Having now driven all round the island once I was beginning to get my bearings and whereas the first evening coming off the ferry from the mainland the smaller roads on Yell seemed frighteningly narrow, having managed Fetlar they now seemed quite wide and well marked, so feeling far more confident I once more headed for Burravoe Pier. The roads are a little narrow on the final approach, but in the daylight and at a sensible speed are fine even for something like Thebus
It has been set up by the community and as well as the campsite there is a well organised tie up for boats - do you call it an anchorage or a moorings or perhaps it is both, anyway very well designed and nicely sheltered I thought. I walked along the pier, or is it boom? I am a total novice at things nautical. I remember being terrified when my brother once rowed me across the River Severn in a dinghy to a boat he had moored there at the time. As I mentioned before there is an underlying fear of water in the female side of my family. When I was little child I told my mother that's why I didn’t like my neck washed, but it I think it was because there was no heating in the bathroom and the water running down my back was cold.
Still back to Burravoe Pier. There are electric hookups for quite a few units and water taps as well, plus a lovely facilities block with immaculate toilets and shower room, and a utility room with nice deep Belfast sink – here is a little aside which interested me when I first found out. Originally there were two sorts of deep, white glazed sinks, the London design and the Belfast design. The Belfast design is the one with the deep pocket type overflow at the side, rather that the little round holes of the London design. London sinks were made for the London market where water was in less prolific supply. The Belfast sinks were for Belfast where originally there was so much water that it was piped in without taps, so the overflow had to be adequate and unlikely to block up. Well it interested me anyway.
Back once more to Burravoe Pier campsite. The utility room also has a washing machine and drier available with an honesty box - there is even a microwave and some novels and magazines. The nightly charge is run on the same basis with envelopes provided for the fee which was ten pounds per night when I visited. The spot is secluded and the harbour is apparently wonderful for spotting otters. I didn’t see any, though I am not very patient with just sitting and looking and tend to get distracted. Once again superb walking if you can get around easily.
The building there is roofed with an old upturned lifeboat, and together with the brightly painted boats in the harbour and the wonderful scenery it really does make a picturesque spot.
When I was on Fetlar there were some Planti-Crubs, which are circular stone-walled constructions put up to protect the kale plants from the pigeons. Presumably the stone wall gave a sheltered micro-climate with the stones keeping heat from the sun and protecting the plants from the Shetland winds, and then old fishing nets weighted with stones were stretched over the top to keep the pigeons off - anyone who has gardened knows that pigeons will strip a crop bare in almost minutes. The weather on Fetlar was so grey and gloomy that although I could see them through the mists it really wasn’t worth taking a picture, but having seen those on Fetlar I am sure on the hillside behind Burravoe Pier were a few more, and in fact as I have been driving round the islands I have seen lots in all sorts of odd places.
Above - The Safe Harbour and Pier at Burravoe
Below - The Campsite and Facilites Block with its roof made from an old lifeboat
Evening View from Burravoe Pier