Visiting Staffa to see Fingal’s Cave was one of those big, little trips that are always on the wish list, but never get to the top.
It’s a long trip just to get to the boat which takes you out to the island. A 3 hour drive to Oban. The ferry to Mull – it’s only 45/50 minutes but you have to be there 30 minutes ahead of the sailing time and you need to allow for hold ups on that 3 hour drive. In reality, it’s about 5 hours just to get onto Mull.
Then you have a 1 hour drive on a single track road to get to Fionnphort – the boat trips leave from Iona and stop to pick up at Fionnphort.
So 6 hours of travel. Mull doesn’t have an airport – no quick fix that way.
This month I did it. Boy was it worth it!
The boat trip to Staffa took 3 hours.
Just over an hour on the island and just under an hour each way.
The weather was just perfect (thank you Zeus and Poseidon – I owe you one).
Approaching the island really catches your breath.
Landing on the little pier off a moving boat was fun for me, but maybe not for someone less mobile!
Until I booked the boat I hadn’t realised you can actually land on the island, never mind walk around the cliffs into Fingal’s Cave.
To call it a natural wonder doesn’t do it justice.
Getting up close to the puffins on the island was fun too. Early summer is the time to see them as they nest in burrows in the cliffs. During the day they stay out on the water, but when they see people from the boat trips on the clifftops they know they’ll be safe from gulls and come back to check the nests. They can be just a metre or two away.
Since I got back I’ve been trying figure out if anything about the trip was disappointing – even just a little. Still working on it…
ⓒ iain taylor 2016