Friday, 29 March 2013

Eggs for breakfast, Eigg after breakfast!

The view from Lageorna in the morning, over the Sound of Rum to the Rum Cuillin was very encouraging; the weather seemed to be set fine.

We tucked into a cracking breakfast featuring local produce (and Eigg Eggs!) and then got ready to walk back to Galmisdale.  It's a 5 kilometre walk over the spine of the island; Sue kindly offered us a lift but we wanted to explore a little on foot.  The opportunity to explore on land as well as from the water was really enjoyable and added greatly to the trip.

Leaving Cleadale we passed this letter box.  The letters "GR" indicate that it was put in place during the reign of King George VI.  He died in 1952, making the letter box at least sixty years old.  Unusually, the collection times don't state actual times, rather that collection will be made "one hour prior to departure of the ferry".

After a steady climb out of Cleadale we followed the road as it traversed the higher ground in the centre of the island.  It was a beautiful morning and we were in no rush.  Our distinctive luggage (one IKEA bag each) was nice and light  too!

 A little farther along and we walked back into one of the banks of mist still hanging on the slopes of Eigg.  It gave tremendous atmosphere to this standing stone, which is placed near the road and would have been visible across a wide area.  This stone was re-erected in the 1990's, and is originally thought to have been part of a line of stones crossing the island.

 As we started our descent to Galmisdale we came back out of the mist into bright sunshine.  The fresh colours of the church against the blue sky looked very spring-like.

 Above us, Eigg's most ditinctive feature reared into the clear air.  An Sgurr, known also as the Sgurr of Eigg is a landmark visible for many miles.  The 393 metre high summit is the culmination of the largest pitchstone ridge in Europe, and is vertical on three sides.  Unfortunately we didn't have time to walk to the summit, but we will undoubtedly be back to do so!

Light mist was gradually being burned away as we sorted out our kit and dried damp items in the sun.  We'd left our boats near the top of the slipway fully packed without any fear that they would be disturbed - another lovely feature of the islands.

The names of the two main settlements (Galmisale and Cleadale) hint at part of Eigg's Viking history.  There is a strong Norse influence and 8th century artefacts including a sword handle and parts of a longboat have been uncovered locally.  Certainly the two shelterd beaches near Galmisdale would have been perfect to operate longships, and had good agricultural ground nearby.

At the top of the old slipway is the Pier Centre, a community centre with a shop, restaurant, toilets, information centre and bike hire facilities.There is a tap at the far side of the building for replenishing water too.

We'd very much enjoyed our visit to Eigg, a dramatic, beautiful and friendly place.  As we didn't manage to paddle the east coast of the island on this trip, we have a perfect reason to return soon!  For now, our eyes were set to the southwest; to the Isle of Muck which would be the final island to visit on our journey.


  1. Hi Ian, With 2013 designated as the "Year of Natural Scotland", you and Douglas are making a compelling case for a visit soonest! I'm still in awe of the availability of the "Guinness flavoured" sports drinks for self-propelled outdoor enthusiasts! Imagine. :) Duncan.

  2. Hi Duncan, what better year to visit?! The "sports drinks" are available in a range of flavours, but Guiness does the trick nicely :o)

    Kind regards to you both