsay and Oronsay. After an hour we arrived at Scalasaig on the Isle of Colonsay, the Colonsay Hotel where we were going to stay is only a short distance from the pier.

After checking in we had to decide what to do at the afternoon. We found out that low tide was going to be early in the afternoon, which helped making a quick decision: We were going to walk over The Strand to Oronsay.

Picture of The Strand

Between Colonsay and Oronsay is The Strand, a mile wide stretch of tidal mud flats. During the two hours each side of low tide it is possible to walk (or drive, if you're lazy, but then you'll have to thoroughly wash your car afterwards) from Colonsay to Oronsay and back. While the first stretch is sandy I would recommend wearing shoes later on, as there are a lot of shells and stones further on which make walking barefoot quite uncomfortable.

We left the car at the end of the road on Colonsay and after a quick lunch started walking, kind of following the water retreating. It is quite weird to walk where at high tide you would find several feet of water. Once we arrived on Oronsay we followed the track over to the west of the island until we arrived at Oronsay Farm. Now it was time for some history: At Oronsay Farm are also the ruins of an Augustinian priory.

Picture of people on The Strand Picture of Oronsay Farm and the Priory
Picture of Oronsay CrossThe priory is often linked to St Columba, who is said to have landed here on his way from Ireland to Iona. There is no proof for this though, most of the buildings only date back to the 14th century. One of the highlights is the 15th century high cross, the picture can only capture a tiny part of all the intricate carvings. More carved crosses and grave slabs can be found in a restored side chapel. Picture of the ruins of Oronsay Priory
Picture of The Strand from Oronsay
Picture of Armin on The StrandPicture of Imke on The StrandLater in the afternoon we left Oronsay for the walk back to Colonsay. From the track near Dun Domhnuill is one of the better views of the whole expanse of The Strand. Quite impressive, the panorama doesn't really do it justice.

A good hour after leaving the priory we arrived back at the car on Colonsay. Here we had a nice chat with a couple from Dundee who had been on my website and recognised me from my pictures. Interesting how small the world can be!

Finally it was back to the hotel where we relaxed in the garden, enjoying the late afternoon sun.

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