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Clare
Clare

Day 6: Islay

The weather forecast did not look good for today and, although it looked dry when we woke up, by the time we had finished breakfast the first drops of rain were starting to fall. Our only plan for today was to explore Islay, so we decided to start with a short walk around the village of Portnahaven where we are staying.

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They didn't make it into the photos, but every so often as we walked along we could see the heads of seals bobbing up out of the water in the harbour :) 

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The house we're staying in is right at the end of this line.

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If you look carefully you might even be able to make out our car parked outside the furthest house.

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The lighthouse in the picture is on a small island called Orsay, just off the coast of Islay.

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The rain had started off lightly but was beginning to pick up a bit as we circled back towards the cottage and got in the car.

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Our first destination was a place called Machir beach, supposed to be the most beautiful one on the island. For some reason there was no one else in the car park today as we parked and started walking towards it.

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Within a few minutes we got our first view of the sand.

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We didn't ultimately walk down to the sand, because it looked like it would require crossing this stream, but we walked along the dunes for a while :) 

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We were well and truly wet by the time we got back in the car and drove the short distance to our next destination, an RSPB nature reserve at Loch Gruinart. Theoretically there's a circular walk you can do here but it was a bit too wet for that today, so we just walked down to one of the bird hides, from where we had a bit of a view towards the water, and then walked back.

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Our next stop was Bowmore, the largest town on the island, where we succeeded in finding a petrol station but failed at finding anywhere to get lunch. We drove on to Port Ellen instead, the town where we arrived on the ferry on Tuesday, and explored lunch options there. We drew a blank with lunch, but did find a hotel that was serving coffee and cake :) 

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From Port Ellen a small road leads to the Oa peninsula, which is supposed to have the most spectacular scenery on the island. We made our way down the road but the further we drove, the mistier it became. We weren't destined to see the scenery today :D 

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At that point we decided to call it a day and head back to the cottage to dry out! I think we made the best of the torrential rain today, but fingers crossed the weather will be a bit brighter tomorrow :) 



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