Refreshing rain this morning, so gentle that, to the eye, the leaves are undisturbed by it. But it is getting heavier, the cloud is dropping further down the southern slopes of Meall an t - Suidhe. A chap from Roy Bridge, met on Stob Ban the other day, told us that it was invariably his morning walk. Lucky him.
Yesterday the need to check out a campsite took us to Arisaig, always a wonderful journey by road or rail. The latter is finer, in my opinion, though obviously there is no opportunity to stop and savour a particular scene as we did by Loch nan Uamh. A basic information board tells briefly of the historical importance of this bay on the Arisaig coast, but the story is told better elsewhere. (It is also inaccurate regarding the engagement between English and French frigates).
The armed brig Du Teillay arrived from France on 25 July 1745 and anchored in the bay. Aboard was Prince Charles Edward Stuart, who was twenty-five at the time. While summonses to the rising went out he moved to Kinlochmoidart House and, on 18 August, was rowed up Loch Shiel where he spent the night at MacDonald of Glenaladale's house.
Moving to Glenfinnan the following morning with a small contingent of MacDonalds, he was joined some time later by MacDonald of Morar who brought with him a hundred and fifty Clanranalds. In the afternoon numbers were swelled with arrival of Cameron of Locheil bringing with him seven hundred men. The Stewart banner of white and crimson, the Bratach Bhan, was unfurled and raised by the Duke of Atholl, William Murray. The Stewarts of Appin, the MacDonalds of Keppoch and others arrived in the evening bringing the numbers to five thousand.
The Glenfinnan Monument was built in1815, on the very ground where they stood, by Alexander MacDonald of Glenaladale. The bearded stone Highlander on top does not represent Prince Charles Edward but his clansmen.
It was also from Loch nan Uamh that, on 20 September 1746 the prince sailed for France on board L'Heureux, some five months after the disaster of Culloden. He was in hiding at Cluny's Cage on remote Ben Alder, a fugitive with a price of £30,000 on his head, when word came that two French ships had arrived in the loch. A cairn marks the spot where he embarked.
On to Mallaig and we noticed there are new pontoons in the harbour, with yachts moored alongside, and a Marina Reception building. In the last few years there has been a 50% decline in the number of fishing boats using the port, so diversification is essential. It will be a sad day, if and when, Mallaig ceases to have a working harbour.
Historical information - W H Murray.
Alan R - I note you are off now with a busy schedule of backpacking, gear testing and marshalling! Looking forward to reports. Have a great trip with the best weather. Cheers.
Sorry I can't add a comment on your blog with BB (and I can't even do it on my own blog - not even using the 'Name/URL' option) but I can on M&Gs for some reason). Can't account for it.
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