Wild Islay beachside campsite
Wonderful night's sleep, sole occupants of the beachside campsite at Kintra Farm on Islay. Grey clouds through the skylight, so stayed in bed a little longer and after a leisurely breakfast hopped down onto the beach for a walk, with full waterproofs as the rain had started again and looked set in for a good session. The aim was to walk the whole five miles of beach, past the airport, to the rocky outcrop at Laggan.
Passed a dead lamb and then a dead sheep whIch weren't there yesterday and managed to cajole Jinty to go by them, tempting him with his ball and sticks to chase. We waded across the river and then were set upon with an aerial attack by a gang of sea birds. It was Jinty they were most cross with, one after another dive-bombed him, and then one swooped at me, just missing my head. They were beautiful creatures, like very big white swallows, slim and sleek with long forked tails and beady eyes intent on their prey...us! As we moved on up the beach they lost interest in us and left us alone. I checked them out in my bird book back at the van and came to the conclusion that they were terns, either common or arctic. They must have been protecting their nesting site on the beach or in the dunes.
On we went up the beach, Jinty chasing his ball, and both of us getting wetter and wetter. I ended up carrying Jinty's coat over my arm like a handbag after he somehow managed to flick it off, get one leg through the neck hole and trail the rest of it through the sea. We were defeated by another river, deeper and wider than the first, definitely an over the top of the wellies kind of a river. On a warm sunny day it's no doubt delightful to paddle across it, but it was a river too far today.
Off back to cosy up in the Romahome. When the rain stopped in the afternoon we went off to explore the rocky end of the beach, poking about in rock pools and watching the waves crash over the rocks. At least that's what I did. Jinty found an old bone amongst the pebbles and proceeded to eat it, keeping just out of my reach until he'd licked his lips after swallowing the last bit. Bad dog!
Ferocious winds overnight had me worried about the van being blown over, and hailstones and heavy rain rattled against the windows, making for a less than restful night. The following day was spent watching the weather approaching over the sea, and dashing out onto the beach for a run about in the intervening sunny periods. It's a truly magnificent camping spot, although I'm very glad I'm not in a tent. Indeed, if I was in a tent I wouldn't be in a tent because it would undoubtedly have blown away.
Verdict on Kintra Farm? Situation outstanding, facilities OK with toilets and showers. Brown water a bit off-putting. Would I come again? Definitely!
Time now to stow everything away in the Romahome ready to move on to Port Charlotte on the other side of the island for yet more whippety wanders.