After the *early* start to the day yesterday we had a bit more of a lie in and a leisurely start. When it came to the business of the day I was glad of the egg for breakfast for today as we decided to walk to the beach at Shoe Bay.

The walk proved to be a 2½ mile one to the far end of the island and involved going up hill and down headland. We realised just how isolated the cottage at South Shore is (no wonder they have a separate Sunday start). Further on, and our target beach which kept on proving to be just ‘one more headland’ further on down a track of decreasing size and increasingly overgrown. Another cottage confuses us – we thought South Shore was the most isolated. Every little inlet has its own crofter’s ruin and its own fresh mountain stream.

Eventually we arrive at the beach of silver sand and rocky prometaries complete with rock pools. We waste no time in stripping down to our swimming costumes and entering the freezing but refeshing waters that our clear and turquoise.

Since we began our walk the tide has come in, and where once was a wide, double-sided beach, now there is water to paddle in, up to waist height. Whilst we are there, the couple from South Shore arrive but they cross the water to spend time in another cove. We see our first red deer – a doe – high up on the rocky prometary.

I struggle a bit on the walk home – but it is by then mid-afternoon and we have had no lunch. I think of bacon and mushroom oatcakes, and of an Alsager oatcake filled with Wesh goats cheese and Dower House chutney. The thought sustains me all the way home.

We have a leisurely end to the afternoon although we do both manage to do some washing and Emma succeeds in getting the fire lit to the point of hot coals that causes the hot water tank to gurgle and splutter in conversation with us.

We have dinner of haggis and tatties and then settle down to write our diaries. Whilst we are sitting, drinking whisky and writing, Mr P. Martin visits us again, quickly demolishing the peanuts we have offered him.