Monday, 9 May 2011

Bressay, The Bard Gun

Well, I should be at work today, but I'm sat here with my feet up as a result of my wanderings yesterday and not very happy about it. Partly because I'm pretty much in agony and can hardly hobble to the loo, but also because I'm missing work and I don't like to let everyone down.


After helping my friend with an odd job on his croft and driving of his old grey Fergie a little we went for a walk along the coast south from the Kirkabister lighthouse to The Bard  and then followed the ridge line though the peat hills back up to The Ward of Bressay; finally returning his. That is the walk we did, though going badly over on my ankle (on perfectly flat grass!) just as we began the return leg I hobbled, rather than walked, for about 2 hours back to his. By the time I got off the ferry I could hardly make it from the ferry terminal to the parked car and changing gear involved a stream of expletives.


I don't do stuck in the house well and I'm told I'm a nightmare patient, but this is keeping me occupied for now. For all the photos were taken on a very grey hazy day in winds that literally blew us both backwards many a time I hope they give a flavour of this most special bit of Bressay. In particular Veng Croft, a place I hope to return to to camp with the family. Beautiful isolation.


Heading up hill and into a force 'god only knows'  wind was hard work, but the stops for a breather were worth it...


The omnipresent Ward of Bressay masts. The ridge from the right will be our return route up to it.


Approaching The Veng was this des-res...



...and what a view it has over The Veng!



The remains of Veng Croft, last inhabited by Jennie Lamb in 1803. Soon to be inhabited by... well I can dream...



Down in the maelstrom of water in the Geos of Veng a dead gannet washes back and forth.



We headed on. The masts to the left and far right in the distance and Ander Hill Look Out Tower is just visible.


Looking back and down into the waters below Veng Croft. Not a day for bathing!


Finally at The Bard; a great view down to the Giant's Leg that we went through on the Dunter last weekend. That gives it some scale eh?



The Bard Gun...



As a monochrome HDR...



The Bard Gun bunker entrance with the Isle of Noss to the right, Anderhill to the left. One of the plans for today had been to swim over to the isle, but 3-4m swells and force 6+ winds put pay to that.


The whole area in this southern end of Bressay was festooned with Bonxies pairing up. We literally saw dozens and very close up, but in the wind and with my annoyingly slow camera getting a photo on them on the wing was disastrous. My friend has a little black cocker spaniel that we had some concerns for, but they weren't being aggressive yet, give them a month...



It was about this point I trashed my ankle. My left one has been a nuisance for years. I can jump around and mess around all day for months on end and then and out of the blue on a nice flat bit of grass AARRRGGGHHH!!!! It folds over crunches and grinds, twangs straight again, feels like some one's put my foot in boiling oil and then has a sickening pain that oddly didn't improve on the two hour walk it took to get back. Call the helicopter? Not on your nellie!


Thankfully the soft peat hillside was a bit forgiving for it and with a bit of judicious bum shuffling off the banks we finally reached the masts at the top of the Ward of Bressay. Unfortunately, it was so hazy I can't show the tremendous views that you get up there.


Luckily my friends croft is only a short, but agonising, shuffle and slide down the hill from here and a few cuppas and a bite to eat settled me somewhat after the ordeal of getting back.


While waiting until it was time for the ferry we noticed a freight ship (not sure which one) battling out of the sooth mooth on it's way to Aberdeen, so we rushed down to the lighthouse and I managed a few pictures of it. I definitely would not like to be on that ship! 



I hope I can make work tomorrow...

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