The Armin Grewe Homepage
Picture of a distillery at a shore, a shipwreck also in view Wednesday, the day for the excursion to Islay's north westerly neighbour: The Isle of Colonsay. James How was going to be our guide for the day and take us to Kiloran Bay and up to Carnan Eoin. The crossing of The Strand to Oronsay wasn't an option for this visit as low tide was at the wrong time.

We met at Port Askaig to catch the weekly ferry to Colonsay, from the ferry we had good views of where we had walked the previous day, including views over Bunnahabhain Distillery. Passing Rhuvaal Lighthouse at the top of the Sound of Islay we were impressed how much we had walked. But now it was time for Colonsay, in good view once we had left the sound.

After arriving in Scalasaig on Colonsay we set out towards Kiloran Bay, initially walking up the track 'over the hill' (Beinn nan Gudairean). Good views back to Jura from here!
Picture of a lighthouse Picture of a view from a hill through two hills out to the sea
Picture of a group of walkers looking over an island landscape Having crossed the hill and on our way down again we were presented with a good view over Colonsay and towards Kiloran Bay, our destination. We could also see the Isle of Mull with Ben More in the distance.

Arriving near Loch Fada James gave us some interesting geological information: The glen with Loch Fada running through Colonsay is actually the most south westerly part of the Great Glen Fault, running all the way past Fort William, through the Great Glen, Loch Ness and Inverness. Very occasionally geological movements still occur, as evidenced by a small earthquake felt on Colonsay a few years ago.

Through the woodlands at Colonsay House our walk continued with James explaining some of the history behind them.
Picture of an island glen with a loch Picture of walkers on a track through some woodland
Picture of walkers on a beach, a hill in the background One and a half hours after leaving from Scalasaig we arrived at Kiloran Bay, probably one of the most beautiful bays and beaches in the world (see also a QuickTime VR panorama from a visit to Kiloran Bay in Summer 2004). We walked along the beach and sat down on the rocks at the northern end for our lunch.

Refreshed the more energetic walkers among us decided to quickly hike up Carnan Eoin, Colonsay's highest hill with 143m, for a better view. And it was worth it!

We had great views in all directions, in particular over to Jura and Islay. You can also view a QuickTime VR panorama of the view from Carnan Eoin to the Isle of Jura and Isle of Islay:
Picture of a view over the sea to two neighbouring islands
Picture of snow covered hills in the distance With it being still quite early in the year after a very long winter we were even able to make out some snow covered hills in the distance:

The ones in the picture on the left partly hiding behind the western tip of the Isle of Mull I believe to be in the Glencoe area. We could also see Ben Cruachan further east, also with snow at the top (sorry, no picture).

Towards the north and west the long coastline of the Isle of Mull with its various hills and in particular the Munro of Ben More. Below a view over the northern part of Colonsay with the 'skyline' of Mull in the distance, Ben More (967m) in the centre of the panorama almost touching the clouds.
Picture of a panoramic view over an island silhouette
Picture of a view over a beach After the celebratory summit dram of Islay Single Malts (Bowmore and Laphroaig I think) and a good look around we returned to Kiloran Bay. The others who hadn't joined us on the hill had started to walk back to Scalasaig, so we hurried to catch up with them. We followed mostly the same way back as we came, arriving back at the pier with plenty of time.

The ferry crossing back to Islay was very nice, we saw an impressive rain cloud dumping its load over a small fishing boat. Apart from a few drops during our way back to Scalasaig that was all we saw of rain during our day on Colonsay.

On returning to Port Askaig we had earned another two points for a 'walkislay mug', several of us had started collecting points for a second mug by now.
Picture of a ferry leaving from a pier Picture of a huge rain cloud with rain falling on a tiny boat

Previous: Bholsa and Rhuvaal <- Islay Walking Week April 2006 -> Next: Ardnave