Friday, April 15, 2016

An Orkney Adventure, Day Four

Our last full day and the weather forecast wasn't absolutely brilliant.  But rain wasn't forecast, the wind had dropped and it wasn't all that cold.  So we looked over the guide leaflets and decided to go island hopping.

To get to South Ronaldsay you don't actually need to go by ferry.  You can reach it and the smaller, intervening islands by causeways.  So we drove down as far as you can go before you fall into the sea.  Then we turned back and headed to the Tomb of the Eagles.  We rather enjoyed it.  The talks were given by the daughter of the bloke who discovered the Bronze Age building and the neolithic tomb. Then we went out, clad in proper walking shoes, to look at them.

Bronze Age hot water room

Those of you who know me well will be aware that I am not particularly fond of small, dark, enclosed spaces. Generally speaking, my feet flatly refuse to walk into them.  You will therefore not be surprised that I viewed this entrance to the neolithic tomb with some disquiet.  I knew that the tomb was quite small, although I also knew that it was fairly high and not very dark.  Even so, my hands and knees were not at all keen on the idea of crawling through the (short!) tunnel to reach it.  So I sent Farley in first!!  Then, of course, I had to follow.  I couldn't leave him there - although I suppose I could have sent The Builder in to collect him. He, mind you, was pondering the question of whether he would actually fit in the tunnel!  Turned out that he did, and he followed me in.  I was very pleased with my hands and knees for following Farley in!!

How am I going to fit through there?
More to the point, how will I convince my hands and knees to crawl through there?

I followed Farley in :-)
Inside a neolithic mounded tomb

Walking back to the Visitor Centre

The cliff top walk was lovely.  The sun even came out for a bit. Then we hopped back in the car and headed back to St Margaret's Hope and then out to Hoxa Head where we had lunch in the Tea Rooms. The location was spectacular (although quite a way out of Hoxa) and the food was OK. But if I had to pick one of the two tea rooms to visit a second time it would be the Birsay Bay tea room, where the food was much more than just OK.

Then we headed back to Deerness by a roundabout way and went exploring (by car) the little roads we could see from our windows.  We could see occasional cars, buses, people on horseback and walkers out there and figured there had to be some way of getting to it.  And we found that the roads mostly led down to little bays and beaches where people were walking their dogs.  It was all rather lovely.  A nice little corner of the world.

And you could do a lot worse than to stay at Tiffyhall Holiday Cottages if you are minded to come exploring in The Orkneys.  Very well appointed, lovely and light and spacious, excellent location - although you will really need a car if you want to do proper exploring.

It was snowing when we left this morning.  A distinct contrast to the weather of the previous three days!

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