Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Eilean Chaluim Cille - 1

It is always fun to walk to an island. The tidal isles of Oronsay (off Colonsay), and Vallay (off N. Uist) come to mind. But there is another, lessor known tidal isle that is just as fascinating: Eilean Chaluim Cille in Loch Erisort. On my first visit to this island I was set ashore from a boat (see book 2, chapter 28). But as with Vallay and Oronsay, the best way to visit is afoot.

That first visit was in 2002, when I spent a couple of hours exploring the ruins of the old chapels and the burial ground. I only learned then that a causeway had been built so that you can cross to the island from mainland Lewis. And I promised myself that someday I'd return to walk to the island.

The causeway is tidal, so you can only cross at low tide. And it was on a June day of 2012, while staying in nearby Gravir, that I finally made my way on foot to the crossing. Although I'd checked the tide tables I was a bit early, and had to wait 45 minutes for the tide to drop another foot before I could cross over.

Below are two photos of the crossing; the first taken just before low tide, the second at low tide. Next time we'll see what lies across the causeway to Eilean Chaluim Cille.

The causeway to Eilean Chaluim Cille - just before low tide
The causeway to Eilean Chaluim Cille at low tide

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