Northern Isles 2011: Loch Spiggie, Shetland

Today I got up earlier than I planned, faffed around trying to decide what to take to Shetland, how to pack it and what I didn’t need after all.

It was daylight by the time I left. I got the bus from the travel centre and went to the airport where my plane was delayed because of the weather.

The weather on Orkney was nothing compared to the weather on Shetland. I went outside to look at massive waves crashing onto the rocks and it was so windy you could lean on the wind and not fall over. Surprisingly, it wasn’t too cold as long as I kept my hands inside my sleeves.

I waited inside the airport before getting my bus. The helpful driver dropped me off at the closest stop to my hotel but it was still a mile and a half walk up a single track road. It still wasn’t cold. In fact, if it wasn’t for the incredibly strong wind it could have been a more beautiful day than I could have imagined here.

It was an easy walk and I kept coming across views – the first view of Spiggie Loch was amazing. My room overlooks it but right now it’s dark so I can’t actually see it.

I dumped most of my stuff and walked down the road, made friends with some noisy and curious sheep and then went to the beach.

Obviously the wind made the sand fly around all over the place but the water was turquoise and the sand was white and it looked like a very unexpected piece of paradise hiding on these windy rocks. But the sand was blowing in my eyes and the wind was really picking up so I retreated – backwards – to the road and further down towards the cliffs.

I did not go out on the cliffs. Partly because it’s so windy but partly because I couldn’t figure out how and partly because it’s really really hard work walking against a gale strong enough to literally stop you in your tracks.

Down by a hump bridge I gave in and started to head back. This time the wind was really really against me and it was also determined that I should walk along the left side of the road, so I did in case it blew me across suddenly into the path of a car.

I took shelter in my room and here I will remain until breakfast time. There is no mobile signal here but there is free wifi and I have half a book left.

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