Sunday, 21 October 2012
Walking to Unst.
Walking to Unst.
As far as I'm concerned I will have done most of this islands scenery by the time I reach Gurtcher, the port to Unst the last and most Northerly island of the Shetland isles. But to be honest it was a drag as the roads were so long and open and hilly and boring. I nearly passed out when I arrived at the village hall where we had played cards only a few hours ago last evening at about the seven mile mark. I could see the building for many miles even though it seemed so close across the voe, but walking all the way around was soul crushing. I ate a snack as the sweat began to cool on me, and knew I really needed accommodation that would let me shower and restore myself to tip top health. Nobody had seemed to have even acknowledged me today out on the roads, and I was not really looking forward to walking much further before the days end. The rucksack was beginning to hurt my left shoulder, kind of an injury sustained from regularly carrying the weight I suppose, but it was niggling me constantly. As I set out for what I thought would be another at least four or five mile stretch, amazingly I saw the ferry very close below me after only about two miles. I figured that it was an apparition or a mirage, despite there being no desert here. It was indeed the place I was expecting, but far sooner than I had imagined, so I nearly screamed for joy. Well I might have actually, but don't tell anyone......
The open mouth of the boat was a welcoming site, and I fairly flew onto the decks of the Unst ferry.
As I climbed down into the heart of the ship to where the signs indicated the passenger seating area was, I was surprised to see my old friend Karel below. And even more surprised (maybe annoyed/envious) that he had a woman with him. Lucy an attractive French girl was introduced and I thought how lucky he was to have met such a nice traveling companion. I say companion as they definitely seemed to have eyes for one another, and I remember that kind of thrill of being in love, once upon a time, long ago. They were doing some kind of island hopping thing at the moment and had been offered a lift to the top of the island and were supposedly going back to Lerwick this evening, though I wondered how they would do this as the buses were pretty scarce. Still I guess they have other things to occupy their attentions now......
The pier at the other side was barren and sparse and nothing to write home about at all. I set off up the road finding a huge hill in my way the more I walked ahead. It must be good for the heart I thought, all this up and down terrain and wind and cool temperatures. After a few miles there were signs for a youth hostel. I am not sure I can afford any expense but then a shower was what I had asked the universe for and here was a chance of it. The place was open and no-one at home. I debated what to do for a while but then decided to shower first ask questions later. No-one came and then in noticed that you have to ring a warden. I have no coverage on my phone or any change for the pay phone in the corridor, so I figured I would hang around and hope that the staff would come by sooner or later. I made use of the kettle and the power sockets and began this marathon session to catch up here with my accounts.
Later a lady called Danw (yes it is spelt correctly mister spell checker (Dean)) pronounced Danoo (meaning godess) came back from her traveling and we began chatting and got into some very deep and interesting conversations about many things, especially the choice of names as we have both chosen new names. Danw is a vegan and apologized that her dinner looked less than appetizing to me. I have no idea to be fair what a vegan really lives according to, but I guess I can find out now our paths have crossed. She set off to eat her meal alone and I had already eaten my meager supplies, but I am sure we shall talk more tomorrow. I may leave my bag here and walk to the north of the island and come back on the bus, as the chance to walk without it seems too good to be true. Somewhat like my last journey, when I arrived at the finale, I had the chance to leave my bag and return later on the train, to the hotel. I do hope that this won't end as did that adventure, with me being so sick I almost died. This isn't actually the end of my journey I must point out, but it certainly is the most northerly point I can walk to in the British isles and United Kingdom of Great Britain. I include all the descriptions because I am sure there must be some marked differences which I still have to unearth. Anyway Muckle Flugga is a lighthouse on a rock generally regarded as the last place of human existence in Great Britain. You can't get onto Muckle Flugger actually unless by private charter trips, so I will make do with the mainland's furthest north headland instead. I figure it will only be a short distance away having looked at a map.
Being this far north has one advantage with regards the Aurora Borealis, but if I don't get to see those northern lights soon then I may well never get a chance again.
Well time to turn in for the night, see you all later....