Friday, 2 April 2010

Arran,final part, the seals.

After the delights of Holy Island, I realised we had plenty of
time to go to Kildonan, known as the seal shore. The seals LOVE to
come ashore and bask on the rocks. No-one knows why, but the
place is famous. IF the conditions are right (tide, water etc) it
can be a REAL treat. Guess what? Yep - conditions were JUST
right for us!

Our first view as we topped the cliffs - and this was just a taster!
Ailsa Craig (left) and Pladda Island (right)

After we had driven to where we parked,
the view was 'reversed' with
Ailsa craig now on the right.

Ailsa Craig really is a haunting place.
They do rib boat trips from Kildonan, that's those fast boats
that inshore lifeboats often use. They run out to Ailsa Craig, and
if the conditions are right, they will land you on the island.
It's not cheap at £45pp, but we might just give it a go next time.

Stare at this picture (left click for a large version)
I think this is SO 'drawing' to the eye.

We were surprised to see this lovely seat, complete with verse,
on the beach near 'seal shore'. A great place to sit and look.

That bright bit of cloud above Pladda lighthouse really makes this shot come alive.

We walked along the quiet stretch of beach towards where
we were told the seals were. The sea was again flat calm,
and we could hear the curlews and oyster catchers
calling, calling, calling.

As we walked, Sue suddenly saw the first seal.
Then, as we looked, we saw more and more!
There were little heads popping up out of
the water all over the place.

So, we sat, and watched,and waited, and saw them.

I HAD to get closer - would they let me or would they flee?

No problem! We christened the white one 'Sammy'.
He was really cute, and had a lovely face.

It wasn't at all cold, so we spent all evening watching the seals
and listening to the birds calling.
A look to the right saw the sun starting it's journey down.
We knew now what was coming, so we just waited, and watched.

The sky began turning that familiar red, and a warm, calming glow spread across the sky.
I really can't convey just how peaceful and theraputic this kind of evening is.

Dark headlands, and crimson skies - sighhhhhhhh.

Every minute that passed, a different colour or hue was revealed to us.

We left Kildonan very happy and contented. We'd seen the seals
and sunset at their best. Now, we had one night left on this lovely,
magical island before it was time for us to return home to
Derbyshire. We knew, we had been SO lucky with the weather
and conditions in general.

When we got up this morning, we looked out of the window
to watch the red squirrel taking nuts, and noticed something
else - the pond below was FULL of frogspawn!!
Kath said she'd seen about 16 frogs in there the night
before, and this was what they'd been up to in the night :-)
This meant spring really WAS sprung - official.

Now our holiday was coming to an end, so we reluctantly packed
our things, said our goodbyes and made our way to the ferry
and the long drive back to Bakewell.

As a parting gift, Arran gave us this final, beautiful, ethereal view of her.

How can we resist?
We'll be back.

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