Monday 1 April 2013

An evening on Muck and the end of a journey

On the final night of our journey Douglas and I stayed at the Muck Bunkhouse.  The warden, Rosie, is a great character and has a wealth of knowledge about the island.

The bunkhouse is warm and cosy; heated by a Raeburn stove burning fuel oil, which also provides the hot water.  Muck doesn't have a constant supply of electricity and the times when the power is on are on a notice on the wall.  There are candles for lighting outwith the "electricity times".  We were very comfortable here and would highly recommend a stay.  It's easier if you have your own sleeping bag, though bedding can be provided.

We cooked an enormous meal of haggis, carrots and mashed potatoes, accompanied with a Guiness and followed by a dram of Jura whisky.  It was a very chilled out evening, made possibly more enjoyable when we heard the rain drumming on the roof....

The morning dawned grey and wet, but the rain soon cleared through.  We went for a walk across the island to explore a little.  Muck is farmed as a large single farm by the MacEwen family.  They are forward thinking land owners, and are constantly seeking to keep a mix of families on the island, recognising that a vibrant community is the heart of an island.

We identified a couple of beaches for future landings and,perhaps, camp sites.

The sun burned away the mist as we returned to Port Mor to collect our things from the bunkhouse and head down to meet the ferry.

Loch Nevis arrived spot on time.  The crew asked how our journey had been, and we enjoyed a fine meal on the passage back to Mallaig.

Our journey was now truly over, but what a fantastic journey it had been.  I was so very pleased to have been able to share the trip with Douglas; we both know we'll return to do a variation on this journey, there are just so many options and we didn't paddle some stretches we'd like to do.

This journey through the Small Isles is undoubtedly the most enjoyable trip I've ever undertaken, and for so many different reasons.  The journeying, the folk we met, the places we stayed and the things we saw all added to the experience.  Douglas and I share a common outlook on trips like this, and that shared philosophy/approach made for a hugely enjoyable time. We also had time to plan some other trips for the future  :o)