06.06.2015 - 06.06.2015
Cliffs and Clefts
Up at 7:20, breakfast at the hotel and into the car onto A970 North aiming for the cliffs at Esha Ness.
Rob took lovely shots out the right side of the island towards Gletness, Eswick. Then passing the Loch of Girlsta we commented on the blueness of the water. We went up through Peat laden hills with plenty of sheep and down again towards Lower Voe and the Olna Firth where a little fishing trawler port sat at the end of the firth and many crofter ruins sitting on the green hills. We passed the old whaling station and looked out to Muckle Roe as we drove into Brae.
We stopped for a cold drink from the Co op store and continued along our way to Mavis Grind. There we chatted with an older lady who had lived in Australia but returned 'home' a numbernof yrs ago. Rob and she briefly discussed geology and viking ways of moving boats. It was a unique spot at the base of a quarry but mostly because Mavis Grind is the entrance to Northmavine and is a spot where the Atlantic Ocean is less than 200 metres from the North Sea. So by dragging your boat acrozs Mavis Grind you avoid having to sail all the way around Northmavine. The otters were hiding today and we did not have a boat to drag so continued driving and reached the cafe at Braewick. What a view!! The views of the heads of Grocken could be seen out of the 100 degree window facing over the rocks. Inside a group of ladies were having a meet and sew session. Lovely! The Braewick beach can be seen from cafe as well.
Arriving at Esha Ness Lighthouse, we walked along the cliffs along Calder's Geo. Lots of views of the cliffs and rocks with many nesting birds such as Gulls, Terns and a solitary Puffin. The dramatic drop showed the faces of the cliffs, made up of volcanic rock with water swilling below and birds cruising between.
We turned right to Stenness to photograph the Dore Holm, magestic and the old fishing lodgers.
At the Tangwick Haa we passed a fundraising group of smash up derby drivers, writing off their cars in a mud 'race ' circuit...... different. The attendant at the museum commented on this when we spoke with her following our viewjng of the museum. There was a glorious wedding dress, all hand made in gold silk with lace and fine pleating, stunning! There were also samples of the wonderful lace knitting I have been admiring...with 2 and 1 ply wool.
Heading back towards Hillswick, stopping for a bit of a walk on the heads of Grocken, where you get panoramic views of the Sandwick, the Ness of Hillswick and The Drongs (large rock pillars standing tall and erect out of the water).
Heading back towards Brae we saw a photograph shy curlew, a few road hogging sheep and more peat cutters.
On the way to Brae we stopped to photograph Mangaster Voe and witnessed a herd of cows moving steadily together in a direction. Next the farmers voice could be heard, calling them in from about a km away. It was brilliant to watch.
Near Lower Voe we had a wander around a little Loch.
From Brae we went directly to Scalloway Museum, through the B road from Tingwall, following the Loch of Tingwall and passing thr golf course. There was a little airstrip at Tingwall.
Making it to the museum in opening times today, we ventured in and saw their display of the Shetland Bus....which is not a bus but a boat shuttle service that ran during the war to assist the Norwegian Resistance, really interesting. Some people had amazingly difficult and challenging lives. Part of the museum is the Scalloway Castle, linked to Earl Patrick....the rotter we've mentioned before. Another teensy weensy width staircase to manoever. No joke, their steps are triangular and the widest part is not as wide as my hand is long. How did they do it gracefully one has to ask! Fortunately I have managed to not tumble down. I find those as challenging as Rob finds the short doorways on croft houses...
Back to Lerwick again and as we have missed lunch we will be up for an early dinner.
Tonight we pack up again and squeeze everything into our cases and backpacks for tomorrow's flights to Edinbugh and Cardiff. Cardiff will be our last stop, and this time next week we will be home. We are starting to miss it all already.