Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Grind O Da Navir; a peeire bit of fresh air

Today's the last day of the school holidays up here and we've not been out much the last few days as we've been toilet training Beren, and finally had successes!!!

Today Clare and Beren went to meet up with one of her friends and their little boy and I met up with one of my friends and his friends dog and we went for a walk to Da Grind O Da Navir up the coast from Eshaness lighthouse.

Oddly it was almost a year ago I last was up along that particular cliff top, New years Day, just over 2 weeks after we arrived here. Then it was a winter wonderland of ice and snow with onshore winds so strong that we had difficulty keeping Beren and his all terrain pushchair from blowing away. Today it was much milder, a few remnants from the recent snow and a gentle breeze.The sea wasn't so rough, but it's was still a lovely walk despite the occasional down pour.

My friend's friend's dog was a loopy young black spaniel, full of fun and so much energy. Luckily it's good with sheep, but as it tore about the cliff top we did worry it might not be so good with falls from a  high cliff as it raced around sniffing for rabbits.

We walked along, putting the world to rights, talking shop, houses, boats and the like, occasionally panicking that the dog had gone for a dive and eventually came to the Grin O Da Navir for a spot of lunch.

I'm cameraless temporarily so here's someone else's photo of the spot itself. There's no sense of scale but it really is a big wave battered place with mounds of pulverised rock inland and round about...

The whole area is pretty impressive as you walk along with enormous gyos, stacks, collapsed caves and the like, but today, for some reason, I felt a bit under-whelmed by the 'high point' of the walk. Odd to say that as it's renowned as a fantastic coastal and geological feature, but that's how I felt. May be I was just missing exploring these coasts from the seaward side or had been spoilt by less slightly accessible but, in my view, more spectacular scenes around Culswick and Westerwick in the west. Anyway I felt a bit guilty for not being as 'wowed' as I thought I should be!

The dog happily harassed the poor rabbits while we ate and then we headed back towards the light house on a slightly more inland route passing Croo Loch, the holes of Scraada and the broch remains on the Loch of Houlland.

A pleasant stroll that challenged my knee a bit by the time we were back, even with walking poles, but not at all a strenuous. Certainly one to recommend for all the family and fantastic if you get to do it on a day with a heavy sea crashing in from the Atlantic.

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