Thanks for visiting my blog which is all about my coastal walk round Islay in aid of the Marine Conservation Society.

I have now completed my walk but you can still sponsor me by visiting my online sponsor page :

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

The Big Strand

The Big Strand looking north, 30th July 2007
I had done a few bits of this stretch in the past, but decided just to do it all in a oner again. Somehow I felt that would mean I hadn't missed any bits out! But I didn't want to do it on my own as I considered it to be one of the less interesting parts of the coastline, as well as one of the easiest. So Fraya accompanied me, meeting me at the Machrie after her shift at the hotel. There were lots of jellyfish and a starfish on the way - and two kites (not the avian sort) and a beautiful male Hen Harrier in the dunes at Laggan, where Ray was kindly waiting for us with the car.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

An Cladach to MacArthur's Head

MacArthur's Head lighthouse
I was undecided whether to do this stretch when I looked out of the window on Saturday morning to see a disappointingly cloudy day, but my rucsack was packed and I was psychologically geared up for it, so I set off and parked near Lossit Farm road end. I had already walked from here to the bothy, and from Ardtalla to MacArthur's Head, but had not done the bit inbetween, so the plan was to do the walk and stay the night in the bothy. I was looking forward to it, although it has to be said I didn't relish the thought of the 5 miles or so to the bothy with a heavy rucsack. 'No stopping to look at little brown jobs,' I told myself as I hauled the rucsack onto my bag. 'The only thing you stop for is if a Wallcreeper decides to take a break from balmier climes and head for the cliffs on the Sound.' I managed to stick to my resolve pretty well, I thought, stopping only long enough to pop another humbug into my mouth and managing to resist stopping every time an unidentified flying object crossed my path. I reached the bothy at around midday, by which time the weather had improved dramatically and I began to wish I hadn't brought so many clothes. Having dropped off the rucsack and eaten a bit of lunch, I carried on to MacArthur's Head, noticing a purple creepy flower on the beach that I didn't recognise. Any ideas anyone? Skullcap? There was also an almost perfect circle formed in the rocks about halfway between the bothy and the lighthouse, but as it was raining at that point, I didn't take a photo and then couldn't find it again on the way back. Back at the bothy I was relieved to have covered the two miles I had come to do (I walked 14 miles in 2 days for the sake of those 2 miles!) Now I could relax. I cooked sausages and pottered around for the rest of the day. Donald James called in with a trout for my breakfast. Thanks DJ! It was with some reluctance that I set off on Sunday morning. Having woken with the sun at 5.30 am, I was ready to set off at 9 am and was back at the car for 12 noon. I took it easier on the way back and paused to watch a family of Spotted Flycatchers and Willow Warblers. Despite the long walk, this was definitely one of the highlights of the coastal walk.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Some photos

Stacks, Lower Killeyan, 17th February 2006

Thrift between Sanaigmore and Ardnave 1st June 2007 Rubh a'Mhail lighthouse 16th July 2006

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Wester Ellister 29th June 2007
I have (by my estimation) now covered 89.5 miles of Islay's coastline and have a few pretty long stretches to do - when I get back from the Outer Hebrides (where I have a notion to walk Barra's coastline as well!) The latest stretch was from Port Wemyss to Port Charlotte - only 7 miles, but in scorching sun and with 3 bulls to greet me as I approached Port Charlotte. I was very glad of the new Port Mor centre to collapse inside and ask for an ice lolly. I was then very grateful to Mr Mitchell (BT) for a lift from Port Ban back to Bowmore.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Joining up the coastline

Grace and Becky, Saligo, 17th December 2006
Hi, my name is Becky Williamson and I am walking Islay's entire coastline (130 miles) in stages to raise money for the Marine Conservation Society. Shortly after moving to Islay three years ago, I made it my aim to walk round its coastline - not all in one go (much too difficult for a leisurely walker like myself!), but in stages. Then I heard about MCS's Coastline Challenge and realized my walk could give me an opportunity to support this wonderful project and charity. I am excited about this walk because it combines four of my greatest passions – walking, wildlife, photography and beach-combing - and all for a great cause. I had hoped to complete the walk by the end of summer 2007, but there are some parts that are thick with bracken right now and I'd rather wait and do those parts in the autumn when the bracken has died back a bit. So I've revised my original plan and hope to finish the walk by the end of the year - but finish it I intend to do!! As I go I'm taking lots of photos and making good use of flotsam and jetsam, as you can see from the photo! Using beach art I hope to convey the message that we can have a positive impact on our threatened coastal environment.