Expedition 74 - 14th September 2002

We got one of the warmest days for any expedition, although it was misty at the start and the ground was wet with dew. There were five explorers: Robert, Lucy and Jack, with two visitors, Alistair and Duncan Walker, with Jane and Ralph Walker, Craig and Ann Burton and John MacMillan as helpers. John explained where we were and where we were going and the group headed out westwards from the Shona Bheag causeway along the north channel. The first stop was the lead mine, which almost everyone climbed into getting fairly muddy in the process. Then we moved along the shore, noting several boat clearances on the way, to Aultigill where everyone looked at the Customs Officer's house with its many fireplaces.

After this we had a hard climb up and down the slopes of the woods and over the big stile, ending up with a nasty stretch of deep, wet bracken. We all arrived a the house of the MacDougal brothers soaking wet and had a chance to cool off while John gave some stories about the house, and showed photographs of the earlier inhabitants.

Moving on through some more wet bracken and over a marshy area we looked at the old Egnaig graveyard, with many small gravestones. Then, back to the marsh and on into Egnaig village proper, stopping for a drink and a biscuit in one of the old houses.

We carried on through the village looking at many of the buildings and also a big ash tree and a very old silver birch. Finally we crossed the fence by another stile and made our way homeward over the beach, picking up some specimens to examine when we got back (a dried sponge, a sundew plant, some mosses and lichens). This was a long walk and we didn't arrive at the Centre until one o'clock; Robert having to leave early, he was unlucky to miss our big feed at The Pantry, which lasted until 3!John Dye

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