Sunday, 12 February 2017

Winter wonderland

Well, after months of gales and rain we've had the most amazing weekend. Cold, still and sunny. It's been amazing.

Today Clare, Beren and I decided to go for a walk and some lunch at The Hams O Roe on Muckle Roe. Beren's only been there as a baby in his old off road pushchair about 5 years ago. Today he walked!


A little shelter for lunch...


Various burgers on the go...


Happy family!


There was some impressive ice about and some weird sounds from stone skimming on it on the video below.


 

It was a grand day out!


And here's a little video of it...


Yesterday I also got out for a walk on the hills around Burwick. Deep heather with deep snow in parts too.


 The Bod of Nesbister on the end of the ayre down in Whiteness...


And by contrast ponies enjoying the sun on the banks in Scalloway...


That's all for now folks!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Bike some hike some. The Clift Hills

Well, I'm sorry I didn't get any coverage of Up Helly Aa. This is the first year we've not gone! The weather was awful and Beren didn't want to go, and to be honest neither did we. We did watch the live stream of it via 60N though, complete with snacks.

Today the weather was fairly reasonable for a change, so I decided on a bit of a crazy plan to cycle down to Maywick with my walking gear. Leave the bike there and then walk back to Scalloway over the Clift Hills, something I've been wanting to do for years.

Approaching Maywick after an 18.5 miles ride into a headwind. I was already fairly tired!


The straight forward route on the road from Scalloway...


Bike chained up and ready to set off up the hills...


I'd left a little note to stop someone sending a rescue team out for me...


There's no paths, hardly even sheep tracks on these hills and there's lots and lots of bog. It's pretty hard going. 

Look north to Royal Field, my first summit on the route, but a few boggy steep valleys between us...


South Havra off Burra...


East and West Burra...


 Royal Field, the second highest hill on Mainland Shetland at 293m. Ronas Hill is a bit higher, but lots easier to get to.


Looking back top Royal Field across some soggy ground...


Holm Field 290m...


I took lots more phone photos, but I've got a new phone and messed them up. Seems like it doesn't auto-focus or something and with the sun and my tired state I was just snapping a pic as and when with out paying much attention.

Looking south down Clift Sound...


Nearly home and very tired after 11.5m miles of rough hills and the 18.5 mile ride to get there!


And here's the route I took back to Scalloway...


A great walk if you're feeling fit. I'd advise taking walking poles as they came in very handy!

Til the next time...

Friday, 13 January 2017

Scalloway Fire Festival!

So on Friday the 13th with a bit of snow and an icy wind the first Fire Festival of the year got under way with a shark headed galley...


And despite the cold night there was a good turn out for the impressive sight of the squads and torches parading down Main Street...








And here's a little bit of video from my action camera. Was a nice night for it in the end...

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Fetlar flit


Well, I've been up on Fetlar today, swanning around...


Before the next spell of winter weather hits, so I took the chance to take a few impromptu photos while I was down at Tresta looking at a few things. Nice waves...




 I popped into the kirk for the first time too.


And saw this nice little nativity in their 'quiet corner'...


We're back to gales tomorrow and hopefully some snow before the weekend too!








Thursday, 5 January 2017

It's been a while. Happy New Year!



Well it's been even longer than I thought since I last posted here. Must try better! I guess I've just been having a bit of a down time with things and cycling (5500km last year) has taken a lot of my energy if not my time, so I've not been out and about as much to interesting and new places outside of work trips.

Anyway I decided to forgo a potentially icy bike ride today to go for a walk around the coast on West Burra; an area I really like. I'm going to try and get out for more 'non-work' walks this year and to visit areas of Shetland that I've not made it to so far. I also want to get out walking more as I'm headed to the Faroe Islands in June for a weeks backpacking and wild camping. Cycling has got me fit again and helped me lose some weight, but I need some more time on my feet rather than on my bum on a bike to be fit for the mountains of Faroe.

Here's a trace of my 7km walk today. North along the coast from Papil and back along the road...


Walking down to Minn beach, a fine day but icy southerly....


Looking up to Virda, a heady 56m! Hmm... I need to find some bigger hills to walk the mountains on Faroe are up to the 800m mark!


Mill remains...


Looking south to Kettla Ness...


And Minn beach...


A very Shetland view. Usually there are loads of ravens up here, but not today.


Whale Wick where my walk continues around...


The waterfall out of Ruff Loch. A great place for birding in the summer...


Heading up the side of Whale Wick to The Hill of Sandwick I thought I'd take  photo of this big and deep crack in the earth over the cliffs. It's been here a while and I'm not sure if it's getting much bigger, but I wasn't about to walk on the seaward side of it!


Looking north across Sand Wick, one of the many in Shetland...


One of my favourite beaches to watch seals, if you can sneak close enough without being spotted.


And another favourite there are the ponies and their foals when they arrive.


From here it was a walk back tot he car along the road with some weather starting to come in...


On the way I popped into Papil Kirk yard. I'd not actually visited it before and was pleased to see a replica of the 'Papil Stone' and information about the history of Papil and the kirk.




If you're still here thanks for popping by and I'll try to to do some more regular posts.