A Travellerspoint blog

March 2017

Sandamhòr - Traigh Lathaig

sunny 14 °C
View Eigg on IainT's travel map.

Day 3

A beautiful dawn just before 7am.

Dawn

Dawn

The owner’s daughter (she does have name, but... ) told me yesterday that a walk over to the beaches on the west of the island would be worth the effort. Good advice. A beautiful beach and wonderful views of Rùm.

Rùm

Rùm

I got my socks and shoes off and paddled along the beach. Released my inner child... My feet needed a wash anyway. Mind you, the warming effect of the Gulf Stream wasn’t very noticeable.

Peaceful

Peaceful

A few interesting facts about Eigg:-

  • The island has never been connected to the national electricity grid, so each house had a noisy, dirty, expensive diesel generator to produce power - the diesel arrived by ship from the mainland .
  • In 2008 the islanders set up their own electricity supply grid. They generate using 4 wind turbines, PV panels, and 3 micro hydroelectric generators. They have batteries for storage and diesel generators as a fall back in case there has been no sun, wind or rain.
  • Each home is allowed a maximum of 5kw electricity consumption, and has a meter to show how much is being used. People have learned not to boil the kettle and run the washing machine at the same time.

One of the crofts over at A’Chuagach caught my eye. I wonder if they fly the flag every day. It happened to be the day the Scottish Parliament voted for another independence referendum.

Flag

Flag

Posted by IainT 09:09 Archived in Scotland Tagged landscapes beaches scotland island eigg Comments (0)

Roy Bridge - Fort William - Mallaig - Eigg

sunny 18 °C
View Eigg on IainT's travel map.

Day 2.

An early start and I was away from the B&B at 7:30 to get the 8:30 train from Fort William. My ticket - booked in advance and using my senior railcard - cost £9.20 return.

Scotrail's 8:30 to Mallaig

Scotrail's 8:30 to Mallaig

It was a spectacular journey through amazing scenery to get the 10:20 ferry to Eigg (it also calls at Rùm and Muck). The unusual names come from Norse and not Gaelic.

I had an hour on the ship under windless, blue skies. Between the mainland coast, the Small Isles and Skye, you’re surrounded by beauty. All for £7.70 (return).

Calmac's 10:20 to Eigg

Calmac's 10:20 to Eigg

I settled quickly into my home from home thanks to the owner’s daughter, who then rushed off to fret about her 400 sheep which are about to start lambing.

Shepherd's Hut

Shepherd's Hut

I decided to have lunch out as the only cafe on Eigg is only open on the days the ferry arrives (3 days a week at the moment - still the winter timetable). Lunch out on the deck. In March...

Lunchtime

Lunchtime

More exercise kept me busy in the afternoon - I tackled An Sgurr, the biggest hill on the island. It was tougher than yesterday’s hike - a path which alternated between rocky and boggy. Still, another 3.5 hours and 12 or 13 km on the clock.

Rùm from An Sgurr

Rùm from An Sgurr

The island has its own micro-brewery - not bad for a population of 83 and very welcome after the climb.

Posted by IainT 05:45 Archived in Scotland Tagged mountains trains scotland ferries island eigg calmac Comments (0)

Coire Ardair

sunny 18 °C

Day 1

Out the door about 10:30 this morning after 3 hours of running around the house (plus a trip to the supermarket to buy something for lunch).

Why? Where?

I’m on my way to Eigg. It’s one of the Small Isles, just south of Skye.

To get there you take a Calmac ferry from Mallaig. It leaves at 10:20 - only 3 times a week in winter (summer timetables start with April). Mallaig is a 3.5 hour drive from my house. In theory I could leave home at 6am and be on time. In reality, any delay would mean missing it and a 2 day wait for the next one!

Calmac

Calmac

Much safer to spend the night in a bed & breakfast in Roy Bridge (close to Fort William). A 1 hour drive from Mallaig.

In fact I decided to get the 8:30 train tomorrow from Fort William to Mallaig - I can sit and enjoy the views.

The weather was sunny and warm, so I decided on a 12km hike near Roy Bridge this afternoon - to Coire Ardair at Creag Meagaidh, and back.

Coire Ardair

Coire Ardair

One of the highlights was being able to grab a handful of snow to rub on my face and neck to cool down. Perfect.

Tired now (10pm). All that fresh mountain air and exercise!

Posted by IainT 14:24 Archived in Scotland Tagged mountains snow scotland eigg calmac Comments (0)

Verdant

all seasons in one day 2 °C

A wee trip close to home last week - north to Dundee.

The country (UK, not just Scotland) was in the grip of Storm Doris, but all it did around here was dump a bit of wet snow on higher ground. It did mean that outside activity would be unpleasant, so we decided to visit the Verdant Works in Dundee.

Verdant

It's an industrial heritage museum and as well as preserving a historic jute works (built in 1833) it serves to educate on the history of that industry.

Verdant Works - exterior

Verdant Works - exterior

We had an enjoyable and informative couple of hours.

Verdant Works - courtyard

Verdant Works - courtyard

As a bonus, it was warm and dry. Another bonus was the coffee shop afterwards - home made soup for some inner heat and the chance for my friend (Dr D from Bavaria) to taste Dundee cake for the first time.

Verdant Works - exhibits

Verdant Works - exhibits

Dundee isn't on the tourist map for most visitors to Scotland, but it's very close to St Andrews. It will become more of a draw in summer 2018, when the new V & A Museum of Design opens.

V & A

Posted by IainT 12:50 Archived in Scotland Tagged scotland dundee Comments (0)

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