Monday, 13 September 2010

Gigha and the Brownies of Cara

After lunch we started to head up the east coast of Cara. In truth, we then headed round the west coast of Gigha and returned to Cara the following day, but to give some continuity to my adventure I will continue telling the story of the Cara Brownie.

When we landed on the beautiful sandy beach at the north end of Cara, I was greatly puzzled by the antics on my two companions. They both stood to attention, removed their hats and said “Good day Mr Brownie” I thought the sun had affected their judgment until they told me the legend of the Brownie of Cara.

The Brownie of Cara is the islands only permanent resident. He is a neat little man dressed in brown with a pointed beard and extremely mischievous. Its rumoured he is the ghost of a Macdonald killed by a Campbell. Anyone who visits the island must pay the Brownie homage or suffer the consequences of his mischievous nature. That’s why my companions were acting so strangely. They were paying him his homage.

The sandy bay at the north of the island where we landed to pay homage. The wind farm of Gigha and the Paps of Jura form the background.

I guess this is what happens to a tractor when its abandoned to rot away. That’s what I love about the seldom visited islands around Scotland. Everything stays where the original owner left it. Nothing is touched.

Even the engine is in original condition complete with spark plugs and contact points. A squirt with WD40 and she would be running again. Hmmm, on second thoughts perhaps it would be firing on two cylinders only.

We decided to leave the boats and walk to the highest point at the Mull of Cara. On the way we passed the only liveable house on the island. It has summer residents and was in good condition. Its rumoured the Campbell murdered the MacDonald in an upstairs bedroom and the Brownie still haunts the house. We kept well clear.

Outside I was haunted by the sight of this strange tree stump. I took this photo on the way to the Mull of Cara but saw no sign of it on my return ? Perhaps my mind was playing tricks as I didn’t pay the Brownie any homage when I landed.

Moving further down the island I took this photo of the sandy beach we first landed on. The clear waters displayed every stone and piece of seaweed for almost a hundred yards off shore.

Half way along the island is a little cairn although its not the highest point of Cara. The views towards Gigha and Jura were as spectacular as the blooming heather.

Near the Mull of Cara there is a huge rock and its even marked on the OS map as The Brownie’s Chair. Its rumoured that if you sit in it, you will never be seen again. I hope Phil is OK as I have not seen him since that day.

The final push onto the highest point was a bit of a struggle as it was very steep but the views looking up the Sound of Gigha towards Kintyre made the walk worth while.

Looking towards Islay and the Mull of Cara, the waters look far calmer that yesterday when we rounded the point.

Although I never saw the Brownie, Im slightly embarrassed to say I did pay my homage to him before I left Cara. I left a little brownie myself , but I put a huge stone on top of it so no one would see it either.


Phil Toman said...

I'm still around Donald !

"Leaving your own little Brownie" ? ! Thank goodness I never witnessed that ! Definitley too much information ! :-)

I fine account of a fabulous trip with excellent pictures to boot ! Hope to meet up with you soon Donald,
that is if the Brownie doesn't get me first !

P.S. I hope your daughter is fine.



Anonymous said...

As the Campbell said to the MacDonald before he turned him into the Brownie

"Better an empty house than a bad tenant"

Apologies for my crap sense of humour Phil.

Its great to hear from you and the Gigha trip was the highlight of my holiday.

Many thanks to you and Douglas for giving me the break. I hope we can have more journeys together in the future.

My daughter is doing great now too.. she has the best nurse in the world.. her gran :-D

Signed ..the other Cara Brownie :-D