Friday, 26 December 2014

Boxing (Day) Seals

On Christmas Eve I had a nasty bike accident while out with Beren on his bike. Of all places it happened on the emergency helicopter landing pad for the hospital! 

While playing chase around the helipad my chain snapped and left me dramatically head butting the floor and lying in a crumpled heap. Luckily I had my helmet on or it would have been a very different story, but as it is I've spent Christmas in a lot of pain with cracked ribs and lots of bruising and pain all down my left side not to mention feeling pretty poor in general. Just  my luck!

The metal of the chain actually split! Not good on a bike less than 1 month old and not in any sort of challenging situation...

On a positive note, my back is fine!

Anyway desperate to escape the confines of home and feeling sorry for myself for not being able to enjoy the wonderfully icy, clear, still weather of the last two days we drove over to Lerwick for a Boxing Day treat of soup and hot chocolate at the new cafe, Fjara, near Tescos.

Not a bad view...

Afterwards I gingerly wandered along the icy road to look at the seals. It was a gorgeous afternoon, but I was in enough pain walking so wasn't going to venture too far in case of a fall on the ice.

It was worth it though, seals were out sunning themselves and it was literally a breath of fresh air.

A bit of a lovers tiff going on here I think! Boxing Seals...

 It's not many places you can go shopping, have a cuppa and get so close to lounging seals!

We're off sooth tomorrow to see family. I had hopes of a couple of ventures while away. A night up the woods in the hammock at an old spot from my youth and a mountain bike ride with my brother, but it looks like an evening at the panto is as exciting as it'll get with my incapacity. Talking of which I'm going to get off here as it's bloody killing me sat at the PC.

All the best for the New Year where ever you are!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

The northern lights were out last night, but by the time I got out to see them there wasn't any real action going on. To be fair I don't think there was much happening any way, but it was a gorgeous still night; a long time since we've had one of those!

Berry Lane, Scalloway...

Tingwall Loch...

Tingwall Kirk...

And all put together in a short time lapse...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Papa Stour by bike

Having some work to sign off before Christmas along with a couple of issues to look at I set off for a day on Papa Stour. When ever I visit Papa Stour it seems to be marginal weather and this time didn't disappoint!

Atleast the car didn't need strapping down this time...

And what's that hanging off the back of it? My new bike. Thinking to save my poor old knees I thought I'd use the bike for work, apparently I can even claim mileage, though I don't know if that get's paid in mars bars and double deckers!

Going clockwise around the island I visited much of it, popping in here and there and I ended up wearing a lot of it too. I still need some mud guards!

The weather was truly horrendous at times with the wind and sleet and hail. At other it was just cold and windy allowing me to enjoy the views.

 After just over 3 hours in the saddle I was wet, cold and thankfully back to the car where I had a dry warm set of clothes and a full flask of tea. Pity the heater in the car is so poor, I had a bit of a chill, so was please to see the ferry returning to take me home for a hot shower.

Still not everyone has a day in the office that involves a bike ride around a beautiful island in mid winter!

I even managed to make a little video of my trip on my action camera, the sound quality is terrible, but I hope the views aren't.

Best in HD...

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Snow gaets and sheep gaets

On the first snow day of the year my friend and I set out for a whiz around some tracks he knows on the local hills.

Well, it was intended to be a whiz around, but snow, ice, peat and interesting tracks made the 23km take 3 hours. My lack of fitness may have had a hand too. Unlike Colin, I did have to push a few sections, though to be fair pushing was just as quick as riding!

Here's a map of the route...

And if you click here you go to a page with more details, though google maps never seems to agree with my GPS entirely!

Looking back to the Burradale Sisters and Tingwall Loch from the Hill of Steinswall...

Passing the large cross on the Hill of Steinswall on our way to The Scord above Scalloway...

And here's a short video of the ride including a minor crash from yours truly! Apologies for the quality. It was too cold to mess about setting up shots with a tripod and to be honest, we couldn't be bothered. We'd still be out there now if we had!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Burn of Catpund Waterfalls

I just thought I'd share a few long exposures of the waterfalls on The Burn of Catpund just south of Cunningsburgh. I took some photos here some time ago, including ones of the carved soapstone from the Viking era.

 The falls are just off a section of old road, but are not very accessible.


It's a lovely spot. One day when I have more energy I'll follow the burn to the hill top at The Ward of Veester and enjoy the views!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Bad day at Wari Gill

Walking out from Hamnavoe to Wari Gill and Tingon I didn't think the sea looked too bad. It was cold and breezy, but nothing out of the ordinary for December.

Looking back towards Hamnavoe...

Getting close to Wari Gill Geo I saw clouds on spray coming up. Quite a sight as the sea is some distance below the cliff tops...

Down in the geo the scene was pretty impressive. Considering there is a waterfall of nearly 30ft before you get to the sea the sea was blasting up some distance!

It'd be interesting to see what it was like on a really rough day!

Here's a little video of the action...