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Day 6: Ulva

It was rather grey and cloudy again when we woke up this morning and it looked like the sort of day when it might rain. It wasn't actually raining though, so we decided to set off and hope for the best. Our plan for today was to visit a small island called Ulva, just off the coast of Mull, and to get there we needed to drive across the island in the direction of where we had been yesterday at Loch Ba.

A small ferry makes the journey from Mull to Ulva on demand between the hours of 9 and 5. It's a passenger-only ferry, so we needed to park the car. When we arrived at the car park outside the ferry terminal I was surprised by the fact that there were quite a lot of people also there, presumably waiting to take the ferry to Ulva. I had thought it was probably a minority interest, but we hadn't seen this many people on Mull outside of Tobermory!

We got out of the car to put on our boots and that was when the heavens opened. The downpour was torrential and we got back into the car in the hope that it would pass. I was also hoping that the noisy crowds of people might get on the ferry ahead of us, leaving us to have a quieter and less busy crossing.

The rain soon eased off and so we ventured out of the car and towards the pier which we assumed the ferry was leaving from. There was a long queue of people, which we joined and waited. We waited and waited and waited for what felt like a very long time, and I was quite surprised because I thought the crossing was only supposed to be quite short and that the ferry more or less turned up whenever anybody wanted it. The only saving grace was that the place where we were waiting was quite scenic.


Ultimately it turned out that we were waiting in the wrong place xD The horde of people had been waiting for this boat, which was on some sort of sightseeing cruise.


We should have been waiting a bit further around the corner for this little boat, which is the Ulva ferry.


I knew it was a small boat, but I hadn't realised it was quite that small :D 


Once we were on board the boat, the journey to Ulva only took a couple of minutes.


The distance between Ulva and Mull isn't more than a few hundred metres.


There were some nice views from the boat as we went across though.


The tickets for the ferry cost £6 each (return), which we paid at a small kiosk once we arrived on Ulva.


In return for the £6 we also got a map of the island, showing a number of different walking trails.


The island is bigger than I expected - about 7.5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide - so we certainly weren't going to walk around all of it today.


We chose to do a walk called the Livingstone Walk, which was about 5 miles long so felt manageable.


The route started off with a forest road, which was quite easy to walk on.


All the different trails were marked with wooden signposts, which made it easy to follow the one we wanted.


Once we emerged out of the forest, the views of the island were really beautiful.


There was lots of bracken, plus yellow flowers...


...and purple heather everywhere :) 


There had been two other people on the ferry with us and they had decided to do the same walk. They were faster walkers than us, so they overtook us somewhere around here. We didn't encounter any more people on Ulva until we got back to the ferry terminal in the afternoon :) 


As the path climbed higher we had views of the sea and the coast of Mull in the distance.


The signposts continued to let us know that we were on the right track.


The path started to get narrower at this point, as it led downhill.


At one point we thought we'd lost it, but some smaller arrows set us back on the right track and before long we were standing outside a ruined cottage, which belonged to the grandparents of the explorer David Livingstone (hence the name of the walk!).


From here the path became really quite difficult to follow.


It didn't seem like many people had walked this way recently and so in some places the route was almost completely overgrown with bracken.


We persevered though and were rewarded with some wonderful views of the coast.


There were some really unusual-looking rocks here...


...and some amazing cliffs.


It was fantastic to have all these views to ourselves :) The population of Ulva is currently only 11 people, so it's not really a surprise that we didn't meet anyone else as we walked!


The final section of the walk was probably the most difficult, as we descended quite steeply through woodland.


I didn't really enjoy having to limbo under this tree, but I made it :D


Once we got out of the woodland, there just remained a fairly easy stroll back towards the ferry.


Then it was just a short journey back across the water to Mull.


Ulva is a really beautiful island and definitely worth visiting :)


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