This morning I decided to edit a few photos to pair with November’s song (which I was persuaded to upload in its iphone-demo version, having been told it’s miles more “honest” than the proper version I did!), and only then did I realise much to my chagrin that I haven’t posted anything at all from my fantastic trip to Easdale Island! It was one of the highlights of my year, but I was so busy enjoying myself that I didn’t write a word.
Now’s the time to rectify that.
I had virtually no idea of where I was going when I set out for the coast, having booked accommodation in my usual haphazard way. I’ve seen so many of Scotland’s islands, but was somehow completely in the dark about this wee gem! It’s part of the Slate Islands off the coast of Argyll & Bute and is home to some 65 full-time residents. It’s small and perfect and can be walked right round in a matter of hours.
The ferry from the mainland consists of a couple of guys in a motorboat, and it takes about 3 minutes to cross over. My lovely host Ghalia met me on the shore and showed me around Seol Mara, where I was able to stay thanks to her generosity in supporting my project! The best part was the bed tucked away in a loft beneath the cottage’s peaked roof.
Immediately upon my arrival the sun began to set in a truly spectacular fashion, offering some of the most awe-inspiring skies I’ve witnessed in a long time. I dropped my bags and ran outside with my camera, then proceeded to freeze my hands off over the course of 2 hours as it just kept getting more and more beautiful, making it impossible for me to go back inside.
Overnight the clouds cleared as the wind picked up, so I bundled myself into all the clothes I’d packed and left my snug cottage behind. I’d come prepared with a headlamp, tripod, and remote shutter release, keen to try a bit of star photography should conditions allow. The moonlight let me wander the coastline, tripping over piles of slate and startling the locals when they stumbled upon me, crouched in the grass as I let my camera gather light for minutes at a time.
I was there for the Guy Fawkes night bonfire.
I spent an entire blue-skied day wandering the nearby mainland, where I lost my sunglasses to insane wind that threatened to sweep me off the top of some big hill.
Old quarries threw up reflections from still turquoise water.
Waves flung themselves into the air on every side.
Sheep and gannets cut dramatic silhouettes against perfect skies.
I’m going back in the summer, with a tent, a bathing suit, and the intention to stay for a good long while.