Shetland And Orkney, June And July 2010

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22-27th June - Berwick, Mainland Shetland And Kayaking
22-27th June - Berwick, Mainland Shetland And Kayaking
28th June - Foula
28th June - Foula
29-30th June - Foula And Mousa
29-30th June - Foula And Mousa
1-2nd July - Yell And Unst
1-2nd July - Yell And Unst
3-5th July - Unst, Yell, Muckle Roe And Lerwick
3-5th July - Unst, Yell, Muckle Roe And Lerwick
6-7th July - Orkney
6-7th July - Orkney

3-5th July - Unst, Yell, Muckle Roe And Lerwick

Following a breakfast of bacon, eggs, potato cakes and pancakes cooked on a trangia, with ample tea to wash it all down, we left our prized campsite to visit the chocolate factory at decommissioned RAF Saxa Vord, where we learned that RAF Skaw in its entirety was for sale for £1.5m... now there's a thought.

We hadn't seen many gannets so far, so we next headed to Herma Ness peninsula on the north west of Unst to wander around the cliffs there to see what we could find. We saw the usual swarms of puffins and fulmars, but finally came across a cliff that was almost white with gannets, with the skies around thick with them. After a few hours photographing these huge birds, and seeing Out Stack, the most northerly point in Britain, we decided it was time to try and better last night's campsite.

We found an idyllic deserted beach at Lunda Wick, next to a graveyard, and got very cold feet paddling in the freezing sea. We watched the sun go down watching terns and shags fishing, and eider ducks and chicks huddling together in the surf full of seals, trying to get across the bay without being eaten by anything. Apparently eider ducks lose quite a lot of their chicks.

While camping here I discovered that dried sheep poo burns like charcoal, and makes very good Kelly Kettle fuel. The week of sunny weather finished the next morning, and by the time we'd packed away the tent, it was raining. After the ferry to Yell, we crossed Yell as fast as possible, and got the ferry back to the mainland. The rain was so bad, we checked into Busta House, a posh hotel, to warm up and have some nice but overpriced food and lots of beer, wine and whisky.

The poor weather was short-lived, and the sun came out the next day, and we marvelled at Busta House's woodland, which contained a large proportion of Shetland's tree population. Shetland doesn't have a lot of trees. Then it was back to Lerwick before getting the ferry to Orkney.

Gannets, Thousands Of Them, Herma Ness, Unst Gannet And Chick, Herma Ness, Unst Gannet, Herma Ness, Unst Gannet, Herma Ness, Unst Gannet, Herma Ness, Unst Suicidal Sheep, Herma Ness, Unst Muckle Flugga Lighthouse, Out Stack, Northernmost Point In UK Behind, Off Herma Ness, Unst Thousands More Gannets, Herma Ness, Unst World Famous Bus Stop, Haroldswick, Unst Eider Duck And Chicks, Lunda Wick, Unst St Olaf's Kirk, Lund, Unst We Didn't Fancy Stopping In Yell Muckle Roe Debbie And Giant Yacht, Lerwick Cannon, Lerwick Herring Gull Chick, Lerwick Lerwick Overshadowed By Giant Yacht Debbie And Big Exhaust Pipes On Ferry Leaving Lerwick Lighthouse On Bressay