I've just come back from a wonderful 5 days kayaking around Barra, and visiting Mingulay, Pabbay, Berneray. Eriskay and the other sandy-beached, cliff-girt islands that make up the Outer Hebridean chain south of the Uists. It's a wonderland of remote beauty, only seen these days by climbers and kayakers, and day trippers to the islands when the weather is fine.
Mingulay is the jewel in the crown of this area for me, full of mystery and wonder which easily rivals its more famous lookalike, St Kilda. Inhabited into the twentieth century, the island is full of the ghosts of those who once lived here.
The picture above was taken a few days ago, and that below ten years ago. It's fascinating to see how the islands are very slowly changing over the years.
The island is now cared for by the National Trust for Scotland, and a warden is resident through the summer months. Visitor numbers are growing, and we shared the island with over thirty climbers, with another thirty or so on Pabbay in the same week. The good weather gave us all the opportunity to see such a special place without the dangers or hardships that must have been endured by those living here over a hundred years ago. Time moves on, people and places evolve, but we must take care of our history...