Friday, 4 October 2013

Island hopping; Papa Stour and Foula by plane

Earlier in the week I had to make a trip to Papa Stour to meet a contractor, check on some recently completed access works and  waymark the paths around the island. It was a very windy day, but a lovely one too with a flight in clear skies out to Papa Stour and then back by way of a quick pit-stop on Foula to pick up two passengers and a bonus fly by of it's fantastic cliffs.

Here's a video (you can watch in HD)of the highlights of the trip. It was pretty turbulent as you'll notice, but the views were wonderful...


It's only a 10 minute flight from Tingwall to Papa Stour with Direct Flight as opposed to a 45 minute drive followed by a 40 minute ferry trip each way. The ferry trip is good fun, but seeing Shetland from the air is always a treat. Here's the plane on the airstrip on Papa Stour getting ready for it's onward flight to Foula after it dropped me and the post off...


Not far from  the airfield at the head of Hamna Voe is a burn with a couple of old horizontal mills...




Today I had no reason to go around the more dramatic western coast, but south coast is pretty cool too. Here's Clingri Geo, a collapse with a tunnel through to the sea and a nice bit of shelter from the strong southerly winds on the bank tops...


In contrast the coast soon gives way to large sandy beaches like Kirk Sands...


And Housa Voe...


Though between the two are the interesting stacks and arches around Brie Holm which had an iron age settlement on it and in the 18th century a leper colony...


 I had time on this visit to pop in to the Kirk too, built in it's current form in 1806...




There's a small visitors room in the Kirk too with lots of local history, a visitors book and postcards for sale...


 It was a great day, but the highlight was definitely the un-expected flight back via Foula (12 minutes) where I got a fly past of it's impressive cliffs...


It gave me a chance to quickly check out the route from the base of the Sneck O Da Smallie along the cliffs to Waster Hoevda which I hope to do one day...


And the short flight (15 minutes) back to Tingwall was just one great view after another too. Here's Wester Wick...


Fora Ness and Sand...


Weisdale and Kalliness...


All in all a great day at work. If only they were all like that eh?!

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