Sunday, May 28, 2006

Day 17 May 27th Fionnphort

Day 17 May 27th Fionnphort
Originally uploaded by rhesus42.
There is no track for today, as I didn't cycle anywhere. Once again the day started wet and windy. I walked into Fionnphort in time to meet the boat trip to Staffa. They had changed the schedule since there were not enough people going to warrant two trips. I had a couple of hours to kill before the trip, so I bought a hat and got some postcards for family members without internet access. I felt just like a proper tourist!

As time went on, the day brightened and the delay in the trip turned out to be for the best. The trip to Staffa takes about 40 minutes and involves crossing open waters where Atlantic rollers stream in. It was fine going out where we were running with the swell, but really wet and wild coming back!

Staffa itself is amazing. Hexagonal bassalt columns are everywhere, Fingals cave, inspiration for Mendelsohn's Hebrides overture, is massive and the Atlantic swells crash into it. The approach to the cave is along the side of the island walking on the bassalt columns with only a wire handrail for guidance.

Climbing onto the top of Staffa it's possible to walk along the island getting views of cliffs, sea and other islands beyond. The hour ashore was just enough. The trip back was very wet for those of us outside. I decided to stop off on Iona on the way back to get a cup of tea and to dry out.

Then it was onto the ferry back to Mull for the last time.

As this was my last day in Fionnphort, I decided to have dinner. I was about to walk across to the village from the B&B when out of nowhere came a violent squall with gale force winds and hale. It lasted 10 minutes or so. After it had gone through the rest of the evening was calm and bright. A curry, washed down with a couple of pints was a fitting way to end this segment of the ride.

Today's picture is the wall of the ruined Nunnery on Iona where flowers and other plants are gradually taking over.

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