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 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.
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.