Shona, a lovely young woman did her level best to help me find them, but in the end she took my details and said she would ask the other staff members later. She also gave me a list of places to see and details about each one, as she was a keen traveller herself of her islands. It was a pity that she couldn't come along to show me all the sights and guide me around, she was full of local knowledge. This was her part time job, job number two. In the week she worked in a salmon factory at Mid Yell, gutting and preparing fish for sale. She genuinely said that she enjoyed it and that it wasn't as smelly a job as one might think, in fact it was quite a pleasant way to earn her daily bread so to speak. Over a cup of tea or two I learned a lot more about the way of life here for some people and the nuances that life on an small island can have.
The village boasted a famous fish and chip shop, Frankies. Many awards had been won recently and the fish was indeed a very lovely meal at almost £6.50 for a small portion. I'm surprised they didn't win an award for the most expensive fish supper......
Here the distance between the Atlantic and the North sea is at its closest on any of the islands, about 70 feet in my estimations, or 20 meters for you metric bods. Back in the day, when fishermen had to use elbow power to get anywhere, they had actually taken the small fishing boats out of the ocean and rolled/dragged them across the road to the sea, rather than have to sail all the way around through treacherous waters. Now with a new road built it was possibly wider than it had been in those days, but it still must have taken a few people to have achieved the task.
On the internet it looked like a nice place to visit, and it had a quaint cafe, people often talked about. The terrain was very changeable and that meant much sweat and tears, no blood fortunately. I stopped briefly for lunch outside the school, but as it was a Sunday I wouldn't be in anyones way here. Before long I was rolling up into the tiny village, which had a large looking hotel, the Saint Magnus Bay Hotel. It was fairly quiet and I thought I might have to pour myself a drink, but then found that the bar was not busy because everyone was in the carvery on the other side of the building. Too late for me though, they were packing away and cleaning up after a very busy lunch trade they said. I had a pot of tea and asked to charge up my phone. Oddly enough I haven't had any signal for most of the past week, and the battery was being eaten up rapidly. I got into a brief conversation with Gurda, who I thought was foreign, but was actually the mother of the owner. She told me that she had been rushed off her feet and that they had been busy all day practically despite economic downturns elsewhere. People still have to eat though, and what better way than to go out for a meal with family and friends, where the food (or for me, the smell of the food) was divine. The shop had closed too as I had arrived here so late in the afternoon, what had I been doing all day?
I walked out to the end of the land and back to Johnnie Notions Camping Bod on the north side of the peninsular. This was an interesting place to see, it was tiny but very conducive to thoughtful contemplations. I stayed a while to soak up the history behind the man who saved so many lives during the time of smallpox. He was not a physician as much as an inventor, but it would appear that his remedy had helped many, not one of those treated had died. I mean obviously they were dead now, but not as a result of the illness they had contracted. He had lived about two hundred years ago, in the very house in which I sat reading and writing poetry.