Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

25/08/2016

Bhalaigh Island - island hopping micro-adventure

The day had a certain crispness about it - a blue sky with silky clouds and clear clear views. We'd timed our walk with the receding tide so we could have maximum time to walk over the sands to the tiny flat island of Bhalaigh (pron Vallay).
Our 'pathway' was only in our heads and on the map as each day the previous footprints were washed away by the sea leaving a pristine silvery grey landscape and a small green slash on the horizon. This was our destination. Along the way we had to watch out for the deeper channels in the sands and harder ridges that stubbed the toes.
In places the sea lingered, leaving twinkling salty mirrors which Moss and Youngest ran through splashing and laughing along our 2 mile tidal reach. The distant island growing ever closer. The only land mark being a small grassy rock halfway which guided us towards Bhalaigh.
Then, growing out of the sands - the reason I wanted to visit - Vallay House, an abandon mansion with it's subordinate estate house and cottages which in it's glory days housed up to 60 people.. We stopped at the gates to put our boots back on and took in the view.
We walked up the stony flower lined track towards the ruin which grew more impressive with every step. Hidden by the machair was the erstwhile stately now rusty fence and gates. We were lead directly to the front door. Now too dangerous to enter we peeped inside trying to imagine it's previous splendour.
 
My heart felt a pang when we discovered the main room's fireplace. Still a verdant jade green with the once brilliant red walls now peeling and fading. I could only imagine the parties and celebrations that may have occurred in this former grand room.
Once we'd seen what we could of the main house, we turned our attentions to the adjacent farm house and buildings. Looking as ruinous as the main house, once we'd explored we discovered they seemed to have weathered a little better than the mansion. One of the cottages with a bit of love and attention could be modestly lived in.


After we'd filled our eyes and our conversations with the houses, we dropped off the small island on to an even tinier one. No bigger than a large rock, we sat, opened the flask and the shortbread biscuits and revelled in the sunshine. Ever conscious on the returning tide we explored just a little more before removing boots and heading for the sands for the return journey. The sea following our every step.
And, when we finally reached the car and off-loaded our bags and boots, the sky turned dark and ended our beautiful day with a short but dramatic sharp shower. Through the rain streaked window I could just make out another group of walkers plodding through the rain, I thanked our timings we'd missed that drenching.

I have already put in a request that we return to this little island - and if you can't get there to explore it for yourself - these links will certainly help ...
Vallay (Bhalaigh)Island walk
Vallay House - photos (these must have been taken when it was still possible to enter the house)
'Nothing to see here'




9 comments:

  1. how lovely, thanks for the guided tour

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  2. Beautiful, sad, poignant. Thank you for the tour because that crossing would be something Daisy absolutely would not manage. Another couple of really bad winters and there will be even less of that house left.

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  3. Beautiful countryside and beautiful photos. Greetings :-)

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  4. Perhaps a fixer upper for someone...what a shame such places have been left to deteriorate so. x

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  5. That gorgeous fireplace and such an elegant room, what tales those walls could tell. It is sad, once the roof has gone the houses have no chance of surviving the weather. Lovely pictures again. Thanks for sharing your walk with us. xx

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  6. So sad to see it in its present state. One has to marvel at how it was built, with access difficult to say the least! So glad you made the effort to get there and to share it with us. I would love to walk to it but know I never will so keep these posts coming!

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  7. Thanks for that adventure and the wonderful photos. Somewhere I'd love to visit, as I have a fascination of ruined buildings. Imagine the stories it could tell. Take care.

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  8. It looks like people also drive there judging by the tire marks. It is indeed a breathtaking place. Beautiful!!

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  9. Oh, I wish so much that I could be there... such longings...

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Hi there...

Thank you ever so much for stopping by today - I'm really glad that you did. If you would like to leave me a comment then I would be delighted to hear from you,

Hawthorn x
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