Saturday, 25 February 2017

Bressay bash...

Today the weather is pretty common Shetland weather of wind and rain, but the last two days have been still, bright and cold while the rest of the UK 'battled' with Storm Doris.

Yesterday was 'The Curry Club' meet at a friends on Bressay, oddly for a curry club it was a Mexican night, though that is more to do with the origins of our host and the fact that we all like flavoursome food.

Being a fantastic day and a Friday I took the afternoon off and took me and my mountain bike across to Bressay to work up a little appetite for the evening's feasting.

I'd hoped after two cold days or icy weather and snow flurries the soggy boggy ground between peat tracks would be frozen and a joy to ride over. As is usually the case I was disappointed and it was just very wet and very cold! Still I had a great few hours riding.

Here's a little snazzy animation of the route I followed; a mix of peat track, heather moor, peat bog and the single track quiet roads of Bressay.


The climb up to the top of the Ward of Bressay was a bit of a leg slayer even on a mountain bike, but there were some great views. Here's Lerwick across the Sooth Mooth...


And Noss from the other side of the Ward...


It was pretty nippy with plenty of icicles on the peat banks, but the ground itself was far from frozen, just very cold when you dipped your feet in it as was unavoidable in parts with hike-a-bike through bog that even a fat bike would sink in and sections of heather grinding through my gears.


I worked my way down the heather and bog from the ward to the old settlement of Wadbister...



 An headed out past Gorie to the Noss ferry crossing. Where I met a local old guy who lives in an old croft house I've long admired. We stood a while with him filling me in on local history of old settlements and the characters who lived there, before I ha to make my excuses to move on as I was getting a bit chilly. It's always great to hear the history of a place first hand from a different generation and the history that had been passed on to him too.


I explored a number of tracks, a stretch of coast and lochsides before heading on to the road and back to the venue for the feast.

Of course I should mention tat it was also the day of the Bressay Up Helly Aa and on the way back I passed the galleys. I say galleys because they seem to have a 'posh' boat that is rolled out for ceremonial purposes...


And a rather less spectacular boat (oddly having a turkey's head mask) that is actually burnt! I guess being a small island with a small population there aren't the people and financial resources to build and burn a posh boat every year. To be fair I do always feel it's a shame to burn the wonderful galleys that are built each year.


Back at our hosts I was early, but in good time to help prepare some of the food; chopping peppers, onions and salad. And we had a great night...





Roll on the next curry club!

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