Al and Micha’s Trip to Orkney: Day 3

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.

Luckily the rain eases off a little and we stop in Finstown for a coffee and breakfast. As we had managed to get started fairly early, we were making good time and we figured a nice breakfast in a cafe would make up for the gloomy weather. Sadly: no sign of a cafe in Finstown. But there was a food van, so breakfast consisted of a bacon roll and coffee in the drizzle.

Welcome to Sinkys.

Welcome to Sinkys.

As breakfast took less time than expected, there was plenty of time to have a look around the Ring of Brodgar. Quite an impressive stone circle, it must of been stunning when it was complete.

caption

Part of the ring of Brodgar

They're really tall!

They’re really tall!

I can't think of interesting captions for these pictures. Anybody know any good standing stone puns?

I can’t think of interesting captions for these pictures. Anybody know any good standing stone puns?

Luckily the rain stopped in time for our visit to the Ness of Brodgar. Sadly there’s no way that my photographs will do the site justice: the talk was fascinating and if you’re interested in archaeology and ancient history, I really recommend trying to time a visit to Orkney during the site’s season (they can only afford to dig for six weeks during summer).

Dig dig dig

Dig dig dig

Taking photos with an overhead camera appears to be a vital part of the operation. I guess everything needs to be documented as they excavate.

Taking photos with an overhead camera appears to be a vital part of the operation. I guess everything needs to be documented as they excavate.

After the talk, we had a couple of hours to relax before the Maeshowe tour. No photographs are allowed inside, so you’ll have to make do with google image search. Another impressive site.

It doesn't look like much from the outside.

It doesn’t look like much from the outside.

On emerging from the tomb an hour later we are greeted by wind and rain. Great. Quite a lot of rain. I guess we had better come up with a plan for where to set up camp tonight! Our two options are cycling over to Stromness and catching a ferry to Hoy, or heading back to Kirkwall, then heading down to South Ronaldsay. We decide that, what with the weather, not being sure when the ferry leaves, and the fact that Hoy looks pretty hilly, which doesn’t seem like a fun idea what with that rain, to head to South Ronaldsay so we have a choice. It looks like there are campsites on Burry and South Ronaldsay. First things first: head back to Kirkwall and pick up some more supplies.

Aaahhh. Holidays are such fun.

Aaahhh. Holidays are such fun.

Keep on going, keep on going.

Keep on going, keep on going.

When we get to Kirkwall, we stop for some coup, coffee and cake. Then a quick tour round the supermarket for more food, and we’re off again. The weather continues to get worse.

Sunken ships off one of Churchhill's barriers.

Sunken ships off one of Churchhill’s barriers.

26 miles in the pissing rain. Still, not too bad. Just over 40 miles in total for today. Upon arriving in St. Margaret’s Hope we decide to forget about camping and just crash at the hostel. It’s only £15 each and Micha is in desperate need of a tumble dryer. Once we dry off a little, we treat ourselves to fish and chips.

 

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