Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Summery Unst

Yesterday was my Mam's last day up here on holiday and a fine day it was too. A quick phone call to book us on the ferry and we were heading north, across Yell (quick tea at the Wind Dog Cafe) and ready to board the ferry at Gutcher to Unst.

This curious shag watched as we queued up.

Off the ferry and still going north to our main port of call, a beautiful beach in Lunda Wick. This impressive standing stone was along side the gated road down to it.

The enigmatic remains of an old kirk preside over the beach and a well kept graveyard.

Lunda Wick viewed from a little crag on the hillside. The promontory in the middle has remains of iron age and norse farmsteads according to the good old OS map. Boundaries are easily visible on the ground but little else.

Mam soaking in the view on the promontory.

The main beach with graveyard and parking at the far end.

And up close and personal while we picnicked

to be joined by a couple of ponies...

Then it was north again for a brief stop at Bobbies Bus Stop, which was celebrating the up coming Tall Ships Event in July. Beren decided a bit of dust of the antiques was in order...

And just outside, The John Peel Memorial Traffic island!

Then onwards, ever north to Hermaness National Nature Reserve at Burra Firth. More amazing scenery and beaches that will have to be explored at a later date. Hopefully with a kayak too.

On the way there we saw lots of bonxies around and about, flying along side the car on the valley side and even feeding on a dead lamb at the road side. Not as many as I saw on Bressay though.

The drive back was long after a busy day of fresh air (tea at Frankies Chip Shop helped a bit though), but we'll be back again. Unst I really need to see more of you...

This morning. Up bright and early. A certain person was worrying about traffic on the way to the airport and wanted to leave plenty of time. Mmm.. yeh Mam... what did we see on the road, a couple of dozen cars in total in 28 miles!!!

Monday, 30 May 2011

South End and Sunday Teas

Today was a day of Sunday Teas. Heading south, our first was not up to the high standards that connoisseurs of these things expect, very nice cakes, but something was lacking. Soon we headed off to Bigton Hall for another tea which was a direct hit on our expectations. My Mam even awarded the loos an A+, high prasie from her! My favourite halls so far for Sunday teas have got to be Muckle Roe and Eshaness, but Bigton was great.

After stuffing ourselves at Bigton Hall, we arrived to a beautiful scene at St Ninian's Isle, and hardly a soul in sight. 

I guess even 'auld eens' don't always grow up either...

 The tern's were back and busy in the waters either side of the tombolo...

...and the waves were mesmerising.

Looking back from the isle...

Looking south towards Fitful head from the south end...

Back on the road,we headed south around Spiggie Loch, with a brief stop at Spiggie Beach, before carrying on towards Sumburgh.

Another stop at West Voe Beach. The waves were amazingly clear again and Sumburgh Head, our final destination, was in view. So was a plane, coming in so low to land it looked as if it was skimming the tops of the dunes.

Up at the lighthouse we'd timed it right to see a number of  puffins, as well as razor bills, terns, gannets, guillemots, fulmars and the great black back gulls and bonxies having their tussels. It was a lovely end to a great day out.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Northern Isles Strongest Man

I've been looking forward to watching The northern Isles Strongest Man competition at Clickimin Helipad for a while and worrying all week about the weather. I like watching them on TV, like going to the gym, but have never seen an event live.

It seemed like it was going to be fine today, but as the afternoon wore on it deteriorated.Still, 11 hardly souls battled it out between their bodies, minds and lumps of iron and stone in the wind and rain for a few hours. Thankfully they had a good crowd to cheer them on. 

I took a load of photo's of the events, but my camera was so slow I missed have the best bits and now my computer monitor is looking like it's got double vision, so the ones below may or may not be in focus!

The events were:

  • Overhead Medley - (Dumbbell 53kg, Log 90kg, Oly bar with tires 100kg, axle 100kg) first 3 in any order, axle 4th for reps
  • Car Deadlift Hold - Max time, Straps allowed
  • Truck Pull - Unit and Trailer 20m
  • Silver Dollar Deadlift - Rising Bar, Straps allowed
  • 120 kg Farmers for Max Distance - multiple drops allowed
  • Atlas Stones - 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150
There were quite a few from Scalloway Weight Training Club (event organisers) competing, so it was good to cheer on some of the lads I see in the gym.

I didn't get to see the final round up as I was dragged off to tea at Monty's with my Mam just as the Atlas Stones event was nearing completion. It was fine to be fed and warm, but seeing the final result would have been good too. 

As it stood it looked like the overall winner was to be Dave Dalrymple, very impressive, especially in the silver dollar deadlift where he was well ahead. I'll post the full results when I get them.

Anyway here's a few photos of the afternoon...

 18 year old lad from Orkney presses the 90kg log...

...and 53kg dumbell with great form as part of the medley.

Pressing the 100kg Oly bar with wheels as part of the medley...

Davy Cummings, who's qualified for Scotland Strongest Man doing the car lift (3 lasses in the back seat of it too). A killer event which I think was won with a time of 43 seconds.

Truck pull. A freezing cross wind wasn't the greatest help, but neither was a photographer who was dragged out the was by his leg!

Ryan Stewart from Shetland did well in his first novice event. Here he's lifting 250kg in the silver dollar deadlift. He only weighs around 70kg, so a massive lift for him.

In the main event, 2 battled it out to the end...

And Dave Dalrymple won with a massive 400kg lift...

That'll be the new bent bar in the gym then!

When I left he was also looking to be the competition winner, but all the guys were great, especially on such a cold, wet, windy day.

So thanks to the organisers, sponsors and competitors for a great afternoon.

Friday, 27 May 2011

A bit of Burra this evening

The weather has been pretty unpredictable of late, even by Shetland standards, so when I got home and the weather was fine I decided to take my Mam and Beren for a quick run down to see Burra and have a picnic on the beach.

Quiet Waters was looking worse for wear. I'd heard some people had been down during the week removing the back end to get the engine out, well that they certainly had.

Down at Papil the skies were awesome looking out toward Fitful Head

And Foula too...


We had a late evening picnic on Meal Beach and then headed home...



After a day up Kergord woods with work and our little venture this evening I'm shattered, but looking forward to tomorrow. The Northern Isles Strongest Man is on in Lerwick in the afternoon, so I'm looking forward to seeing some of the lads from the gym compete while I relax and take a few photos.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Scalloway Castle

By some miracle of avoiding gales and volcanic ash my Mam arrived today. After a belated birthday tea we decided to blow a few cob-webs away on the grand tour of Scalloway, even though it was raining.

Of course we had to visit Scalloway Castle built for Earl Patrick Stewart in 1600...

Come on in...

What with the grim weather out side, lighting inside and the family taking decent photos was near impossible, so I may go back one day for some detailed pictures.

Going up...

Looking down...

The main area upstairs...

And looking down the spiral stair case from th highest accessible level...

There's is actually quiet a lot to see on the ground levels and there are information panels about the castle and Earl Partick Stewart. When I pop back on my own I hope to get some views from the top too.

 Just pop along to The Scalloway Hotel, ask for the key and take plenty of time to enjoy the place. Not like us, we were very rushed.