Tuesday, January 13, 2015

South Rona - Then and Now

My first week-long visit to South Rona was in 2004, when my wife and I stayed in the renovated Mission Hall above Dry Harbour. There are some 40 ruins in the village of Dry Harbour, including a couple of substantial houses finished with dressed stone. One of these substantial ruins stood atop a bit of high ground near the ruined schoolhouse with a great view over the harbour. Marked on an old map of Rona as the Catechist House, its four walls still stood, but the inside was an empty shell.

The Catechist's House (or Manse) - 2004
As I wandered around the nettle- and bracken-grown interior of the house in 2004, little did I know that in a few years I would be spending eight nights in this house; for in 2005-2006 it was extensively renovated into a self-catering cottage.

The Manse - now Escape Cottage - 2007
It is called Escape Cottage, and a stay there is truly an escape. My wife and I spent an amazing eight nights in the house. The usual let is for a week, but on our last day the weather turned a bit nasty, and the trip back to Skye had to be postponed for a day. After informing us of the delay, Bill Cowie, the island manager, brought us a complimentary bottle of wine, and we enjoyed our bonus day and night in comfort - I was able to get in another walk, and my wife was able to complete her jig-saw puzzle. For island-goers I can recommend no better place to spend a week (and maybe a bonus night or two).

Jigsaw puzzle in work (and what a view!)

My wife and I at the cottage - 2007

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