Sunday, October 9, 2016

Scenes from atop Holy Island

Here are a few of the sights that you can see if you ever climb Mullach Mor, the tip-top of Holy Island. I chose to climb it from the north end of the island, which means first getting to the top of Mullach Beg (807 ft). On the way up the view gradually opens up to encompass the Buddhist settlement on the shore below, and the village of Lamlash over on Arran.

Lamlash seen on the ascent of Mullach Beg
Buddhist settlement and pier in 2002 - it's grown a bit since then
Summit cairn of Mullach Beg - Lamlash in the distance
From the top of Mullach Beg a short descent of about 100 feet takes you to the saddle between it and Mullach Mor. From there an easy ascent of some 300 feet leads to the top of Mullach Mor, at 1030 feet, the highest point on the island.

Looking back to Mullach Beg from Mullach Mor
Trig pillar atop Mullach Mor
The whole of the Firth of Clyde opens up from the top. This next view shows the Inner Light, which is now a retreat centre. If you are lucky (as I was) you will encounter the herd of Eriskay ponies that run wild on the island

Inner Light - and Eriskay Ponies
More ponies
Also to be seen are the wild Saanen goats that roam the island.

Wild goats
A Saanen goat
On arrival at the island the colorfully dressed warden told me to be careful descending the south side of Mullach Mor, as the heather hides deep crevasses in the stone. They had helpfully strung up some ropes to mark a safe route down the hill.

The safe way down
On the way down I had to stop to take a photo of the beautiful house where the Lama Yeshe Losal stays when he visits the island. I would love to see inside, but I gave it, and the lighthouse retreat centre, a wide berth as I made my way down the hill.

The Inner Light and the house of Lama Yeshe Losal
Next time we'll pay a visit to the heart of Holy Island, the cave of St Molaise.

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