Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Shetland day 2 - a campsite with a view

It poured all night until 6.30am. The ground was very waterlogged and the tent soaking (though dry inside). I shook it a few times to try to get it to dry before I took it down! The midges were out in force; they initially followed me around while I had my breakfast below the tent, in the little garden.

I could have gone into the building, but that somehow felt like 'cheating' and not 'real camping' but I'm sure I'll soon change my tune on that one... As I walked around they seemed to have gone , great - but no, they were all waiting at the tent! Taking down the tent wasn't fun!! The midges had a feast on me......

It was a lovely but misty morning but with breaks in the cloud, threating to get sunny.

I headed to Sumburgh and had a lovely hour with the puffins, the time being crowned with an otter sighting. At first I thought it was a seal playing in the surf - but then realised from the size and shape of the body it was an otter!! Exciting, although it vanished very soon.

It's interesting seeing the airport since they extended the runways a few years ago. They reach out into the sea (which can make for an interesting experience landing there) and also have been extended right across the road at the other end, so at times the road to Sumburgh is closed when planes are landing.

I then headed to Lerwick for a think. I had planned to go to Noss but the extremely thick mist made them cancel the ferry. All day! Seems a bit early (10am) to cancel it for the whole day. Most of the things I want to do involve scenery, so the mist is really putting paid to my plans....

I went to Tesco to get some fresh fruit & veg, and was advised that when it's misty in Lerwick it can often be clearer over in Scalloway. So off to Scalloway I headed. The mist did seem to be lifting as I headed in that direction and the sky was definitely looking a bit lighter ahead. Good decision.

Nice scenery; I drove across the bridge to Burra Isle and right down both East and West Burra. Bleak but beautiful.The sky was getting brighter the whole time.

Bridge End

Hamnavoe was a nice wee village with a pier and small marina. (There's sports centres and marinas everywhere; Shetland know how to use their oil money well, unlike Orkney...)

I visited Scalloway Castle which I felt showed a lot of similarities to the Earl's Palace in Kirkwall. Build by Patrick Stewart, Earl of Orkney.

Then went a walk along the 'front' if you can call it that) and spotted the Shetland Bus memorial. By the time I'd done that, the museum was open so I went in there for a while and had a look at the displays; very interesting, especially the one about the Shetland Bus.

Back to Lerwick for petrol - and ice cream (as I'd somehow forgotten to get some yesterday!!!). Mmmmm, small tub of dairy-free organic chocolate ice cream, yum.....

Headed out again, with vague plan of heading straight for Eshaness. Then the brighter weather drew me west again, so ended up on a long detour out to look over Papa Stour - from Sandness. Small, single track road over moorland, lots of peat cuttings, very unlike the rest of the scenery I've seen so far. The last 14 miles out to the view of Papa Stour wasn't really worth it to be honest but at least I've 'covered that bit of ground' now! The first bit was lovely though - amazing views over Whiteness area. I learned very rapidly that if there's a parking sign, stop at it. Most of them were at the most scenic points, great planning (unusual for a council).

 Whiteness from above Westings campsite.
Camping bod near Whiteness 


 View of Papa Stour

 Then rather than going all the way back to Lerwick, I cut across via Aith. That was a lovely, scenic road, to Voe where I found this fish sculpture.

Passed through Brae, didn't like the look of it at all. Then on to Hillswick and Eshaness. Didn't stop to look at much as it was spitting a little by then, with the wind picking up and the sky dulling right down and I wanted to get to Eshaness and get the tent up before the rain came.

The campsite at Eshaness is very scenic - I've got an amazing views of Da Drongs out the door of my tent. Sat enjoying the view, with a glass of wine ... or to be honest, a red plastic cup of wine! Nice anyway...

Tent with a view......

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