Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 22, 2017

Cycling the Orkneys – finale

Saturday 15th July 2017 was really wet.  I got washing done in the morning as 3 of us took turns to use the 2 machines. One lady wanted to hog both and had gone off back to her motorhome. I was having none of that. When she didn’t come back I removed her washing and let a young German couple with a baby use the machine. Mrs Canadian didn’t like it at all and said she had been there first. As I pointed out she had gone away and left her stuff. Well, I calmed her down and we got along Ok as the washing got dried and done. She even gave me some drier sheets.

It poured down the whole day and was a bit windy. DH didn’t venture out but stayed in the tent while I donned full waterproofs and walked into Kirkwall.

First I visited the Orkney museum near the Town Hall and had a mooch around there but it didn’t hold my interest as much as the other museums I had seen. Then I went into a craft exhibition and had a real good mooch there and talked to some really interesting craftswomen who are as interested in textiles as myself. They have a great group that work together to keep the stalls manned throughout the summer allowing them to sell what they make. I bought a couple of cards that I thought might be an inspiration for some quilting, only time will tell.

I then tracked down a shop I had been into previously run by a lady called Annie Glue   who machine knits beautiful cardigans, jumpers , hats and scarves in beautiful merino yarns. I wanted to know the name of the yarn as she buys it from an Italian company. Maybe my knitting machine will be brought out once more.

We sat in the lounge in the evening chatting to a couple of German cyclists and a lovely young archaeologist who is working for her masters  while raising her son and working part time in a school. It made for entertainment as they drank more and more whiskey.

On Sunday, it had dried up and we had every intention of going up to church again but as it got more and more windy we began to have second thoughts. Would the tent and equipment still be there? it was really blowing a  hoolie straight down the field.

We checked the weather forecast and  all the following week had high winds forecast so after listening to the Spirit, we made a decision to leave. I don’t think we have ever packed up so fast but it didn’t give us enough time to attend church which I was sad about. Still safety first.

We rode across to the bus station but as more and more people gathered we didn’t think the bus was an option. When it did come in , it didn’t have an underneath boot so we decided to just get a taxi. It cost us £35 but we couldn’t have ridden into the westerly wind that was blowing at about 40mph.

Once in Kirkwall, we again met a couple we have been bumping into all week and had a good laugh with them. They live in Grimsby which we have cycled through a number of times. We also met a couple of lovely young women from Tasmania who have been kayaking the west coast of Scotland with a young man who dashed  off to  watch the Wimbledon Tennis final.P1000571They came across on the ferry to Stromness and so I hope they are safe. They didn’t have trolleys so we helped them move the kayaks which were fully loaded with camping equipment. Having kayaked most of the west coast of Scotland we had a good talk with them.

The ferry terminal has some beautiful glass that I couldn’t help but take photos of.

Then  it was on the ferry at 4.45pm and the crossing took longer due to the wind and was pretty bumpy.

We arrived in Scrabster and got away from there by 7.30pm. DH was keen to be home so he drove through the night, stopping to rest on the way. He really is Superman.



  1. That glass looks absolutely lovely. I am sorry about the weather.

    • I can see a quilt coming from that glass too. I just need more time please

  2. Quite a trip! I’m very impressed. And gosh what a long journey back home!

    • We have cycled all the way back too on another occasion but didn’t have the time this year.

  3. It’s so good to have the option of getting a lift in such strong winds. Good choice!
    You had a fabulous trip Brenda. Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

  4. we had a super time . watch where we go in September. A surprise offer came to us. wont say too much for now. Don’t know if we will be cycling either.

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