Monday, May 17, 2010

Cloven hooves on Holy Island

Under an overhanging cliff on the west side of Holy Island, we spotted a cave.

It is the cave of St Molaise who established a Christian retreat here in the seventh century and lived in this cave for ten years. Over the years a number of species have been introduced to the island. These Soay sheep and Saanen goats have taken possession of the cave and St Molaise would not find it a very pleasant place now.

Eriskay ponies are another of the introduced species and one of my friends was warned by a monk that the ponies are savage and aggressive. In fact they are very calm and docile animals.

The steep sides of the island tumble straight into the sea in a boulder field but there is actually a lovely grassy path that winds its way in and out of the rocks above the beach.

The monks have painted colourful images on some of the boulders by the path.