Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Small Isles

I love these islands and was thrilled to be asked to guide a group here again this year. The skies grew darker as our train journey from Glasgow to Mallaig progressed, and by the time we sailed the rain was horizontal. Disembarking on Eigg was a very wet affair!
The sun was shining on a glorious day the next morning and so it continued all week.
The girls at Eight Bread catered magnificently for us on the island, as did Ivy Cottage on Rum. We managed to walk most of Eigg, with fabulous views from the top of An Sgurr out to Muck and over to Rum. 3 days on Rum followed and our hikes took us into the heart of the Rum Cuillin on to Hallival, north onto Bloodstone Hill where we watched golden eagles soaring, and out to Kilmory Bay and the red deer project.
We stayed at the new temporary hostel at Kinloch Castle which is pretty good and definitely needed.

Galloway and beyond

These last few months have been crazy with work, with hardly a moment to draw breath let alone settle down to any admin.
June started with a beautiful week in Galloway, tackling the 4 Corbetts of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn, Shalloch on Minnoch, Corserine and The Merrick from our base at Minigaff Youth Hostel. This is a great wee hostel - such a pity it's being considered for closure.
Then it was on to Orkney and Shetland for 10 days work with About Argyll, guiding an archaeology and walking tour. We had an archaeology lecturer with us as part of the group, and it was fantastic to get professional insight into the sites we visited - Ness of Brodgar, Maes Howe, Guirness Broch, Mousa and many more. We saw plenty of puffins on the cliffs at Hermaness and even caught some filming of a climb on the Old Man of Hoy, which was exciting