May 1, 2024

Colonsay – Day 2

There is one thing sure about travel – things don’t always go as planned.  Our first full day on Colonsay led us down a few unexpected paths and we also had it confirmed that most likely we would not be able to go over to Oronsay because of the tides.  The main reason for coming to Colonsay was to see the priory on Oronsay as it is directly connected to the Lords of the Isles. However, the full three days we are here there is not one day that is deemed “crossable” over the strand.  That means another trip for sure as I see it!  But despair not! The island itself is rich in Lords of the Isles history, not to mention profound and rugged beauty.  The ghost of Somerled, acknowledged as the greatest leader born to the Gael of Alba, is in every rock and hill.   It was he who was instrumental in bringing about the great Gaelic revival that largely destroyed the effects of the Scandinavian occupation of the Western Highlands and Isles.

We took a tour of the Wild Thyme gin distillery which is basically a mom and pop operation crafting some very distinct and delicious gin.  The owner gave us a tour – which consisted basically walking around a small garage containing the still and other tools of the trade.  We also visited the tiny bookstore and the Heritage Center.  There are only about 130 full time residents on Colonsay but we were told that many people have second homes here and come over on holiday.  There is a lot of hiking and biking – and that includes eBikes!  We could not believe the beauty of the beaches and when the sun finally came out it was a glorious site.  We will explore more bays tomorrow.