Another hot day, such a contrast with our first week. There are no roads on Rum but there are two broad tracks as well as footpaths and we took one of them to Harris, which sounds like a village but consists only of the Bullough family mausoleum and an abandoned house. The track was initially very rough, suitable only for mountain bikes and landrovers, so we had to push most of the section. Luckily it soon improved to a dirt track.
We dropped steeply down to the shore and left our bikes by the mausoleum , a grand structure housing only the remains of the former owner of the island, Sir George Bullough, his wife Monica and father John. John was the entrepreneur who started a successful textile machinery manufacturing company and bought the Isle of Rum. George inherited half the estate, let the company’s managers run the business and lived a life of luxury, building Kinloch castle. Thanks entirely to his father’s business acumen, George was the sixth richest man in the world. We picnicked on the beach, pushed our bikes back to the top of the steep drop and the ride back was easy.
After dinner we walked to the otter hide but saw none. We passed the village school which currently has three pupils, aged 8,9 and 10. There’s a three year old who’ll be enrolled before long so it’ll be a challenge for the teacher to cope with ages at both ends of the spectrum. The ten year old will soon be starting secondary school in Mallaig, it has a hostel for island children who board there during the school week and take the ferry home at the weekend. To prepare them for this big change in their lives, there is an introduction week at Arisaig at the end of the summer term where they meet the other island children who’ll be starting at Mallaig.
Distance cycled : 14 miles