Al and Micha’s Trip to Orkney: Day 4

August 23, 2014
Last night's refuge from the rain

Last night’s refuge from the rain

Aaahh, sunshine again. Much better, And we have smoked salmon and oatcakes for breakfast. This however attracts some unwanted attention from the locals…

Who would of thought it? Cats like the smell of fish.

Who would of thought it? Cats like the smell of fish.

The plan for this morning is to leave out stuff at the hostel and cycle down to the Southern tip of South Ronaldsay and visit the Tomb of the Eagles. My shoes are still soaking: luckily I can go for the fashionable socks + sandals look while they dry off.

Hopefully this will air my shoes off so they don't end up stinking.

Hopefully this will air my shoes off so they don’t end up stinking.

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Al and Micha’s Trip to Orkney: Day 3

August 19, 2014
Well, hello Wednesday. To be honest, I think I preferred your friend Tuesday.

Well, hello Wednesday. To be honest, I think I preferred your friend Tuesday.

And, …. there goes the good weather. It looks like today is going to be a complete contrast to yesterday. Oh well, nothing for it but to get up, take down the tent, and head south. It turns out that packing up without getting getting everything damp and covered in sand is a little tricky. Still, we can worry about that later. While it’s only 15 miles to the Ness of Brodgar, it would be a shame to miss the guided tour!

A damp and miserable self-portrait. Definitely not a "selfie" though. Stupid word.

A damp and miserable self-portrait. Definitely not a “selfie” though. Stupid word.

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Al and Micha’s Trip to Orkney: Day 2

August 17, 2014
Perfect!

Perfect!

Well, that blue sky is quite a sight. A huge contrast from the overcast, windy weather from yesterday. Clear blue skies and very little wind. Perfect weather for us! The plan for the morning was to walk over to the Brough of Birsay, the island you can see in the above photograph. It’s connected to the Mainland (Orkney mainland, not Scottish mainland) by a tidal causeway that will be open most the morning. En route, we pass by another of the Earl of Orkney’s palaces.

I think this was the Earl's first palace. Then he decided he wanted to keep a beady eye on the bishop in Kirkwall, so built a second palace on the other side of the island.

I think this was the Earl’s first palace. Then he decided he wanted to keep a beady eye on the bishop in Kirkwall, so built a second palace on the other side of the island.

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Al and Micha’s Trip to Orkney: Day 1

August 13, 2014
First things first: a cup of tea/coffee

First things first: a cup of tea/coffee

I always find sleeping in a tent on the first night difficult… there just doesn’t seem to be any way to make sleeping on the ground in a bag with no pillow comfortable. Hence Monday morning was somewhat bleary eyed. Still, our plan was reasonably laid back: buy a new water bottle, look round the sights in Kirkwall, then cycle up to the Broch of Gurness and camp by the nearby beach.

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Al and Micha’s Trip to Orkney: Day 0

August 11, 2014

So, summer rolls around again and it’s time for me and Moz to head up to some Scottish islands with our tent and bikes. In 2012 we visited Uist and Harris in the Outer Hebrides, and last year we island hop-scotched around the Inner Hebrides (Arran, Gigha, Isley, Jura and Colonsay). I’ve recently moved to Aberdeen, which makes Orkney an attractive option for this year’s tour – there’s a direct (but long) ferry from Aberdeen to Kirkwall.

Starting with sunshine

Hopefully a sunny afternoon means that the 7 hour ferry journey will be nice and gentle!

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Al and Moz’s Mini Tour of the Inner Hebrides VI-VII

January 2, 2014

VI

Two nights left, and it’s time to move the tent again! Today, we’re heading to Jura. Which turns out to be one of the best islands we’ve made it so far. A lot quieter than Arran and Islay, but bigger and more scenic than Gigha. I like that the ferry from Islay drops you off in the middle of nowhere, 7 miles from the village. Good thing it’s lovely weather for a cycle.

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Cycling up from the ferry port.

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My legs are getting somewhat tired!

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Al and Moz’s Mini Tour of the Inner Hebrides III-V

August 31, 2013

III

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Setting off from Arran

Up early, and off to catch the first ferry over to Kintyre which despite being part of mainland Scotland, feels a lot more remote than Arran. (I guess Arran really isn’t very remote at all, and is fairly close to Glasgow when you think about it.) The road signs are caked in decades worth of dirt and the ferry drops us off in what appears to be the middle of nowhere: the ferry terminal consists of a bus shelter and a portaloo.

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