Expedition 100 - 15th November 2003

Once again, an awful forecast turned out to be wrong, we even got sunshine. I expected a good crowd, but we broke all records: twenty-three explorers - Adrian, Alasdair, Alexander Donaldson, Alexander Macgregor, Alexandria, Allan, Amie, Benjamin, Carol Anne, Charlie, Chloe, Edward, Isobel, Jamie, JD, John Donaldson, Katie, Kathryn, Lucy, Peter William, Rebecca, Robin and Thomas; ten helpers - Ann, Averil, Craig, Hamish, Jamie, John, Julia, Lucia, Peter and Philippa, and Brucie and Muilleach wagging the only tails.

Not everyone joined at Acharacle and it took a bit of time to get organised at the causeway - only two cars braved the bumpy descent. We eventually assembled and set off along the shore. When we reached the mine, all of the explorers went in, although it was rather wet, there was one complaint that it was raining inside.

Then back out again and along the shore to Aultigil, stopping to look at a strange little ruin on the rocks. Taking a rest at Aultigil, most of the party listened to some local stories about the house before we braved the narrow path to Egnaig. Everyone got successfully along the steep bit and after lifting the dogs over the stile, we stopped for a break at the house of the MacDougal brothers. Most of the participants gathered in the house to hear a story about the First World War while the boys remained outside and re-enacted the war with the aid of some handy sticks.

We got back onto the path and visited the little graveyard, where the rhododendrons are rapidly claiming back the cleared ground. We crossed the marshy bit and the old village dyke and then spent a long time going westwards through the village examining a whole succession of deserted buildings. At the end of the village we found a very strange one with the east half narrow and the west half much wider, could it have been a church?

I hoped we would be able, at long last, to examine the strange house at Bad an Dobhrain, but when we were almost there we found the path blocked by a new deer fence and we had to turn back.

It was a long, and rather divided column that wound its way back to the first stile, and we did a quick count to check that everyone had survived before re-crossing the cliff path and the shore and eventually reaching the cars just as the first few drops of rain started to fall.John Dye


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