Catch up time!
We took off on the ferry on Thursday morning, 9th June.
The crew parked us up tight to the right hand side which meant that we were trapped. The door could not open and we had to travel in the RV instead of upstairs on deck with my camera, watching out for Orcas in the fresh air and sunshine.
My 30 Days Wild activity had to follow once we were in Kirkwall, where I took a phone for a wander around the Peerie Sea. There were midges but also Kingcups and Lady’s Smock.
On the way back to the van I spotted this lovely pair. Checkout the dog keeping an eye on them.
Apologies for the low quality. It has something to do with the way that I transferred the photos from the phone. I don’t claim to understand what happened.
We shopped, we ate fish and chips, we killed time and then set off for Stromness for the evening ferry to Scrabster. This time we were able to get out of the vehicle. No Orcas, but plenty of Fulmar. I spent some time taking shots of Stromness from the deck of the Hamnavoe before we got under way.
Driving through Thurso I became aware of a burning smell… “Is that us?” I enquired. Apparently not. The smell died down and then I looked in the wing mirror and saw the puther… Quickly diagnosed, with a deal of expletives, we had driven off the ferry with the parking brake on. Oh, dear.
The night was spent at Sibster Forest, where we had a lovely fry up the next morning – eaten outside on the picnic tables.
Teddy joined in, once he had ceased stalking skylarks.
When we went for a walk I noticed that the wild flowers at Sibster were pretty much the same ones as we have at home but that they were well in advance of ours. There were fish leaping in the pond when we reached it. I think we may be stopping at Sibster a little too often – we have started to recognise other dog walkers and fall into conversation with them!
There were 200 miles to be covered but we were in no hurry to reach our night’s destination, we had plenty of time to linger along the way. Our outline plan was to cover 50 mile sections and take a break between. Our first destination was the broch at Carn Liath as we thought our new vehicle probably a little over-sized for the little car park at Golspie where we normally stop.
Carn Liath was where I got my 30 Days Wild time in for the day. It’s a new stop for us but it won’t be the last time that we stop there. The car park is on the Northbound side of the A9, the broch is reached by crossing the road and walking a short way along a track to the broch site. It was a delight. The verge was rampant with wild flowers, the like of which I have not seen in many years. Just the range of colour was exciting as Sanday flowers tend heavily to yellow. Yellows there were , of course – gorse and broom but there were pinks too in the form of ragged robin and foxglove, there was purple in the vetch and thistles and then there were tiny blue wild forget-me-nots. There were white ox-eye daisies and more besides, I should have taken notes.
As ever, we rejigged the plan – deciding that our hefty breakfast at Sibster meant that no lunch stop was required we thought we would head now for Ralia and afternoon coffee. Phone photos again, I’m afraid.
According to the RSPB that Black-headed Gull eats “Worms, insects, fish and carrion.” – you may add Lemon and White Chocolate Muffin to that list.
Our next destination was Pitlochry where we hoped to find some well-regarded fish and chips but where we ended up instead with Chinese takeaway for our dinner before driving off to Bankfoot for our overnight stop at Taste of Perthshire.
and there I think we should leave this and start a new post for the coming days.