I’ve been meaning to post my thoughts on my Small Isles visit for ages, so here we go. Following your advice I stayed on Rum for 3 days. I liked Rum. The woodlands around Kinloch are quite nice. I attempted to climb Askival however an hour into the climb I was getting emails from my work about the job I was doing on the island - annoyingly I had to turn back. May have been a blessing in disguise however as the weather wasn’t great that day, I’ll need to return another time. I didn’t get to try Kim’s Kitchen because the accommodation I was in provided all my meals. The people I met on Rum were friendly and up for a chinwag. I don't have much else to add because work took up the majority of my time! I left Rum on the Friday and returned to Mallaig. I had dinner in the Steam Inn and guzzled several pints between there and another boozer where I chatted to locals and holiday makers. Good crack. I slept in my car and awoke the next morning for my 0730 sailing to Eigg... Day 1 The usual Calmac ferry for the small isles was being repaired, so I was on a wee catarmaran for about 4 hrs as we went to every island before going to Eigg. The swell was large and the boat was being throw about. It was so bad the skipper told one unlucky couple who were planning on visiting Canna for the day that he wasn’t returning there to pick people up. Unfortunately I have awful sea legs and I spent the majority of the sailing in a fetal position and then in the toilet where my guts were violently exploding out of both ends simultaneously. Eventually we arrived at Eigg. I was completely disoriented and white as a sheet when I stepped foot on the island. I went to Eigg with no plan, I figured I would just go with the flow. I knew there was a taxi shuttle on the island to get me to the campsite. I’m pointed in the direction of a chap who drives a minibus (NOTE: for those who have been to the island, this was not “Charlie’s Taxi” - it was another guy but I was under the impression there was only one shuttle bus.) I asked him if he could take me to my campsite. Taxi driver: is it just yourself? Me: Yes TD: Ehhhh…to be honest, it’s not really worth it for me to drive you Me: what do you mean? TD: if there was more of you I would do it but it’s just yourself so…it’s not really worth it Me: [emoji52] How bizarre. Are you a taxi driver or what? That’s what I should have asked but my head was still all over the place after that hellish boat journey - I wasn't sure how to respond. I was then pointed in the direction of the woman who runs the campsite I was going to and told that she would happily take my bags but typically doesn't give campers lifts. I thought that was weird. I considered hiring a bike but it was 15 quid a day and this wasn’t a cycling holiday for me, it was a photography one. The bike shop guy was a bit short with me as well so thought nah, forget it. I had to walk an hour to my campsite. 20 minutes into the walk "shit" I remember I don’t have any food. No worries, according to Google maps there’s a Spar along the road so I’ll go there. Was there f**k a Spar. Instead I was met with this: My heart sank when I realised I would have to make the pilgrimage back to the village shop later. Oh well, lets take advantage of the "free entry" and have a nosy inside, it might be interesting...oh. It was, quite literally, a shitehole. What was once I'm presuming a wee Eigg museum was now a forgotten disaster, stinking of sheep pish and shite. Wtf is this island all about I thought? I carried on to the campsite. After pitching the tent I told my hosts I needed to go back to the village to buy food. They were also happened to be going to the shops anyway and I thought to myself, great I'll be able to hitch a lift. But no - At first they offered to go and do my shopping for me instead - this wouldn’t suffice because I needed to see what was actually in the village shop first. Then they suggested I take a taxi and I told them about my earlier experience. Eventually, as if they had just tried to do everything they could to avoid it, I was offered the lift. I thought it might be a covid fear but other people who were holidaying in one of their lodges were getting lifts no bother. I got my dinner at that cafe that VT mentions - it was a well needed good scran. Despite that, my first impressions of Eigg had not been particularly great. Day 2 The following day I go out with my camera scoping out positions to take shots later that evening. There was a pizza oven at the bottom of the hill where my campsite was and tonight was pizza night, so I got one and that was good. Following dinner I get a nice sunset shot looking towards Rum. I have a beer and make myself a beach fire as the last of the light fades. I make the short march back up to my campsite and I’m met with some locals standing around a fire pit where the pizza oven is, listening to tunes and having a bevy. Excellent I thought - perhaps a chance to get some chat going and have a few beers. I approach them and they speculate as to who I am as I approach the fire. Locals: is that you John? Me: *chuckles* no, no…I’m not from here. Locals: “ah right okay.” *they turn away from me* “Anyway as I was saying…” I stood in awkward silence for a few seconds, expecting someone out of this group of 8+ people to say "so what's you name?", "do you fancy a beer mate?" - anything! Just as I was about to leave, the guy next to me starts chatting to me - and it's none other than taxi driver. He didn't say hi or how are you getting on etc - he said: TD: are you on instagram by any chance? Me: Ehh...yeah? TD: Aye...you look like someone that would be on that. Me: *awkward laughter* okay TD: you've got a face for Twitter Me: Right... I walked away and head up the hill to my tent. I couldn't believe how much of a w**k this guy was, throwing weird insults at me for no reason. It was simply bizarre. Day 3 It was my last day on the island. I packed my stuff and this time successfully got a taxi from Charlies Taxi (the "official" island taxi) to the village. Charlie was friendly and good chat. I dumped my stuff at the village shop area and walked out to Massacre Cave. Massacre cave was really cool, I was taken aback by how deep the cave travels into the cliffside. I returned to the shop with about 2 and a half hours to spare and I sat down outside. I was booked on the 1630 ferry back to the mainland and had planned to spend as much of the day as I could exploring. However it had got to the point where I had lost all motivation and just wanted to leave. I was scunnered with the place. It was a shame really. As I waited for the ferry I noticed that many of the locals were just hanging about outside the shop drinking lager. Taxi driver was one of them as well (he didn't acknowledge me). One boy cracks open a bottle of whisky. These guys were just sitting about getting on the bevy at 2pm on a Monday afternoon, no one appeared to be working. Island life for you I suppose. For those who don't know, the people of Eigg own the island. They bought it in 2007 or thereabouts in a community buyout. There appears to be a very tight knit community there and at first I thought that was great and nice to see. However the vibe I was getting from the majority of them was that I was a tourist and they weren't interested - "this is our island" kind of thing. The community all hanging out together and getting pissed was a common theme. It honestly felt like it was one big clique and we, the tourists, weren't in it. I felt reasonable requests were often met with short answers and I often felt like I was hassling people. People generally didn't come across as warm and welcoming. I've been to almost all the islands accessible via Calmac ferry. The majority of the Outer Hebrides, Colonsay, Jura, Coll, Tiree, Lismore - you name it and there's a good chance I've been. I have never had a similar experience at any of these places. I can only put it down to the whole ownership of the island thing. People shouldn't be put off by my experience, Eigg is actually a beautiful wee island - geologically it is very interesting and that alone is enough to make me want to revisit. I would like to tick off Canna and Muck one day as well. But yeah, I pretty odd and disappointing experience tbh.