It was a grey but grand day up in north Shetland today and we decided to take a walk to Roer Water via the Burn of the Twa-roes. So off we set, only to turn back with in a mile to pick up a certain person's boots that were still at home. Having done that we headed north for Collafirth near North Roe, noticing, for the first time, two people down digging on the beach where we'd got the cockles. Co-incidence?
We drove part way up the old road to Collafirth Hill, which still had patches of snow across it even low down, and parked ready to set off along an old track that more or less contours around the hillside for around 3km. It was pretty grey and hazy but a nice start to the day.
We had atmospheric views over Collafirth Voe and the Ness of Quey Firth
And looked down on the Altaire, a deep sea fishing boat that moors where the Burn of Roer Water enters the Voe of Brig.
Eventually we came to the Burn of Twa-roes, pretty much a raging torrent after the snow thaw and fun to get across with Beren and his off road buggy. Was fun coming back too! The photo doesn't do it justice it was very beautiful but also very full.
There was no end of little things to catch the eye. An interesting rock, wind sculpted snow, the ever changing light on water and hillside and lovely part frozen pools.
After what was a real slog with the rough track, flooded sections, snow and waterlogged peat we finally got to Roer water. Other than at it's fringes, it was frozen over and stretched off into the distance with the odd island and no easy way to follow it.
A chill wind was coming straight across it at us. We were worn out and hungry so found some shelter behind a few rocks for lunch before starting our way back. The hill in the distance is The Beorgs of Housetter, and it's slopes are The Giants Garden, a boulder field that seems no different to all the other boulder fields in these parts.
Looking back the sky had cleared a bit to give a view of the masts at Collafirth Hill, to the left, whilst Mid Field and Ronas Hill remained in thick cloud.
It's funny, Roer Water was our 'destination', but the walk in all it's up and downs, bumps and slumps, sploshes and splashes, greyness and glitter was the experience.
Walking with a goal in mind, but it's not really the goal at all.