May 23, 2017
We woke up to grey skies and drizzle this morning, and Rosemary now had the sore throat which had been the start of Paul’s cold. Now both of us had it.
The Davids had already breakfasted and were on their way, so we were on our own. We started off with creamy porridge with Lyle’s Golden Syrup, very yummy, and this was followed by a poached egg, bacon, mushrooms, and tomatoes. A great way to start the day!
The rain wasn’t heavy rain, but it was predicted to last most of the day, so we gathered up our rain gear before heading out. Our plan was to drive to Burravoe, using the side road from Mid Yell, stopping at a few places on the way. The single-track road ran up and down over the moors, occasionally passing small settlements. We’d been told about the Aywick Store so we had to stop and see that. It was a big building with many rooms full of various products. One room had only greeting cards, but they overflowed into the next room which was for gardening equipment. We were very impressed, but we didn’t need anything so we carried on.
We also stopped in Otterswick to see the White Wife, which is the figurehead from a ship that had been wrecked on the coast in 1924. It was just a short walk through the sheep pastures, and luckily the rain had already stopped. It was odd to see a monument in such an obscure place.
Down at Burravoe we stopped at the Old Haa, where we went through the museum before having tea and cake. That was plenty for lunch! There was also an art gallery and a small shop, where Rosemary purchased a hand-knit pair of gloves. After leaving the museum we drove a small distance down to the harbour so that we could go on the walk that Anne from our B&B had told us about.
The walk took us around the shores of the small harbour, past an abandoned house and out onto a peninsula. By now the sun was shining, but it was windy so it wasn’t all that warm. The views were quite good, both out to sea and towards the other islands. After finishing that part of the walk we climbed up to the cliffs to see the many seabirds. There were several hundred fulmars, with one razorbill and a few murres in the mix. No puffins to be seen, though. After watching for a while we followed some waymarks which took us out to the road, past a Shetland pony who came over to say hello, and back to the car. It was a lovely walk, especially since the weather was good.
It was now mid-afternoon so we headed back to Gutcher to have some more tea and cake, and to get some rest. At 6:30 pm Peter brought our soup, which was followed by the main course. The plates were heaping—two pork chops, four potatoes, peas and carrots and cooked cabbage. Way too much food! Dessert was a rhubarb crumble topped with custard. Both of us were stuffed to the gills.
May 24, 2017
After a bad night’s sleep we got up just in time for our 8:30 am breakfast. Today it was goodbye to the Old Post Office and on to the next place; but first we headed out to North Yell. Our plan was to drive up to Gloup to see the memorial which had been erected for 58 fishermen who were lost at sea in powerful storms in 1881. We could drive almost all the way to the memorial, which was good because Rosemary was very tired. Originally we had planned to do a hike starting at the memorial, but that got scratched off the itinerary.
So instead we got back into the car and headed back towards Gutcher. We stopped at the nearby Breckon Sands, where again we parked by a farm house and climbed over stiles to do a walk. Down among the marram grass by the beach it even felt a bit warm, but we weren’t tempted to go swimming. We also followed a narrow road which was supposed to take us to a broch, but when we came to the end of the road we couldn’t really figure out what path to take.
Once again back in the car we headed towards the ferry to Mainland. We stopped at West Sandwick for lunch and to look for birds, but there weren’t that many. We did find a Mute Swan on a loch there, so that increased our Shetland list by one. We were booked to go on the 3 pm ferry, which was a couple of hours away, so since we were both tired we actually had a nap in the car.