I had decided to travel on northwards from Lerwick up towards the Northern Isles, and there were wonderful views across the open empty moorlands of peat and heather with occasional dark lochs. Then as we approached the northern shore the scenery was even better, with views over the sea towards distant islands. It crossed my mind to park up in one particular spot with the most wonderful view out across the inlets and islands, but I would have been right on the side of the main road to the ferry, and although the traffic was not heavy the lay-by was really only just wide enough for Thebus, and when his door opened the steps went over the carriageway, so I thought I had better move on. In the event we were not far from the ferry and as the next was expected within half an hour I thought we might as well take it and get over to Yell.
The ferry boats up here have a cunningly arranged bow which actually lifts up allowing the vehicles on, reminding me of the playground games we played as children 'chip chop – the last man's head comes off' I presume games involving the cutting-off of head's, even if bowing to sexual equality, it was to be the last person's head which was chopped off, is probably frowned on if not banned from the playground these days.
I am very impressed with the ferry services here on the islands, It is not at all as one might imagine, but so quick and easy it really does make island hopping much more pleasant than I expected and in the summer it would be even nicer. In no time at all we were over to Yell. As I had been the first to arrive at the mainland terminal, I was standing around trying to make some sense of the electronic notice boards which include Yell on one bit, but on the other just named the port. A pleasant couple pulled up as I stood in the wind, and having checked with them I was going to the right island I also asked where might be a good place to stay. The lady said to head for Burrivoe, taking the turning to the right out of the harbour, and I took their advice.
The roads are certainly narrow here. Wide enough for Thebus' wheels but only just. We travelled quite a distance with nowhere in sight and nowhere to stop when I spotted a someone feeding sheep and asked directions. Yes, apparently there was a site, the turning was a mile or two further on and then it got a bit narrow. I must have looked a bit doubtful. The roads so far had felt narrow anyway, and as we were mainly travelling over peat moorland they had the precaution of deep ditches on either side to carry the water away. Not brilliant for me to travel in the daylight, but even more tricky in the dark. Maybe sensing my worries he suggested I parked up in the church carpark only a short way ahead, saying I would be in no-one's way there, and asking if I had everything I needed for the night. How kind!
The carpark was large and flat - perfect for Thebus. It was late on the Sunday afternoon and almost dark so I guessed there would be no more services that day, though when another lady pulled up I did go across to check I would not be causing a bother, but she had only come to post letters in the letter box next to the church, and said I would be fine.
There was no mi-fi signal, and in fact had been non since leaving Lerwick, and as I had eaten so well at lunchtime I decided on an early night. Some research on the cost of running the petrol generator, unless I have worked it out wrong (which is quite likely) comes to a figure of £3.50 to £7 per hour ,,,,,, eeek. So bed seemed a better idea, especially as it was so very windy that I though most of the warmth would be blown away in any case.
There was just a faint green glow from the where the lights should be seen, and I had already been told that pretty well every night, if there was no moon, the glimmer of green could be seen like the glow from a large city just over the horizon, but as the forecast for any action from the lights was quiet I decided not to sit up.
View through Thebus' salt spray covered window as the
Ro-Ro Ferry approaches the terminal
Once again the views were so wide I couldn't take a photo to do justice, but this is one where a sudden storm made a rainbow over one of the many small islands
Northern Lights Behind Kirk
Not the most earth shattering display and not the world's best photo, but taken on a pitch dark night moonless night around 11pm with automatic camera and no tripod.