Christmas in Green - Dogs and Beach Cleans on Islay, Scotland.

Lower Killeyan beach, The Oa, Islay
My Mum on Lower Killeyan beach, The Oa

 

I had not seen my family, or visited the Hebrides, since the previous January; a trip to Islay was long overdue... 

 

View from Dower House, Islay
Sunny day at my family's house.

 

This time, though often rather grey, it hardly rained for the fortnight I was there. The house is finally finished and I spent a lot of time there reading and entertaining entertaining my family's multiple dogs. 

 

dog, sea and sunset
Cassie looks for seals
Dower House, Islay
My sister Jenny and various dogs in front of the Dower House
woman and puppy on the beach
Jenny and Zara the puppy.
The Fairy Hill, Islay
The Fairy Hill

 

Occasionally we ventured outside. 

 

Glenastle Loch, The Oa, Islay
Glenastle Loch, The Oa
Glenastle Loch, The Oa, Islay, Scotland
Derelict house near Glenastle Loch
Kintra beach, Islay
Kintra
Ancient woodland, Islay
Ancient woodland.
Moorland Islay
Looking towards Beinn Bheigier.
Ardtalla, Islay
Ardtalla
Swans, Ardtalla, Scotland
Swans at Ardtalla

 

At times, things were [almost overwhelmingly] Christmasy and I ate and drank continuously while trying to remember what people normally talked about (too much time in the wilderness will do that). We did typically British things such as burning puddings, wrapping pigs in blankets (though not eating them in my case) and wearing too small/big paper hats in the shape of crowns while pinging tiny plastic frogs across the dinner table. 

 

 

One day my sister Jenny showed us to Lower Killeyan. Straight from a scene in historical smuggler's romance,I couldn't believe I'd never been there before.

*or The French Lieutenant's Woman?

 

Lower Killeyan beach, The Oa, Islay
Lower Killeyan
Lower Killeyan beach, The Oa, Islay
Lower Killeyan cliffs
Lower Killeyan beach, The Oa, Islay
My Mum, two dogs and a backpack.
Seal, Isle of Islay, Scotland
Seal
Lower Killeyan beach, The Oa, Islay
Lower Killeyan
rocks, Lower Killeyan beach, The Oa, Islay
Rocks at Lower Killeyan
Lower Killeyan beach, The Oa, Islay
Lower Killeyan

 

Here and elsewhere we picked up plastic, put it in our bins or some could be recycled. Islay collects this sort of pollution from Ireland and mainland Scotland, as well as the fishing industry; the problem seems quite insurmountable.

 

plastic pollution - beach clean on Islay, Scotland
Overwhelming amounts of plastic pollution only half an hour walk away from my parent's house.

 

On my last day, three of us climbed Beinn Bheigier ("Ben Vicar"), the highest point on Islay.

 

Climbing Beinn Bheigier, hiking on Islay, Scotland
Moorland at the base of Beinn Bheigier.
Beinn Bheigier, hiking on Islay, Scotland
Jenny and her boyfriend Nick + some of his and her dogs!

 

I hadn't been up there since we were children and was amazed at the views across the island. Suddenly I lost the disconnect between my mental map and the one on paper; the landscape spread out before me and the island shrunk in my mind. 

 

Beinn Bheigier, hiking on Islay, Scotland
Dogs at the summit
Beinn Bheigier, hiking on Islay, Scotland
Looking north-west.
Beinn Bheigier, hiking on Islay, Scotland
Looking down to the sea.
Beinn Bheigier, hiking on Islay, Scotland
View north.
Beinn Bheigier, hiking on Islay, Scotland
Green detail.
Beinn Bheigier, hiking on Islay, Scotland
On top of Beinn Bheigier

 

That was the end. I'll be back sooner than expected, though I'm not going to tell you why just yet.. 

 

Loch Fyne, Scotland
Loch Fyne on the mainland.
Loch Fyne, Scotland
Loch Fyne
Rest and Be Thankful, Scotland
Rest and Be Thankful (this is the name of the place, not my feelings).

More on the Hebrides:

Also Scotland:

 

ancient woodland, Islay, Scotland
Ancient woodland near my parents house.

This site is written and edited solely by me (Katie). Please contact me if you find any typos or mistakes!

 

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