Sunday, 13 November 2011

Helli Ness; Cunningsburgh

After a lazy start to the day we packed a lunch up and headed off to explore Helli Ness, a distinctive headland near Cunningsburgh that looks quite impressive from the A970. It's always reminded me of Filey Brigg back on the Yorkshire Coast, though they are really nothing like one another.

As we drove past the end of Aith Voe towards the marina we stopped for a brief while to watch a large group of seals hauled out on the grass and a few going crazy, dolphin style, in the still waters. I was desperate to get out and get some photos or video of their antics, but the boss said no, I might scare them off, so I did as I was told.

After watching the seals we carried on and parked near Aness only to be greeted by a guard ram. Well this fine looking ram on a rope and we weren't sure how long the rope was. He didn't look happy and after some thought we headed up the track from Greenmow towards the headland off Helli Ness.

They must like their horny rams round here because just up the track was another fine specimen.

Looking south was Mousa and Burraland Broch where we were last weekend. It was a pretty grey overcast day despite the light winds and mild temperature, so I decided to try some black and white photos.

The track leads down the central ridge of the headland towards an old settlement.

It's quite an interesting arrangement of buildings and walled walkways. Also interesting is the fact that the upstairs fire place and wall supports for the upper floor are actually lower than the top of the nicely arched alcoves at this end of the house. The views are pretty fantastic, but I bet the weather is pretty more so on this exposed hill top.

Below, Helli Ness stretches out towards Mousa.

And the headland was where we were off to next.

Either side of the headland were some markers, this one a nice stone built one which I assumed was some sort of mead, but a local we bumped into said it was pretty new and wasn't sure why it was there. Further out on the headland is the remains of a stone enclosure which he said was a mead. He'd seen a otter not long before we met him, but we'd have no such luck today.

Out at sea there were a few boats, this one checking a few pots, others, we were told were after fry. The eastern side of Mousa is in the back ground.

It was getting on by now and the weather was definitely looking to change so we pottered about on some bits of the shore for a short while before heading back along the south coast of Helli Ness.

Stopping for a breather we noticed this stack at Runties Geo and then it was heads down and back to the warmth and the promise of fresh scones...

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