The Wayfarer - A mystical island

People are such characters and every where you go you hear tales and wonder at the ingenuity of those who have created them.

Our forebears did not have the benefit of all that technology that is available to us today, and were perhaps all the better for it. I had barely got a mobile phone or a computer before they were superseded by something more advanced. In early years our forebears did not have the smart-phones able to access all the mine of information that is now available. In those years all the time was taken up trying to improve their lives with ingenuity and what was available to them at the time.

Look at Sir John Cathcart of Lendalfoot who kept his estate in order by marrying a series of rich heiresses and depositing them over the cliffs at Games Loup until he met his match. These were the years when life seemed short and cheap, but as to long living we must go to the Holy Isle just off Arran where in a cave in the year 639 St Molaise died at the ripe old age of 120 having borne some 30 diseases. You wonder at all the many cures he must have discovered to enable him to live so long.

But then Arran is a mystical island with a history all of its own. The Holy Isle was purchased in 1991 by Bhuddists for £400,000 as a retreat and is open to all. It is well worth a visit, but no guarantees that you will find long life or a cure all for whatever ails you .Lamlash Bay is where King Hakon of Norway assembled his fleet, prior to returning to Norway with his tale between his legs, after his defeat at the Battle of Largs.

There is a lot more to Arran than just that, they have their own distillery, brewery, cheese making and also excellent ice cream, so although an island it has all the pleasure of good living. It has also had its share of notable sons Daniel McMillan was one of ten children born at High Corrie in 1813. He left the island to found the McMillan publishing House in 1843 and fathered Harold McMillan who became Prime Minister of Great Britain & Ireland. Goat Fell (2,866 feet) is a good climb with superb views and towers above Brodick Castle once in the hands of the Hamilton family but now held by the National Trust for Scotland. Arran is an island of beauty full of people who bring all forms of good living to the place and is often overlooked. The island is considered part of Buteshire a county with a lot going for it. But that is for another tale. See you next week.