Millions of years ago in “the deep heart’s core” of the earth these rocks were forming. These islands, tiny dots in the Hebridean Sea are not small on any scale. They are immense cages of basalt columns rising a sheer 500ft. out of the sea.

Corrugated and convoluting in their square footage they cover miles of rock and cliff faces supporting a small amount of undulating sphagnum green on the top.

You have to climb up and up, on and on. It is near impossible to land, impossible to walk on a level footing until you get to the top. It is only there that you can forget about what is happening at sea level.

The confrontation, face to rock, breath on lichen, cheek on fissure, recedes as you marvel at the skuas and sea eagles playing havoc with the puffins and juvenile gulls. The bony remains of their meals lay all around as you begin the hazardous descent back into the cauldron of ancient magma.


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