Friday, 27 November 2015
Luing. Seil, Easdale.The Slate Islands and Oban Trip.
November tends to be a dull soggy month of rain, mist, poor visibility, flooding, occasional snow showers... and on grey overcast days it can be too dark to see indoors by 2:30 pm in the afternoon. I don't like November much. Usually, a month to be suffered rather than enjoyed.
Alex had been busy for weeks planing an old pal's bothy weekend trip but with families, work commitments, social obligations and a whole host of other things getting in the way, trying to organize a date everyone could agree on was proving difficult.
Eventually, we settled on last weekend and luckily the weather gods were on our side. It turned out to be a spectacular event and one of the best trips of this year, people and photography wise.
As the Saturday morning was grey, overcast and cloudy when we arrived in the Oban area, after an early rise and sunny drive up from Glasgow, Alex suggested exploring the Island of Luing (pronounced Ling) just south of Oban and reached via the "Bridge over the Atlantic" onto Seil Island. At the far end of Seil lies the narrow Cuan Sound, seen here, and the Luing Ferry. Room for passengers and about 5 to 6 cars for the short trip over. Around £13:50 to cross with car and 3 passengers in 2015. So we did.
Belnahau is one of the four Slate Islands consisting of Seil, Easdale and Luing, heart of the Scottish slate industry for around 200 years, exporting roof slates to all corners of the globe during the 18th and 19th centuries and a source of employment on the islands up until the 1950s-1960s. A massive storm swamped the quarries on Belnahua which was then abandoned as demand for slate declined, and another small island is no longer visible as it was dug into so much the remaining perimeter edges collapsed and it drowned forever under the waves.
No decent photos though as too far away or too fast to capture clearly though I did get a few blurred images.
Here's a great short video of a micro-lite flight over Seil island, the flooded slate quarries, Atlantic Bridge, Luing and Easdale. Fantastic views watched in full screen.