Thursday, April 03 2014
Islay Welly Walks is a new, small and friendly guided walks business on Islay, run by experienced Islay walker and resident, Becky Williamson. She writes, "It all started with a leaking welly. Oh, and a love for walking. Moving to Islay nearly 10 years ago, I quickly succumbed to the wisdom of those who had gone before me "if you're walking on Islay, wear wellies!" It's good advice for this boggy island which I have come to love.
In walking the length and breadth of this island I have come across many ruins and archaeological features, interesting place names and a plethora of flora and fauna. Every step is new and different and requires concentration; every breath of wind echoes the breath of life with which the island teems; every cloud is different; light sometimes strays and sometimes lingers, making photography so rewarding here. I love to watch the sea in all its different moods. I challenge anybody to spend a day on the Atlantic coast, hearing the roar of the mighty ocean, tasting the salt in the air, hearing the cries of seabirds, watching the acrobatics of the Fulmars or the dance of a butterfly and smelling that salt air and not be invigorated, and not feel life stirring within them. Continue reading....
Or climb Beinn Bheigier, Islay's highest hill (491 metres, but 1610 feet sounds better) and walk the length of its ridge and watch Golden Eagles soaring effortlessly above you (after your hard human slog to that mighty height!), often being mobbed by Ravens; survey the sweeping landscape below and feel that fleeting sense of satisfaction as you stand at the trigpoint, knowing that for a brief moment in time you've been the tallest thing for miles. Again and again visitors are amazed by the land mass of this island, looking from the Oa to the Rinns and asking, "which island is that?" It always gives me satisfaction to reply, "still Islay!" There's so much life going on here that it can, at times, leave you speechless.
I've walked this land for nearly ten years and love it. If there's nooks and crannies I don't know, if there's a kilometre of bog I've not sunk into, an archaeological feature I haven't photographed, I soon will! Few people are better qualified to take you on a guided walk, stroll, ramble, hike - call it what you will, and few people are as enthusiastic or knowledgeable about the flora and fauna. I blow my own trumpet because I love sharing this wind-blown, sea-tossed island with anyone who wants to see it.
So if you're aged between 0 and 100, alone or in a family/small group and fancy a walk of any kind and length, get in touch with Becky Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.islaywellywalks.co.uk for more information. All ages and abilities considered.