A perfect autumn day. Crisp, cool, practically windless. Skye looked perfect in the morning sun, as I took the bus down to Broadford, and then on to Armadale. I just could not get enough of the magnificent landscapes along the 27 miles to the ferry terminal. Coruisk came in on time at 11.40 and left 5 minutes later. It's been called all sorts of unfriendly names, like an 'inverted flowerpot'. On one of its first journeys, it lost a propellor on rocks in Mallaig harbour, in August 2003. But it chugged across the Sound of Sleat in 23 minutes, and offered the familiar view up to Isle Ornsay, Sandaig Islands to the north and Eigg and Rum to the southwest. After two hours of dawdling through Mallaig, Lochnevis entered the harbour and embarkation began. The couple that I met yesterday at Strathaird was on board, following my glowing endorsement of the 7 hour round trip. I talked them through the first 75 minutes to Eigg. On arrival, at 3.20, my host, Marie, was waiting on the pier, also to collect her daughter on half-term hols. The ferry waited 20 minutes, doing nothing, until formal departure time came. I sat in the jeep to be driven the 100-200 yards to An Laimhrig, the Anchorage. This is the teashop/craftshop/general store building at the end of the new pier. Check out the Isle of Eigg website www.isleofeigg.org for further details. Having bought a can of coke, I speedmarched off up Pier Hill towards the Lodge and Galmisdale. The low autumn sun lit everything up in a way I had never seen in the 15 years of coming to the island. It was, again, a perfect afternoon. I continued up the hill, to Galmisdale, with its glaringly red roof. Then further along to Grulin, where I went as far as the Bothy, 1 1/2 miles in. I sat in the sun, looking out over the water to the Isles of Muck, Coll, Mull and the Dutchman's Cap and Staffa. At 5.15, I decided to head back. Temperatures started to drop, and I was glad to reach Kildonan, where I was going to stay for the next few days.
Lodge gardens, Isle of Eigg
Grulin, Isle of Eigg; An Sgurr in the centre