We continued our journey towards the north end of the Isle of Rum and soon approached this rock feature - dubbed "the old man of Rum". The face appears to stare out over the water to Skye - and who could dispute that he has a good view?!
We continued around the base of the rocks to reach.....
....another small piece of paradise.
This beach at Samhnan Insir is, quite simply, stunning. There was no question of passing by - we paddled in to land and explore a little. A ruined house lies at the back of the beach and near to the house the faint marks of at least four former buildings. In 1964 a schoolboy unearthed artefacts here including a bloodstone arrowhead and a scraper, both dating to the Bronze Age. Clearly, we weren't the only people to appreciate a good beach.
The patterns formed by the red and cream sands were really beautiful. It's a captivating spot and one marked in our minds for a return visit.
We moved on somewhat reluctantly and paddled around the headland at the north end of the beach. This is the northern tip of Rum and from here we'd be exposed to both northerly and westerly weather. All was calm apart from a slight swell - things were looking good.
This perched rock lay just around the corner. We speculated on how it had come to be so precariously balanced - then noticed that it formed a neat "T" shape. Time for a cup of tea!
Handily, we were approaching Kilmory, another fine beach but this one would be the last landing place before our intended overnight halt. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have a Red Deer research facility at Kilmory - their subjects are both numerous and conveniently located on-site....
We landed for a cup of tea and a leg-stretch before starting down the west coast of Rum. We intended to paddle about 8 kilometres further to Guirdil and to spend the night there. As things turned out, it was as well we did stretch our legs at Kilmory; it would be somewhat further than 8 kilometres before we were next able to land.
Our footprints joined those of the deer on the sands; beyond the beach is a fine view to Askival and Hallival.