Thursday, 27 September 2018

Eigg 21st - 24th September 2018

6 people made the journey to Eigg.

After a night in the Mission Bunkhouse at Mallaig, we discovered that the Cal Mac Ferry to Muck Eigg, Rum and Canna was in dry dock for repairs and had been replaced by the small boat that usually does Tours to Staffa. This small boat rose and fell with the waves, making some of the passengers turn green and then visit the washroom.

A short stop at Muck gave some brief respite. 

Upon arrival on Eigg, we discovered that the goods ordered by the club had travelled on the boat with us and were delivered to the community store. These along with our bags were taken to Glebe Barn Bunkhouse in a car by the bunkhouse owner, while we walked.

In the afternoon some of the party walked round the bay while some visited the massacre and cathedral caves. In 1577around 400 islanders from Clan MacDonald (almost all of the island’s population) were burned and suffocated alive by members of Clan MacLeod from Skye while hiding in Massacre cave.

A convivial evening was spent with a communal meal in the spacious Glebe Barn.
The following day three of the group ascended the Sgurr, while others visited the caves and beyond. The Sgurr walk was extended along the ridge to afford views over the island and over some lochs to Rum. When parallel to the deserted village of Grulin Lochdraich, a descent was made near some spectacular basalt rock formations. There were a number of enclosure walls and remains of houses where some 150 people had lived before the clearances.

On day 3 the whole group headed north to Cleadale 3 heading up the cliff face while the others visited the village and its beaches. A walk along the top of the escarpment gave stunning views of Rum, and a surprise waterfall, where the wind was blowing the cascading water back up stream. After lunching at the trig point the summit party found their way down a tricky slope aid by a faint Zig Zag path.

A walk down to the singing sands was disappointing as they only sing when dry, but there were some interesting sandstone rock formations and caves to explore.
On the walk back from Cleadale a war memorial was examined, to find that it honoured all those who had taken part in the wars, not just those who perished.
A disused shop on the road has been turned into a museum, while the Church is still intact but unused.

As the ferry was not due to collect us until 16.25 on the final day and the weather was good more walks were undertaken to the east coast, old ruined church and cemetery before returning by the watermill to the community cafe and pub to await the ferry.

More and more people arrived at the pier including, a baby with buggy, three dogs and two bicycles and so we were fearful that all would not fit on the small boat.

A head count by the staff found that there were 80 people and the maximum allowed was 84. So by tying the bikes on the railings along with some that had been loaded at Rum we were all squashed on board. Fortunately the weight made the boat lower in the water and very stable, so there was less sea sickness.

Docking back at Mallaig gave us an 18.00 hour departure for the drive back to Ayr just before the planned Loch Lomond road closure and so arriving home at 23.00 hours.
Len Foreman