Spending a week on South Rona allows for many an opportunity for long walks to historic sites. One of the best is the walk to Eilean Garbh, a tidal islet at the south tip of the island. Leaving from Dry Harbour, you climb the twisting track to the top of the pass, and then start the descent to Rona Lodge. A half-mile before reaching the lodge you turn left to follow another twisty path to the south.
Two miles later you come to the ruins of Doire na Guaile. It was Rona's second largest settlement, and here you'll find about two dozen ruins.
|Ruin in Doire na Guaile - 1|
|Ruin in Doire na Guaile - 2|
|Ruin in Doire na Guaile - 3|
|Old (and older) run in Doire na Guaile|
|Old rusting bed-stand - Doire na Guaile|
The ruins of Doire are extensive, and stand on both sides of the track. After exploring the houses I carried on to the south end of the track. A short walk down the hillside takes you to the chapel of An Teampull. It is a beautiful ruin, and its stone wall encloses an old burial ground.
From An Teampull I followed the coast east to the tidal crossing to Eilean Garbh. The tide was out, and so I was able to cross to the base of the island. But I could not get up onto the top of the island because the mini-cliff that would have to be climbed proved too challenging. I could see a muddy, near vertical way up that was covered in deer tracks. But I'm not a deer, and being alone I decided not to risk the climb. I'd been told there might be some ruins on the island, but they would have to wait for another time.
|Inside the chapel - 1|
|Inside the chapel - 2|
|Beautiful chi-rho-cross on the gate to the burial ground|
|West side of the crossing to Eilean Garbh|
|East side of the crossing to Eilean Garbh|
|On the exposed crossing|