Sunday, 8 September 2019

What we did this summer!

So, I'm going to try to get things going again here and kick off with a review of our most excellent summer holidays!

We headed south to stay in an amazing house right in Braemar that backed on to the river. We' were staying there with my daughter and her family, but we had time to kill before they arrived and we could get access to the house.

Luckily this meant Clare and Beren could enjoy a 26 mile ride around Deeside straight off the over night ferry! The video being in my previous post here.


Loch Knord at the Muir of Dinnet NNR...


Robyn and Adam didn't get to be lazy either. Isla-Rose was given a pass though! We had a nice walk up at Loch Muick near Ballater...


And enjoyed exploring around the Linn of Dee and looking for squirrels and deer.




We had some good runs out and meals out including a very long and hot day trip over to Pitlochry to visit a number of impressive waterfalls like The Black Spout here...


My bike died on the second day and needed a new crankset. Sadly no bike shop in Ballater was able to help, so I hired a bike from The Bothy in Breamar for a ride with Clare to the Chest of Dee, another wonderful water feature of the area.





 

To be fair I've lost track of the places we visited and swam, but the Linn of Quioch was another amazing spot for a soak and cool off.

After a week in Braemar we headed back home to see friends and family. I managed to get my bike fixed and fit in a nice ride on the North York Moors in the Osmotherly area with my brother before Clare and I abandoned Beren with his Nana and headed back north with a few night in Fife on the way.

We stopped off at Chain Bridge Honey Farm just off the A1 to see the bees, have a snack and have a walk on the banks of the Tweed and check out the bridge...


Wild strawberries! We had raspberries too...


It seemed to be a mast year for tree nuts...


The next few days were spend at Montrave Wigwams a quiet estate near the Fife coast with nice walking and riding round about.



The reason for Fife, other than it's lovely, is I wanted to do the Elie Chain Walk. A fun looking coastal route involving climbing up and down chain runs.

And our first treat when arriving at Shell Bay where we started was a pod of dolphins just off shore!


This warning sign didn't mention dodgy knees. If it did I'd have ignored it anyway, but I did suffer for some time after this 'walk'.





Columnar jointed basalt...


It was a great bit of fun.


 Another memorable event was our bike ride to Elie for fish and chips. Didn't know we'd pass Robinson Crusoe on the way!
 

It started off so well on quiet roads and old railway track...


But then some local golf course developer was causing issues and chaining all the gates on the old track, so we hit the dunes...


Which got a bit much for Clare's bike. So we hit the beach...


Which was a bit much for both bikes in parts and then we hit the river...


Hitting the pub for fish and chips and a drink was fine though!

Anyhow, there's a flavour of the summer that was. With any luck (weather dependant) I'm off to Orkney in a couple of weeks for some day rides and a few nights in a wigwam at Pickaquoy. My knee's not up to scrabbling about camping really, but we can't let that stop the fun!




A family ride on Deeside

Continuing apologies for lack of service is getting rather embarrassing, but hopefully this will make some amends.

A little video edit from a family bike ride we did in Deeside this summer holidays.


 Life continues to be a bit of a challenge with getting the new knee whipped back in to shape (and the rest of me) and an diagnosed heart condition hanging over me. I'm back in the swing of doing too much and then suffering, such is my life's koan.

The good news is there're no signs what so ever of cardiovascular disease, but something is awry, so I'm still waiting for a cardiac MRI.

Erm.. and probably shouldn't be doing so much.. Well officially anything...

There may be another post of pics from our hols along any time now too!


Friday, 26 April 2019

Windy Westerwick Wander


It was my birthday this week. but I was too busy on the day to take it off, so Clare and I took Friday off, and being my birthday it was my choice of what to do. A walk around the Westerwick coast it was to be then!

With brisk SE winds still with us we decided to leave one car at Culswick and start the walk from Scarvister. It's no fun spending all your time battling a head wind. The walk ended up being 11.5km and Clare keep my pace down for the good of my current health, so it took us just short of 4 hours with plenty of stops for photos and the odd snack.


Looking towards The Nev and Giltarump from near Moulie Loch on Skelda Ness...


The coast that awaited us...


Clare likes to stop and sit. I like to occasionally too, but not so often and not for so long!


The coast is eaten away with deep geos and the remaining stacks are very impressive...



We kayaked around here many years ago when Beren was a toddler and visited many of the beaches and explored the caves. It's something we'd like to do again one day now he's old enough to appreciate it.



Looking in to Westerwick itself...


And across to the other side of the bay where our walk would continue...


Looking out to sea from Westerwick...


And leaving it behind as we head on to The Nev on our way to Culswick...


Giltarump standing off the end of The Nev...


The enormous stack of Giltrarump. You can see this from Scalloway Light, it really stands out.


See the face in the cliff? Culswick broch was visible standing on the high mound in the distance.



Looking across The Stead of Culswick and nearly at the end of our walk...


Thanks for a nice birthday walk Clare, now what shall we get for tea? I think we've earned it!



Monday, 22 April 2019

A wander around Noss Hill and the coast


Clare's still away, Beren's was on a sleep over and it was a fantastic Easter Monday here in Shetland, so I went down towards Spiggie to go for a steady wander around a bit of coast I've not been around before. The chunk between Fitfull Head and Spiggie.


9.5km in about 2.5 hours just taking it easy and taking photos and video with my phone on the way. I parked up at the boat house on Spiggie Loch and then headed south on the road.


Spiggie Beach...




Looking back towards the car with The Ward of Scousburgh...


Some of the WW2 remains of the radar command chain on Noss Hill. As usual all the buildings were full of rubbish, mud, sheep muck and the odd dead sheep, so I didn't explore!




Looking south to Fitful Head...



 There are a few impressive promontories along the coast. This is Landvillas... 


And The Stack 'o da Noup...


And plenty of unnamed stacks (atleast on OS) and the odd small arch...


Near the end there is a fantastic view of the Isle of Colsay with St Ninian's Isle straight behind it. Lovely...



The walk finished with heading back in to Spiggie beach and then back to the car...


 It was a very fine wander on an amazing day! 

And here's a short video of it too...