Sunday, 21 May 2017

A short motor on a sunny day...


It's been a long time since we've been out on Marta for a sail, so despite the lack of wind I caught up with my friend Martin for a motor out around Papa Little.


There wasn't too much bird life about, but the terns are starting to return...


 And there were rafts of guillemots...


And Eiders...


We did see one yacht out sailing, very slowly, but once it got out past Muckle Roe I think there was a bit more wind. We just motored. Marta doesn't have a massive amount of sail and she's a very heavy little yacht.


Vementry in the background...


 It was more a day for catching up, drinking tea and eating biscuits...



Though we did drop a line a few times, we didn't bring home any tea!


 Hopefully we'll get out fro an actual sail before too long. If nothing else it's kept me off my bike for a change!


Saturday, 20 May 2017

Nice day for a long ride!

With a forecast of light winds and sun I took the day off work on Thursday to go for a long ride. I wasn't sure how long, or exactly where other an I was heading north. 

I left home about 7.15am and it was a lovely morning as headed up through Laxfirth...


As I headed up Dales Voe towards Mossbank I was ruminating about heading all the way up to Hermaness, but figured the time and delays of waiting for 4 ferry crossings would waste a lot of time, certainly a few hours, and for all Clare knew I'd gone out for a long ride I thought she would be expecting me back before bed time!

The double Tombolo's of Fora Ness...


So, ditch that idea! I headed out past Brae with a stop at the co-op for a sausage buttie and on towards Eshaness. It's along time since I cycled to the lighthouse itself.

Looking across another Sand Wick towards Hillswick Ness...


And on to Tangwick Haa with a view of Dore Holm...



A more 'classic' view of the holm...


And seen as I was near by I popped down to Stenness too. I'm not sure why I thought this would be a good pose for the bike! I'd been on the go a good 4 hours by then.


And then the Eshaness Lighthouse!


A quick selfie!


And then back to Braewick cafe for a well earned lunch of sweet chill chicken and mozzarella panini and a couple of coffees with a view of The Drongs...


I'm getting tired again writing this!

So, then it was on to Heylor, so that I could enjoy the silk roads of Ronas Voe to Swinister before I headed to my furthest points north up at North Roe.

Ronas Voe...


Along the voe I stopped to admire a newly opened peat bank, wishing I had the time, energy and ability to take some arty photos to do the peat cutters art justice. But I didn't and don't!


Nearing Isbister past North Roe is the famous plane shed...


And around the corner at Sandvoe a favourite beach and setting off point for me when going to Uyea or Fethaland...


From North Roe it was pretty much a home run south. Now, the issue was I knew the ride would definitely be atleast 100 miles or 161km, but it'd be good if it was 200km my next distance milestone. So now, other than thoughts of tiredness I was trying to work out the easiest way to make sure I did atleast 200km before getting home.

Heading back through Brae I stopped at Frankies Chip Shop for the loo, but feeling nauseous by now I couldn't face chips, so flattened a bottle of coke and just about managed to force down a mars bar in between gagging at solid food.

A phone call from a colleague who didn't realise I was off riding inadvertently gave me an idea for a few nice extra miles so I decided to do a loop around the scenic silk roads of South Nesting.

Stopping to take a photo of the beautiful area of Eswick and Ling Ness, which has been the bane of my work life for a while...













And now it was pretty much head for home, aware the Clare would now be wondering where I'd go to. A quick pitstop at Tingwall Airport for the loo had me realising I might still be a few Km short of my 200km! What to do? Well I did a few loops of the Veensgarth triangle and hoped that would do it. My legs were pretty goosed by now, lower legs particularly painful and the need to get home and STOP was strong, but there was no stopping to be done until I finally hit the sofa.

The Tingwall Valley was a trial of my patience and fatigue with a million and one cars forcing me to stop and start all along the valley, but ever closer to the end I carried on and finally just had the last short hill in to Scalloway before home for my legs to get me up.

One last panic of not making the miles had me take the road along the West Shore for a final photo of The Swan...


And then It was home, to a few questions like where have you been, are you totally mad, and why would you do that?

Well I like a challenge and it was a nice day. The satisfaction of completing it offset the aches and groans of 204km or 127 miles in the saddle over 10 hours, 8.5 hours riding, but it didn't help me too much yesterday with a days work walking on Out Skerries and a 7km evening row with Burra last night.

Rowing past Oxna...



I'm being thoroughly lazy today though!

So, here's it is, my day off work adventure...


And you can watch a satellite view of my ride around the north of Shetland here...

Sunday afternoon's looking to be nice...


Sunday, 14 May 2017

A family mooch about the south end


It was a nice morning, due to get wet and overcast after lunch so after a late Eurovison night we were off in reasonable time to have a look about the south end. Those of you that know me know that I;m a jinx when it comes to orcas, so we didn't expect to see any and we weren't disappointed!

We did stop to sit and watch the seals on the beach a Rerwick though. There's usually a good number there and today there were 58.





We carried on south towards Quendale and had a wander out to Garthsness. The is old fella with monocles and a smile caught my eye!



As did the lambs! I had a roast lamb dinner at the Sumburgh Hotel later, but it wasn't great. I should have stuck to my usual steak baguette and chips.


Bird life is picking up and we saw swallows, turnstones, divers, terns and close in a number of eiders.


 No orcas, but you knew that! Theye've been about a lot lately again, but as I was in the south end they were probably up north.

Still it was a lovely Sunday morning to be out...


Sunday, 7 May 2017

A peerie Shetland cycle tour...

I know I've been extremely slack posting for a while lately; sadly it's likely to continue! But hopefully this will make amends to my followers.

I'm just back form 3 days cycling around the north of Shetland with a friend; another friend joined us for the first night too. it also coincided with some rather fresh northerlies which exercised our legs and mental strength for much of the first two days as we headed north.

Dat 1 saw us leaving Scalloway and heading north for a night in Jonny Notion's Bod at Hamnavoe, Eshaness.


We headed down up the Tingwall valley and out west to take the Alps Road to Voe. It's always hilly, but it was a strong head wind too, so combined with loaded bikes it was slow hard going.

My set up...


The Alps fridge...


The top!


We met our other friend at the top and headed to Frankies in Brae for a well earned and later than planned lunch...


Battling north took us to the bod eventually...




A cosy night in front of the fire..


And a nice sunset...


Day 2 started with us leaving the bod at 7.15am, heading back to Brae and along to Toft on our way to Unst via the east coast of Yell...



Early morning over Hillswick...


Approaching Aywick, Yell...


At Mid yell we had a rather splendid lunch at LJ's. Yum!


And I had the treat of travelling on the bridge across Blue Mull Sound to Unst...


Night 2 was spent in Uyeasound at Gardiesfield Hostel. An excellent place to stay.


And with supplies from Skibhoul Stores...


We knocked up a tasty cheesy corn beef hash and fried eggs for tea!


The wind really got up over night, but still being northerly it blew us much of the way back home!


 And on the way we bumped into Dan and Amy Bailey from Anchorage, Alaska, on a 3 week bikepacking tour of Scotland!


 Nice bikes and setups for an extended photo blogging tour...
 


And that was my weekend! You can see it below in glorious HD with the wind noise left in for you to enjoy it too. My ears are still ringing from it...


Thanks for popping by. I hope you enjoy my blog even though I'm not posting as frequently lately.

Cheerie Bye!