Isle of Eigg, Day 2: The Bay of Laig & The Singing Sands

Laig Bay & St. Donnan’s Roman Catholic Church, Cleadale, Isle of Eigg

Rain hammered down on the roof of the “Crackervan Caravan” for the entire morning of my second day on the Isle of Eigg. This was not the kind of rain where you might think, “Ack, it’s only a bit of water, I’ll go out any way.” This was the kind of rain where, if you were to take one step outside of your door, you’d be left absolutely drookit.

Drookit

Scots, adj. – Drenched, or soaked through

By midday, the rain relented, and a heavy mist began to settle on the cliff tops. I wandered into Ailidh’s garden to access her Wi-Fi so that I could quickly check the weather forecast. Unfortunately, I saw that rain was not only predicted for later that afternoon/evening, but for each and every subsequent day that week. My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. I’d come all this way to see the Isle of Eigg and now I could barely see Cleadale, let alone the island, from where I stood in Ailidh’s garden.

I’m not one to allow myself to wallow. So, I laced up my waterproof hiking boots, strapped on my helmet, and walked my bicycle up the muddy path to the main road.

I looked right, then left. Right would take me back the way I came the day before. Left, well, I didn’t know where left would lead, but I decided to take it any way.

A short ways down the road, I came to a fork, where I ran into a herd of rams. There were a few young bucks in the group, prompting the adult rams to eye me suspiciously as I dismounted my bicycle. Behind the herd, a raven sat, cawing, on a post. The scene looked all the more like an Edgar Allan Poe poem as the mist began billowing down from the cliff tops.

Suddenly, the rams looked up from the grass. I followed their gaze, turning to look back down the main road, in the direction of my caravan, and saw that the mist had started to encroach on the road itself. Out of the mist, a dog emerged, followed by its owner, and the rams ran off.

The sudden intrusion gave me an opportunity to take a look at a plaque near where the rams had been grazing. (Pictured right/below if you’re viewing on your phone.) This turned out to be the Eigg War Memorial, commemorating the islanders that gave their lives, and honouring the ones that served, in World Wars I & II.

There were 11 names for World War I and 29 for World War II, each listed alongside their regiment. As the daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of veterans, I took a moment to read each name, before cycling off, making a left at the fork.


A gorgeous ram lamb grazing near the Eigg War Memorial, Cleadale, Isle of Eigg

The Singing Sands

The left turn led me to the start of the trail for the Singing Sands. The Singing Sands is a beach on Eigg, named for its sand, which makes a sort of squeaky sound when treaded upon. I reached a gate, where I decided to leave my bicycle, as the path got rather boggy from that point on. As you can see in the photo to the left (or above, if you’re viewing on your phone), there are posts, serving as trail indicators, spaced about 15 metres apart, to help guide visitors along this boggy section of the trail, however, they were becoming harder and harder to spot in the thickening mist. When I couldn’t make out the next trail indicator, I turned back around, and promised myself I’d visit the Singing Sands again, someday. (Perhaps on a sunnier someday.)


A herd of sheep grazing near the Singing Sands, Cleadale, Isle of Eigg

The mist was beginning to overtake everywhere around me, and so, I headed back to the caravan. I was feeling rather down about not being able to to see the Singing Sands, but my spirits instantly lifted when I saw Fulan, my host’s dog, bounding towards me on my approach. I followed Fulan down to the shore of Laig Bay, and together we searched for a stick, until we found the perfect one. Fulan’s complete disregard for things I’d spent the better half of my morning worrying about – getting wet, getting muddy, etc. – made me laugh. He didn’t give a toss about the weather, all he wanted was for me to toss a stick, and so I did, until the mist turned to rain, and we headed back to the caravan, together.


The “Crackervan Caravan” in the foreground (left), and my host’s house behind it,
Cleadale, Isle of Eigg

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