Sunday, 14 August 2016

On the short version of how my day went

The day started rather like how I slept: badly. I had carefully arranged my clobber to permit a quick and discreet getaway but then my bright yellow rain jacket was nowhere to be seen. Thankfully a scene was avoided when I checked the kitchen area where I made my previous post.

Off to Scabster to catch the ferry. It arrived to disgorge (among other things) an assortment of traveling fair rides. It seems I missed the Orkney county fair by one day. What I didn't entirely miss was the Orkney classic vehicle rally. I was the first vehicle to board. The next was a Norton motorcycle, which dated from at least before 1960. A car from about 1930 was also on board.

I made a bee line for the breakfast buffet where I loaded my plate with more than my "proper" share of sautéed mushrooms. I had to wait for the buffet to open and while waiting I chatted with a Swiss woman up on a rail pass.

The crossing was marred by the heavy motion of the ship. Rather than annotate the map I'd torn from a tourist brochure, I gazed out at the horizon in an effort to avoid seasickness. Hoy heaved into view. Our passage took in the Old Man of Hoy, a particularly spectacular sea stack.

Stromness is a surprising town. None were more surprised than the fleet of BMW motorcycle riders (twenty plus) when the Norton went by. One of the surprises is that they let vehicles near the ferry terminal. I obviously made a wrong turn leaving the terminal, but the street I was on was paved with actual paving stones! In fact, I was surprised cars were allowed on it let alone going in both directions. As I was leaving Stromness, I had the idea of stopping at a gas station to get a proper map of the Orkneys. This was promptly cut down to a more convenient size. (Maps of islands lend themselves to this.)

It was after this that things kept getting better. A whole lot better. However, I am too tired right now to go into details. Short version: my god, those Neolithics knew how to build.

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