By WharfedaleBex

More from the isles

A passenger ferry took us over to Iona for a circuit of the southern half of the island. We checked the ferry times for the return... 9.30, 10.30, 11.30, 12.30... Last one 4.30 Every hour.

We've been here before but not explored this area so it was good to be discovering a new part. 

It's been another kind day weather-wise - cold when you stop but not too windy, and dry. Underfoot wasn't quite the same as we reached half way round. It was a bit of a bog trot, to be honest, but if we'd retraced our steps, we wouldn't have come across this old quarrying machinery and nearby ruin in the middle of nowhere. Doing that walk back also made us realise how hardy we are not these days.

It's difficult to imagine life here. Men would have walked to this spot daily to quarry the marble. Great slabs of it were man-handled to the rocky coast and somehow transferred to a boat, precariously waiting at a huge boulder 'pier' in a rough sea. The nearby ruin was their shelter. The only upside is this little inlet would have been sheltered from the wind most days but, wild? Seriously so! 

1pm and we're confident we'll be in good time for the 1.30 ferry. We couldn't see it at Fionnphort so it must already be waiting.

Uhhhh, no.

Double check of the ferry and 1.30 is the only one that doesn't exist. Iona pretty much closes for the winter so it was a case of wrapping up warm and keeping ourselves occupied with coffee and noodle soup that we'd thankfully brought, and a slow tour of the nunnery. 

We met the couple and their dog we saw a few days ago on both ferry runs so had another chat with them. Little Dog has a new boyfriend. I think she'd have liked to take him home!

Never have we been so thankful of a car with heated seats when we finally made it back to Mull - we're not hardcore enough to be marble miners, that's for sure! It's been a lovely last day and we both wish we were here for another few days. 

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