Thursday, 27 August 2015

Not much to Yell about...

What a glorious day it was in Yell today and if it stays fine it looks like there's a chance of the northern lights tonight too.

If you're ever up the top end of Yell you'll see a sign for the Gloup Memorial commemorating a fishing disaster in 1881 where 10 fishing boats were lost at sea.


Walk through the gate at the side of it and you'll be able to take a walk up along Gloup Voe, a very steep sided voe with a tidal pool, the Mare's Pool, at it's head.



It's quite a long voe...


Mare's Pool is at this end, but the tide wasn't really low enough for it to stand out.


Plenty of nice camp spots and a little waterfall on the eastern bank side. Another spot to add to the list for easy to get to, but out of the way camps.

Looking inland from the head of the voe. A valley off this valley almost connects to the next place I visited.


 That being the old road from Basta Voe to Cullivoe. It's a core path I've not actually been down as it's just a long track with no signs or infrastructure, but I guessed it was time to check it out anyway. I took my mountain bike for ease and speed, definitely not one for the road bike.


I thought it was quite amusing to see old derelict passing places with their signs and then I saw this sign in what could reasonably be called the middle of no where...


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

While we were away...

After our long weekend on Fair Isle we headed sooth to visit friends and family.

It was hot! The first evening we took a trip down to Saltburn with my Mam and Robyn to 'take the airs' on the pier. Some how we managed to restrain ourselves from chips or ice-creams!


Robyn was desperate to show me her foal, Bailey...


He's a Welsh Section D colt and was palomino with his foaly coat, but the more it falls out the more grey he seems to be!


He wasn't very approachable, still wanting to just be with his Mum, but he's very cute.


And he should be home at Robyn's by the end of September.


Mum and foal...



We took our bikes sooth with us and I took a few chances to get out. Here I'm at Freebrough Hill, a local enigmatic hill I passed when out visiting friends and cake shops...


We also took a family ride along The Cinder track from Whitby...


And I was excited because you can now ride over the Whitby Viaduct...


In the past it was fenced off, but now you can cycle 22 miles from Whitby to Scarborough on the old railway line. Cool!


 Lunch stop on the coast...



We only went to Runswick Bay with Beren in tow, by the time we got back tot the start he'd done about 12 miles, not bad for a 7 year old.

Ravenscar in the distance...


Celebratory ice-creams!


Clare and Beren travelled south to Peterbrough and London for a few days to visit more family, but I'd decided travelling as far south as home was enough for me.

I met up for an evening on the Esk at Ruswarp with Robyn and Faith (my grand-daughter) and we enjoyed an amusing time rowing up and down the Esk. Some room for improvement from Robyn!



While I had some time to myself I went out mountain biking with my brother. A long and trying 66km ride over the moors with a well earned lunch stop at The Lion Inn, Blakey Ridge, a local landmark.

Looking across to High Cliff in Guisborough Woods which used to be all forestry...


And out onto Guisborough Moors towards Kildale...


Looking back towards Roseberry Topping from the moor top near Ingleby Incline...


And down into Westerdale...


After lunch at Blakey it was a great down hill run to Duck Bridge at Danby. Only spoilt by a bee getting in my helmet and stinging my head!


From there it was a steep couple of miles to say 'Hi' to Dad, or where his ashes were spread at Danby Beacon, before heading back home via a few moorland tracks.


Beren enjoyed playing on his bike on his own too at a new pump track I'd discovered at Skelton Green. He seemed to think he was riding like someone off the X-Games, but sadly no!


The reason for the timing of our trip sooth was my brother's 25th wedding anniversary on the last night we were there. During the daytime I managed a last ride out over the moors before the fun began. A fun 20 miles off road over the moors and woods.

The Quakers Causeway above Lockwood Beck...


In some un-felled forestry at the back of Guisborough Woods...


Looking out from the top of Highcliffe Nab where I used to rock climb. Again it was covered in forestry then...


A pitch section of the Cleveland Way from Highcliffe to Roseberry. I was involved in the project to lay this 20 years ago!


And Roseberry Topping herself in the mist...


We were off early the following morning on the long drive north to Aberdeen after enjoying our stay, but looking forward to getting back to our own beds in Shetland.

To finish here's a little time-lapse I made at Freebrough Hill late one evening. The midgies were deadly, but they've not made an appearance in the video!

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

WEX does Fair Isle!

We'd hoped to go on the Shetland RSPB Wildlife Explorers Trip to Fair Isle last year, but dagnamit, I happened to be in East Greenland!

Still we got to go this year flying from Tingwall Airport with Direct Flight...



A little shakey on take off...


But some fine views on the way down the west coast.

The Scord Quarry...


Scalloway Castle...


Burra Brig...


Burra Light...


Minn Beach...


St Ninina's Isle...


Fitful Head...


And Fair Isle ahead...


We were staying in a en-suit family rooms at Fair Isle Bird Observatory at a very good rate which included all meals. Thanks to RSPB and Helen Moncrieff for organising a very good discount for the group. Here's a post from when I went there by ferry.

North Haven looking inviting...


Too inviting!

Photo by Linda Gunn

And the Good Shepherd...


And looking back to the Obs...


 Sheep Rock and accidental planticrub...


The first evening I took a wander up to the North Light with one of the group. Only about 30 minutes from the centre. It was a lovely evening.


The dangerous path to the foghorn at the North Light with Fitful Head faintly visible to the left of it...


And looking back from the foghorn...



At 7am every morning there is the chance to walk the traps and see what's around...





We did a lot of activities; moth catching, beach scavenging, sand sculpture, rock-pooling, swimming, visiting the museum and jigsaws were very popular with some of the adults. I think the bar helped with mental focus on the jigsaws!

Rock pooling near the South Light...


As you'd expect there were plenty of birds around. Some friendlier than others...





And seals too...


There were oyster plants on the beach...



And critters in the pools.

Tiny sea urchin...


Sea slug...


Stickle Backs...


Anemones...


And lots more too!

 Lots to see and do in a fantastic place...



 Before we left one of the parents made a St Kilda Mail Boat for us to fill with messages, pictures and treasures. Here it is just before we set it loose...


Photo by Dugald Gunn


All too soon we had to head back, but we had a great flight again. Up the east coast this time...

Sumburgh Head...


Sumburgh Airport...


Mousa...


Bressay and Noss...


Luggies Knowe with it's new wind turbine...


And now I've got to pack for another family trip, sooth this time. Bye for now...