Friday, July 01, 2016

A beach named desire.

We left the dark gneiss rocks of Iona and Eilean Annraidh and dodged the high speed tour boats in the Sound of Iona. This is Staffa Tours MV Ullin of Staffa. In the background you can see The Dutchman's Cap  or Bac Mor in the Treshnish Isles. It is a former volcano and consists of a central volcanic plug surrounded by a sill of basalt.

 On the east side of the Sound of Mull we returned to pink granite bedrock and the delightful village of Kintra which is derived from the gaelic Ceann Traigh or head of the beach. My good friend, colleague and former climbing partner, the late Dr John Tolmie and his partner bought one of these cottages. He hoped I would get him started sea kayaking but sadly he died in a climbing accident in March 2014 before we could get on the water. What a loss, I have no doubt he would have taken to sea kayaking.

 We were headed for Market Bay on the...

 ...north shore of the Ross of Mull.

 We floated in to the eastern most beach of the two beaches that open from the bay.

 The sands here were devoid of visitors though the...

 ...other beach Traigh na Margaidh (market beach) often has walkers. The beach we landed on is more difficult to access and is called Traigh Eilean an t-Santachaidh (beach of the island of lust). Why our ancestors called this remote spot the beach of the island of lust I cannot begin to imagine.

 Traigh Eilean an t-Santachaidh is a truly exceptional beach with...

 ...bold tors of pink granite backed by dunes topped by... machair which falls away to a...

 ...beach of perfect pinkish sand which reputedly reflects...

...your heart's desire when wet.


  1. A beach like a sorting hat. I wonder if you have to know your heart's desire yourself before it reflects... humans having such fickle hearts. I wouldn't know mine until a mystery 'she' tells me what it is :o) Sounds like a outdoor version of Merlin's Siege Perilous at the Round Table in some respects- an influential myth which has grown numerous legs in different directions over the ages. Harry Potter... Outlander etc.
    Cracking trip by the looks of it.

  2. Thanks Bob, The beaches on the Ross of Mull and Iona were simply superb. :o)

  3. I was just here last weekend, on Iona and Mull, and was thinking it looked like the perfect place to take the kayaks! Planning on doing so once I get the roof rack sorted out. Great photos!

    1. Thank you TT&BB the Ross of Mull is a superb sea kayaking destination, I hope you have a great trip! :)