The Only Way Is Easdale

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Sun glinting through the thick cloud-covered Argyll sky, giving glimpses of azure water sitting undisturbed in silent slate quarries.

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A ferry ride just a stone’s skim-distance from the village of Ellenabeich, home of the bizarre Highland Art Museum is Easdale, one of the Slate Islands.

Hewn from this island by the long-gone industry, the pools are now the domain of the stone-skimmers, occasional swimmers and music video productions.

Rough piles of slate littering the land, angular grey diamonds, patterns of Argyll.

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I swim in the biggest pool. The water is cold, crisp.

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Well-worth a swim, easy access, interesting place, sheltered pools with one apparently designated for swimming (oops). Look closely and you can see some old machinery and buildings, once a thriving workplace, now a silent open-air history lesson.

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I sit by the pools, looking out across the islands. Right on cue appears a coal puffer, steaming it’s way up the coast.

A taste of the past to end this swim through history.

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