Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The shell mounds, skerries and swells of SE Oronsay

From the sea we got a fine view of the coast of Oronsay with the cliffs of Colonsay behind. We spotted an occasional mound, covered with lush green grass. Remarkably, these are the rubbish tips of our ancestors. They date from prior to 4000BC in the Mesolithic period. The sandy beaches, exposed at low tide, were full of shell fish and our ancestors had crossed to these isles in search of food 6,000 years ago! It kind of put our "crossing" into some perspective.

Away to the south, the Paps of Jura were still wreathed in mist but the sun was beginning to break through on the northern slopes of Islay.

We now entered the incredible channels within the skerries of Oronsay. In the distance, we could just see the mountains of Donegal.

Depending on the state of the tide, you might end up in a dead end but...

...we broke out of the shelter of the skerries and felt the gentle...

...lift of Atlantic swells, before they ended their long journey on the skerries of Oronsay.