Tiree – Sun, Sea and Sands

My first visit to Tiree but definitely not my last, this island has long been on my radar as a paddle destination, but this visit was mostly spent cycling around and enjoying the amazing beaches, colours and scenery.

In four days there was a couple of spells of unpleasant weather, but largely the island lived up to the reputation for being Britain’s sunniest place, and cycling in wind driven rain isn’t so bad anyway once you get going, is it?

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Days were long, relaxed and enjoyable with miles of quiet, flat roads eaten up between stunning beaches, set at all directions to the winds resulting in calm and rough seas just a few minutes apart. Despite that, I never saw much in the way of any surfing taking place along the way as conditions were not quite perfect for the serious surfers who make the effort to get to Tiree.

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A coo with a view…

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I specifically went to the beach at Port Ruadh (my thirteenth!) on Gunna Sound at the north hoping to see basking sharks, but none were evident – at least from the shore – and talking to a local, have not been seen for a couple of months. From this lovely spot the views of Coll, to the north, show a distinctively different landscape and I am keen to get back to both islands for a paddle. That might have to wait till next year now though with ferry timetables about to change to the winter schedule and the shorter days meaning less time for paddling each day.

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Having enough time to linger before my ferry home, I headed to a wind turbine for a closer look as I’ve always wondered what the scale of these things was like close up. This one has blades that are quite short compared to the tower, which might explain why it was quieter than I’d expected close up.

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Four great days on Tiree were over and it was time for the ferry back round Mull to Oban, passing between Coll and the Treshnish Isles on the way. An energetic pod of dolphins came directly to the ferry and passed under it to continue on their way westward, probably my best wildlife sighting from a ferry journey.

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