A Fresh Perspective

Dark skies prevailed on Saturday morning.
Our guests were unperturbed and undeterred.
They chose to visit Milton before going on to Salum.
They returned enthusing over the dramatic scene before them.
The scene they captured was like a black and white photograph.

Dark skies over Salum Beach

How different the afternoon.
We arrived at the Farmhouse Cafe in warm sunshine.
Once again we enjoyed our lunch in this delightful setting.
Afterwards we crossed the road to appreciate the Highland cattle.

(Mouse-over for captions and double-click for larger photographs)

Our aim was to make a return visit to ‘Happy Valley’.
The previous week we had taken some friends there.
This week’s guests love coastal scenery and are ‘birders’.
It was interesting having a fresh perspective on the walk.
(We now know the difference between birders and twitchers .)

Flag Iris line the road in the approach to Hynish House

What a contrast.
Gone were the morning’s dark skies.
Instead we walked under bright blue skies.
There were some light clouds to give definition.

Millport House

Parking the car at Hynish we headed towards the valley.
We were aware of the danger of disturbing any nesting birds.
The day before the Ranger had given an introduction to bird watching.

The Golf Ball at the summit of Ben Hynish

Past Hynish House you come to Millport House.
You then come to a burn – perhaps the mill-burn.
How attractive it proved to be in the afternoon sunshine.

With fresh eyes accompanying us we were given a new perspective.
We were much more conscious of the bird life around us.
Red shanks and oyster catchers were among them
Our guests helped with identification.

Our guests agreed that Happy Valley is very different.
It is strikingly different from anything else on Tiree.
The rocky outcrops are the base of Ben Hynish.
At the summit is the island’s famous ‘Golf Ball’.

Ewe and Lambs on a rocky outcrop

The walk takes you past sandy beaches.
Seals and birds have colonised the various skerries
We try to avoid walking too close to the pebble areas .
The pebble banks are the nesting sites for several birds.

There is a short climb around a steep rocky outcrop.
After the climb you arrive at the entrance to the valley.
Here as elsewhere on our walk we meet ewes and their lambs.

We descend down to the foot of the Valley.
The valley ends in a pebble bank.
What lies next is exciting.

Drop down on to the shore.
You enter a world of natural arches.
It is a world of all kinds of rock formations.
Here clefts take you from one cove to another.

Double-click to explore in detail the arches and rock formations

Be careful!
You have to take care not to slip on the seaweed.
You do not want to be stranded by an incoming tide
This is no place to experience an emergency evacuation.

Two different sets of guests.
Both had different personalities and expectations.
All returned sunburnt and satisfied from their expedition.

A final glance back at Skerryvore Lighthouse from Happy Valley

And the icing on the cake – a sunset over Gott Bay.
What a way to draw a holiday to a conclusion.
All that was needed was a refreshing sleep.
Not difficult after a rather full day.

Saturday’s sunset over Gott Bay

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.
With a fresh perspective on Happy Valley.
What a great pleasure to share such beauty with friends.

Red Shank viewed on the Happy Valley walk

The walk is detailed in ‘Tiree Walks’.
Twelve walks through an island landscape.
Readily available for purchase on the island.

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