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Shetland 2014 - The 'Irn Bru' Tour

Part 1 - Sumburgh to Burravoe

25.07.14 - Home to Sumburgh

After loading up the bikes on the cycle carrier and checking that we had all the panniers in the boot we left home and drove up to my father's house near Norwich. After a cup of tea and a chat we unloaded the bikes and loaded them up with all the panniers, much to the amusement of my father who kept joking about whether we had the kitchen sink. Having said our goodbyes we headed off to Norwich airport, which fortunately is only 15 minutes ride away from my Dad's house. When we got to the concourse we decided to get the bikes packed up in their CTC bags. I asked the lady from the Thomas Cook counter if it was OK for us to package up our bikes up at the the area to the side of her counter. She said it was OK. Soon after an airport lady came over to see us but was concerned that the bikes should be in boxes. I told her that Loganair said that they would be OK in bags. She asked for my boarding pass so that she could check. We decided to continue to bag the bikes up. Fortunately she came back with a smile on her face and told us it was OK. Phew what a relief! The flight to Edinburgh was on a twin-prop Dornier 328 and the skies were reasonably clear so we got some good views and could pick out places as we flew over. We had a good view of Newcastle and Edinburgh as we came into land. I couldn't help thinking as we flew about those poor souls from flight MH17 and their grieving relatives. Our flight to Sumburgh didn't leave until 18.00 so we had 2 and half hours to wait, however it didn't seem that long to wait. Our flight to Shetland was on a Saab 2000 which Loganair had just brought in to service on this route. As we waited on the tarmac to board the plane we could just see our bikes in the hold through the loading hatch which was a relief to see. Just before takeoff the pilot came over the intercom to say that the weather in Shetland hadn't been good over the last few days and that there was a lot of low cloud over Sumburgh and we might have difficulty in landing but he would give it a go! This didn't bode well! As we got closer to Sumburgh the pilot came back on the intercom to say that he had had a update from Sumburgh and the cloud base had lifted to 700 ft and that we should be OK to land, our second relief of the day. On landing they were very quick in off loading the plane as we had only walked across the tarmac and into the terminal building and were only in the baggage reclaim area for a few minutes when the carousel started up and the bags and our bikes arrived. It took us about 20minutes to unpack the bikes adjust the handlebars, attach the derailleur arm and pump the tyres up. As we fired up the GPS's we noticed that there was a cache very close and not to far off our route to the hotel. As we cycled along the road from the airport we were hit by a wonderful smell from the clover by the side of the road. The cache was conveniently found and we soon made our way around to the hotel. We checked in and the chap at reception said they were still serving meals in the lounge but only until 9 o'clock. As it was twenty to nine we decided to leave unloading the bikes and have a meal first. On getting up to our room after a rather welcome and tasty meal we were very pleasantly surprised to find we had a four poster bed in a lovely spacious room!

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26.07.14 - Jarlshof and Sumburgh Head

map linkWe had a good breakfast at the hotel and as we checked out I asked them if we could leave our flight bags with them as we were booked in with them on the 27th, there was no problem with that. It had been a bit cloudy when we woke up but the clouds had gone and it was lovely and sunny. As Jarlshof is right next to the hotel we left the bikes there and wandered over to have a look. I noticed that the chap on the reception had a Yorkshire accent and it turns out that he was from Bradford. Jarlshof was really interesting as there were so many buildings that they had uncovered from the sand dunes, from Iron age to Medieval. The best bit for us was the wheel house, we had seen the remains of some of these on Bara but this was the best preserved one in Scotland. It was almost completely intact and was just missing the final few roofing pieces, which could easily have just been a few logs and turf.

From there we headed over to Sumburgh Head to see the Puffins and the lighthouse. The lighthouse was another by Stevenson and I just loved the simple but classic lines of the architecture. They have just spent 5.4 million on its restoration and it is certainly worth it. The pump room for the foghorn is rather well done and we really liked the old WWll Radar hut which they have recreated complete with sound effects. Around the cliffs at Sumburgh Head there are Puffin, Kittiwakes and Guillemot colonies. The Puffins were great as they were quite close to the top and we got some good views, we could have watched Puffins all day as they are such lovely birds. Time was moving on and we didn't want to miss the shop at Toab which closed at 6 o'clock. We had hoped to see the excavations at Old Scatness but when we got there it was only open on a Monday. As we left to go on to Toab the lights for the runway crossing flashed and a guy closed the barrier to the traffic to allow a plane to taxi across to the other side, turn around and then take off. We pulled our bikes up to the side and took some photos. As the guy opened the barrier to let the traffic through he said to us that there was another plane just coming if we wanted to see that. So we held on. I chatted to him as we waited saying it was a grand day and he reckoned that it best day they had all season, apparently the last few days in Sumburgh had been shrouded in fog. We said cheerio to him after the plane had taken off and headed to the shop at Toab. We managed to buy some gas and food for two days as it was Sunday the next day. As we were loading the bikes several people coming out of the shops stopped and chatted to us and wished us a good holiday, they are certainly a friendly bunch these Shetlanders.

Our plan was to ride up to the campsite at Levenwick, looking at the map rather than take the main road we could take a track that would take in a cache and miss out most of the hill. We headed down the rough track to a lovely beach at Querndale. Having found the cache Frank noticed that there was another at Querndale Mill. We attempted to push the bikes along the sand but it was just too soft, so we gave up and tried to ride behind the dunes. We only got a little way and then we ran out of track. It was such a lovely spot and as it was coming up to 5.30 I said to Frank why not camp here for the night? Great idea we just needed some water, so I off loaded my bike and left Frank to put up the tent while I nipped back into the village and got some milk from the shop which we had forgotten. On the way back I picked up some water from a house near the end of the track. The guy had a little difficulty with the top off our water carrier so I had to help him undo it. I had a long chat with the guy about Shetland and the weather before setting off back to the tent. It was a lovely evening and it was so nice to sit outside and cook.

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27.07.14 - Querndale Beach

The sun forced us out of the tent this morning. Initially there had been a bit of a sea Harr but the sun soon broke through that. We sat outside to eat our breakfast which we haven't done so on a tour for a long time, in fact we sat there trying to remember when it might have been and gave up in the end as we just couldn't remember! It was just so nice just sitting there and taking in the moment. As it was such a nice place and the fact that we both were absolutely knackered from the end of term we decided to stay here for another night as it would give us a opportunity to go and see Old Scatness which is only open on a Monday. Frank sat and read her Kindle while I went for a walk along the beach which was lovely and I got to paddle in the sea. I did contemplate having a swim but even with it being nice and sunny the sea was rather cold! Unfortunately we weren't prepared for this sun and both got a bit sun burnt. After some lunch the clouds came over which was a bit of a relief and we went for a walk to try and get to Querndale Mill. Unfortunately there were no footpaths and our way was eventually blocked by a river so we turned around and headed back to the tent. It did give me an opportunity to sort out the rear brakes on my bike which hadn't been working properly since we had put the bikes together at the airport. Once they were fixed I nipped back to the village to get some more water.

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28.07.14 - Qerndale Beach to Levenwick

map linkWhen we woke there was still a bit of fog lying low over the dunes but it soon began to lift. It always takes us a little longer to pack up and get away the first time on a tour. We said our goodbyes to Querndale Beach and headed up the track to Toab. We stopped at the shop to get something for lunch before heading across the runway to Old Scatness. We were the only people at Old Scatness so we had a guided tour with just the two of us. The excavations are quite extensive and the only trouble with the site is that it is a mound it really needs a viewing platform built above it so you can really appreciate the scale and to see the broch. A little way from the site they have made a reconstruction of the wheel house which gives you a good impression as to what they were like inside. It was a shame that they had built it with two doorways, apparently this was down to health and safety reasons, Oh give me strength! Just outside the wheelhouse they had various reconstructed artefacts for visitors to see and use. Frank and I had a game of Kubb, which we had seen being played in Iceland and hadn't realised that it was an ancient game.

From Scatness we headed north up the A970 and turned off at Boddam to have a look at the Crofthouse museum. We got there at 1.50pm and it didn't open until 2 o'clock so we waited outside and took the opportunity to have some lunch and make a brew. The Crofthouse had been inhabited up until the 1960's and was very similar to those that we had seen in the Outer Hebrides. The lady custodian was interesting to talk to as she knew about its history and Shetland in general. As part of the exhibition they had reconstructed a water mill which was of a similar construction to the one we had seen on Lewis.

From Boddam we descended into Outvoe and continued north past a small Loch which had a few swans, gulls and terns on it and from there it was a bit of a climb up to the main road. It was twenty to five and we wondered at what time the shop at Levenwick shut, if it was 5 o'clock then we had better hurry there first and then go to the campsite. Just as we came out of the shop we met a couple, I guess that they were sailors from their sailing wellies. They started speaking to us in Dutch and as we obviously didn't reply suddenly said oh sorry we thought you were Dutch and then they saw the GB plates. I told them they weren't the first to think we were Dutch riding Dutch bikes and both being tall. They had just come off their yacht which was moored in Levenwick Bay. As it happens the shop didn’t shut until 7 o'clock, it was a shame we hadn't known that as the hill back up to the campsite was too steep to cycle and we had to push the bikes up. Oh well never mind.

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29.07.14 - Levenwick Brooch

map linkWe both said as we left for Norwich that we would like to slow the pace down a bit as it had been quite full on at the end of term. So we decided to go for a walk today and go to Mousa tomorrow. We cycled down to Southpunds and then set off on foot to have a look at Levenwick broch. It was hard going over the rough heather and it was a bit boggy in places. There were several Great Skuas or Bonkzies as the Shetlanders call them on the way and they kept flying close to us but they didn't seem to have any young so we didn't need to worry. From the outside the broch looked like a pile of stones as there is little left of the outer walls, however inside you can still see the structure of the original broch with its double wall. From the array of sheep pens around it is obvious that the broch walls were robbed to make them. You could see from the mounds outside the broch that there could well have been other buildings similar to those we saw at Old Scatness. We soon found the cache that was situated close to the broch and then went on to have a look at the cliffs but we couldn't see anything of the cave that was marked on the map. We kept checking the sea for any signs of passing whales but no luck for us today.

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30.07.14 - Sandwick Bay

map linkOur plans to go to Mousa were scuppered by the weather. It had got quite windy overnight and had started to rain in the early morning. Due to the high winds the ferry was cancelled. They are hoping to run it tomorrow. Frank decided to stay put and read her kindle but as we need some more supplies I decided to head over to Sandwick as there was a shop over there and a few caches that I could find, so I donned the waterproofs and headed off along the A970. When I got a few miles along the A970 there was a sign for 60ºN by the side of the road. The last time we were at 60º N was in Iceland back in 2012, like there someone had marked to place with a cache so I stopped to find it. The rain wasn’t too bad and kept coming in showers, the only problem with cycling in waterproofs even Goretex ones is that you still get hot and sweaty so after the first hill I took off my waterproof overtrousers as the rain had stopped only to be hit by another shower as I turned down in to Sandwick bay. I soon found the shop in Leebitten and it was much better stocked than the one at Levenwick. There was so much on the shopping list that I was wondering if I would get it all into the one pannier that I had brought with me. However after some careful packing and stowing the small items in my barbag I managed to get everything in. It looked like tonight's meal was going to be a good feast with one of our favourites, smoked haddock with mash and cheese sauce!

Checking the GPS outside the shop I noticed that there were a couple of caches in Hoswick the next village in the bay. Just as I left the shop I was hit by a heavy shower, I had my waterproof top on but my shorts got a good wetting! Fortunately I past the Hoswick visitor center so stopped to have a look, it was a good move as they had a nice cafe which served some lovely hot warming soup. It gave me a chance to dry out a bit and they had free wifi so I could log the caches I had just done. As part of the center there was a small museum with various weaving looms and a large collection of old radios. Having been nicely fed and watered I headed off to grab a few more caches before heading back to Levenwick. Unfortunately it was mostly uphill and with my load of supplies I certainly was puffing a bit, it was certainly worth the effort as we had good meal that evening!

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31.07.14 - Levenwick, Mousa and Sandwick

map linkWe woke up to the sun peeping through the clouds so things boded well for our trip to Mousa. As the sun was shining we managed to get the tent down dry. It didn't seem to take too long to get to Sandwick and we got our first view of Mousa island at the turn off down to the ferry pier at Leebitten. We both noted that it was going to be a good pull back up as we hurtled down. We were in good time as it was 11.45 and the ferry didn't leave until 1 o'clock. They were repairing the wall near the harbour and I got chatting to a chap about it and he told me it was the result of the winter storms and then showed me some photos in the building next door which had a small exhibition about Mousa and held the original ferry boat. It turns out he was the skipper of the Mousa Ferry until a couple of years ago when he sold the business. As we came back to our bikes to sort out what we needed to take with us there was a chap intently looking at my bike. I asked him if he toured. No I'm just a cyclist but I like the idea of it. We had a long chat about touring and where we had been. He was a coach driver and was waiting for a group to come off the Mousa Ferry to take them back to Lerwick to their cruise ship. With me chatting away to the coach driver I hadn’t kept an eye on the time and realised that the ferry was coming in so it was a bit of a rush to get the things out that we needed on the island and pack them in the rucksack. The skipper of the ferry came over seeing the bikes and asked if we wanted to lock them in his shed which was rather nice of him.

Once on the ferry which was fairly full it didn’t take too long to get over to the island. We had been briefed on the ferry and given a map. Basically there was a circular walk around the island and we could do it in either direction. We decided to head off for the broch first as it was the closest and one of the main reasons we wanted to go to Mousa. Well Mousa broch is the most complete broch in the Scotland and is only missing about a half a meter of stones from the top. It is absolutely amazing to see such a complete brooch, most of the ones we have seen before have been robbed of most of their stones and some just piles of stone. It was interesting to see the construction inside and it gave idea of what it would have been like for the inhabitants. we couldn't quite believe how quickly you got to the top although the steps were quite narrow in places. From the top we spent a bit of time watching Gannets diving for fish in the sea below us. On returning back to the bottom of the brooch just outside the entrance on a rock were a pair of Black Guillemots on a rock preening themselves. We managed to get reasonably close and I just couldn’t get over their lovely bright red feet!

From the broch we continued around the island following the markers and headed over land taking a wide berth past the loch as instructed to do by the signs to avoid the loch which was a nesting ground for Red throated Divers. On the west side we saw seals basking on the sands in the west pool. They made a quite a noise at one point roaring away for some reason. We stopped to listen to them before continuing on towards east pool, on the way we crossed a gravelly sandy area which was obviously tern territory as several of the terns attacked us until we were well away and on to the grassland. We were careful to look where we were treading just in case there were nests or chicks, although at this late in the year you would normally expect them. We stopped at east pool to scan the area with the binos and as there was a nice bank to sit on we decided to stop and have our picnic. We continued on from there spotting more Black Guillemots and what was more interesting was a good close view of a wren, what we hadn’t realised until afterwards is that Shetland has its own sub species of wren which is slightly lighter coloured than its mainland cousins. We had to be back for the ferry before 4.00pm so we had to hurry along the last part to make sure we were back in time.

Whilst we were waiting for the ferry back to the mainland we watched them shearing sheep in an enclosure near the pier. There was a lovely collie just sitting in amongst the sheep its job done for the day. The ferry journey back was fairly uneventful and when we landed we retrieved our bikes from the ferryman's hut and noticed that there was a cache nearby where they used to mine for copper in the late 19th century. So leaving the bikes we headed off to find it. On our return to the bikes it was getting on for 6.00pm and we concluded that it was a little too late to try and make Lerwick that evening so we decided to try and find a wild camp for the night. There was a water tap that the builders were using to repair the wall so we fill the water container before we set off. We headed down to Sandwick bay and then down the Noness peninsula to see what we could find. We eventually asked a chap at a house at curefield if we could camp in the field opposite his house, “Ney bother” was the answer!

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01.08.14 - Sandwick to Lerwick

map linkApart from the odd passing car we had a good nights sleep and after breakfast we soon had the tent packed up and were underway. It was a nice sunny day and we were right about the pull out of Leebitten it was a bit of a slog but we had a rest at the top where we joined the A970. Only a short way along the road we stopped at Catpund to have a look at an earthcache which was site of an iron age soapstone quarry. We really can't understand why this site isn't signposted from the road as we found it most interesting. We were in Iceland a few years ago and saw several soapstone vessels in the museums, now we know where they came from. Talking later to a local guy, apparently up until a couple of years ago they thought that it was only a small quarry but after recent heavy rain which caused landslides it has revealed to be far more extensive.

From there the road was fairly level until we dropped down to Mail. When we got in to Bremirehoull we stopped at the toilets for a comfort break. As we were just about to get back on the bikes a car pulled up and it was the coach driver that we had been speaking to waiting for the ferry to Mousa. After a bit of a chat he asked us if we had managed to get some petrol for our stove, something that I had been chatting to him about the previous day. I explained that we hadn’t past a petrol station yet. Well he said my house is at the end of the village just over that rise, pop in and I can fill up your fuel bottles for you. Well we cycled up the village and followed his directions and there he was outside his house. We found out that his name was John and whilst he filled up our fuel bottles we chatted about cycletouring and Shetland. Even though I offered twice John wouldn’t accept any payment for the petrol. We thanked him profusely and he wished us a good trip. Well john’s house was on what was the old road and he directed us to continue on it as it would eventually join up with the main road. It made a nice little route as it was quiet and traffic free, it was just nice to get off the main road.

Once back on the road the traffic wasn’t too bad and we stopped at the Loch of Brindister to find a cache and it gave us a nice opportunity to get off the road and have some lunch. While we sat eating our butties a lady came along with a dog which ran ahead of her and the dog headed straight for us and tried to nick my sandwich he might as well have had it as after it was covered in his slobber I didn't fancy it and threw it to the gulls who seem to appreciate it. What annoyed me more was the attitude of the woman when I complained about her badly behaved dog she just laughed and said I just can’t do any thing with him, grhh! It was a good run done to Lerwick and we waved to couple of tourers who were struggling up the hill. We stopped to have a look at the Clickminin Broch. On the ground this is one of the largest brochs in width that we have seen and if it had been the same height as the one at Mousa it would have been quite a structure. Having explored the broch we headed in to Lerwick to find the Tourist Centre and asked about accommodation. We found it down by the harbour. When we asked about B&B accommodation the lassie gave me a telephone number of a guest house not far away and luckily they had a room for the night.

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map link02.08.14 - Bressay and Noss

Unfortunately we had to change B&Bs as they didn't have a room for us for a second night, fortunately it was only next door. We had to wait a little while whilst they cleaned the room but the lady was really nice about it and told us that when we got back to wheel our bikes through and put them in her wee courtyard rather than leave them on the street. We had to do a bit of shopping in Lerwick before we left for Brassay as for some reason I had developed a painful left heel, which didn't hurt when I cycled but did when I walked on it. We found a chemists near to the tourist information office where we managed to buy some gel heel pads and some ibuprofen to try and reduce the swelling. By the time we had got to the ferry terminal we had just missed the 12 o'clock ferry and the next one wasn't until 1 o'clock. Oh well it did give us time to get a couple of sausage rolls for lunch. We went to sit to the south side of the Albert building to get out of the wind and to eat them while we waited for the next one. As soon as we started eating the sausage rolls a common gull with two youngsters came running over. They were literally at our feet picking up the flakes of the flaky pastry as they fell. I was half expecting the mother to suddenly fly up and wrestle the sausage rolls out of our hands. Fortunately they were content with what fell on the ground. Then another gull arrived and sat on top of the car parked next to us eyeing up the sausage rolls and squawking raucously at us at which point the gull on the ground joined in, we just wondered if this was a cry for other gulls to come in on the feast. Fortunately the owner of the car turned up and spoilt the party and drove off with the gull still squawking on the roof, it did make us laugh. It was at this point that Frank noticed that there was a cache only 75m away. Having finished the sausage rolls we headed to find the cache which was immediately in front of the ferry terminal. While we were looking for the cache I did notice the ferry come in and thought it was ours but there was still time to find the cache as it didn't leave until 1. Having quickly found the cache in a couple of minutes, we turned around to see that they had loaded the 3 cars that were waiting and had sailed off! They must have snuck in another sailing that wasn't on the timetable!

Having made sure that we got on the 1 o'clock ferry it did take a little while to get over Brassay to the ferry for Noss as it was uphill and against the wind. Noss Island is an RSPB reserve and to get on it you have go down to the little jetty and wave across at the little cottage on the other side and the warden will come across and ferry you across in an inflatable zodiac. If the crossing is considered too rough they fly a red flag from a mast next to the cottage. We waved across at little cottage , there were people outside and they soon moved down to the jetty and soon the zodiac was speeding across to us. Having offloaded its occupants we were given life vests and invited to climb aboard by Craig the warden. It was a short crossing and when we got into the little cottage Craig explained that it was a little late in the day to see all the island as we had got there at 2.30pm. Although the last ferry went at 5pm Craig said it was still doable to see the hot spot of the Noop where the main Gannet colony and the Razorbills were. We had to leg it a bit to get there but it was worth it as the Noop was absolutely brilliant with some 12,000 plus Gannets, loads of Razorbills and puffins. As we walked back from the Noop we saw several Puffins close up. It was getting close to 4 o'clock so we headed back to the cottage and the ferry. On the way back we saw several Bonxies and Arctic Skuas which have a rather distinctive call. When we got back to the cottage there was a party there who were waiting to leave on the ferry so Craig took them over while we stopped and chatted to the other warden. Due to the slight tide running Craig dropped us off a little further down from the jetty we had first come across, it was near an old broch. We thank Craig and headed back up the track to our bikes which we had left at the end of the road.

As it was getting late we headed back over Brassey and back to the ferry terminal. Whilst we were waiting for the ferry we got talking to a chap who was also on a bike but was a local just going over to Lerwick. It was interesting talking to him as he explained to us about the viking festival of ‘Up helly Aa’ that is held every year in January where the Guizer Jarl and his squad parade in viking style costumes and burn a viking longship. apparently they know when it will be their turn to be the Guizer Jarl or in the Jarl’s squad several years in advance so that people can save up to pay for the costumes. Apparently the costumes, swords and shields are all homemade and they go on courses to learn how to make them. The decoration on the shields and the costumes have to be original each year and is usually based on the Guizer Jarl’s job or interests.

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map link03.08.14 - Lerwick to Burravoe

There was very low cloud this morning, you could hardly see the houses a few streets away. After a good full Scottish breakfast we said our farewells to the owners of the Guest house. They wished as well for our trip up to Yell. It was a short ride down to the harbour and nice and flat to start which is good as it helps warm the muscles gently. We past the Lerwick Aberdeen ferry terminal and another big cruise ship that was being used as accommodation for the workers at the new gas terminal. A little further on at Gremista we left the harbour and the road turned west and we saw the beginning of the hill out of Lerwick. It was a fair old pull up but at least it was a dual carriageway which gave the drivers plenty of room to pass us as we were going quite slow. Half way up we stopped to put our lights on as it was getting quite foggy due to the low cloud. We stopped at the top to catch our breath and adjust our clothing as we had got warm climbing the hill. The run down the otherside to the Bridge of Fitch was good and as we spread down we overtook a lady on a tourer when we got to the bottom there was a chap with a trailer and a small lad on his own bike. I stopped and had a chat, they were from the Czech Republic following cycleroute 1 and were heading up to Yell like us. It was a good climb up from the Bridge of Fitch and when we got over the crest of the hill we headed down to Tingwall. It was interesting to see the place names with their old norse names which were so similar to the place names in Iceland. The A970 was fairly flat to undulating along this part and we made good time. The cloud was down and it was a bit dreich and with the constant moorland it wasn’t very interesting scenery but fortunately there were quite a few caches along the route which helped keep us going.

At the junction of the B9071 we found a bus shelter which made a good place to stop for lunch. From there it was a short ride down to Tangon and the junction of the A968 which took us down towards Dales Voe where there was a long diagonal climb up the side of the Swinster before a short descent to Firths Voe and then another short but steep climb up over Mossbank before finally descending down into Tofts Voe where the ferry terminal was. We had an half hour to wait for the next ferry so we sat in the small waiting room out of the wind. The ferry to Yell took about 30mins and when we landed at Ulsta the sun was just starting to burn through the cloud. We stopped at the shop near the pier to pick up some supplies and headed off up the B9081. It was a single track road with passing places acrossing typical Shetland moorland with the odd sheep here and there at Arisdale there was a sign on the side of the road indicating that there was a memorial to a Catalina Flying boat that had crashed 2 miles up in the Arisdale valley, it reminded me of the crash site we came across on Vatersay in the outer Hebrides. It was a bit of an undulating ride through to Burravoe we must have been getting tired as it wasn’t far but seemed to take ages. We eventually got to the Pier at Burravoe where the campsite was. It is a lovely little site and I mean little. There is plenty of hard standing for caravans and motor homes but a very small grass area for tents, you could just get 3 small 2 person tents on it at a push!

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map link04.08.14 - Burravoe

Burravoe was lovely spot on the east coast of Yell and it had a lovely campsite. Up until 1997 the Pier and campsite didn't exist and is run by the community as the Burravoe Pier Trust. The campsite is very well appointed with good free showers, washing machine, dryer and a microwave oven. As it was such a nice place we decided to stay for another night. After breakfast we went for a lovely walk up on to the Neap a small hill behind the campsite from which we got some great views. Frank was in her element as there were loads of wild flowers which she could photograph. From the trig point at the top we descended by a slightly different route making a bit of a circular walk. When we got back it was such a lovely evening so we cooked outside on a picnic bench and then sat enjoying the late evening sunshine. I actually sat and read a book which is a first for me on tour as I am usually too busy writing up this log. They had several books in the hut that obviously people can read whilst they are on the site. The book was 'The Merchant Navy goes to war' by Bernard Edwards, it was a good read and highlighted the unsung heroes of the merchant navy during the second world war. As it was getting dusk we wandered down to the jetty to try and find a signal to phone my dad. Whilst I was sitting on a rock by the jetty talking to my dad I heard a splash below and looked down to see an otter swimming off across the water a magic moment.

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