Page 3 of Pennyfarthing Travel Blog Posts

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands August 25th 2019

Orkney. Rousey and Kirkwall. 52 miles (including 8 on ferry). 850m ascent. At the Broch of Gurness I was speaking to the warden and commenting on what a good day it was turning out to be. He said, ’Yes it is, we had one like this 2 years ago.’ Very dry humour, but it was the best weather so far and the first time I have exposed my bare legs - now that’s a pretty sight. Gurness is only 2,500 years old as opposed to Scara Brae at double that. It was built in the Iron Age and has a central tower and very small houses surrounding it and encircled by a moat or cutting. It appears to have been quite a civilised place. Earlier a quick visit was made to the Click Mill on the ... read more
Water wheel
Broch of Gurness.

Europe » United Kingdom August 24th 2019

Orkney. Stromness and Scara Brae. I can thoroughly recommend the Ferry Inn with good rooms and good food. As we were waiting to depart at 8.30am who should be outside the hotel but Rosie,an old family friend. What a delight to catch up after several years. Heading north again the minor roads took us up and down several hills to Scara Brae. This is a 5,000 year old settlement which was discovered in 1850 by the local Laird following a severe storm when the sand was blown away to expose the remains of the houses. This is a most impressive site and well worth a visit, especially if you visit Skaill House where the Laird lived, which is full of furniture and period artefacts. Just a few miles north was the Barony Flour Mill, which has ... read more
First puncture.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 23rd 2019

Orkney Kirkwall and Hoy 51 miles 639m ascent. The ferry from Lerwick to Kirkwall on Orkney was delayed slightly last night as we were half an hour away from the port and someone apparently fell with the swell of the sea and needed to be taken off. Sailing back to port delayed us 1 1/2 hours and 11.30 departure became 0100. Miraculously we arrived in Kirkwall at 11.45 and found the hostel and made bed by 1 o’clock. Away at 8am for a good breakfast at the Pomona cafe. First class food and service. Whilst the day started bright it deteriorated with occasional rain and became very cold when the 20mph wind hit us head on. By the time we were at the Ring of Brogdar with 2 million German tourists it was quite bitter and ... read more
Unstans Tomb
Ring of Brogdar
Emilys cafe

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland August 22nd 2019

Shetland. Walls. Tuesday morning started off much colder at 10 degrees and very overcast with a little drizzle in the air and a 20 mph westerly wind. Luckily we were heading south off the island and down through Yell to the mainland. The first ferry was just about to set off as we arrived and we rode straight on for the 10 minute journey. Once on Yell we got onto the main road and fell into a peloton with me at the back (mostly) being protected by the younger and fitter riders. The ferry at Alsta came in 10 minutes after we arrived and then sat in the harbour for 45 minutes. Luckily we could get into the passenger lounge to get warm with a coffee bought at the shop which was open today (Closed Sundays). ... read more
Great Skua
Replica Viking Longboat.
Burrastow House.

Europe August 18th 2019

Shetland. Yell and Unst. Good news this morning as we woke up to a dry morning and a dry forecast for the next 5 days. The breakfast at the Magnus Bay Hotel was to die for, as was the meal last night. I can thoroughly recommend it for a stay. Off we went down the bay and within 2 miles a 10% climb loomed in front of us for half a mile. Bottom gear and heavy breathing was the order of the day, especially when the wind was against us until Brae where we stocked up on supplies at the Co-Op. Luckily we turned north and it was behind us for the rest of the day. We passed the oil terminal at Sullom Voe and over the hill to the ferry at Toft. Since we are ... read more
Road train

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland Islands August 17th 2019

Shetland. Hillswick 45 miles. After waking up to rain these past two days, for a surprise we woke up to rain again today although it was only very gentle and there was very light wind from the south. This was great news as we are heading north today firstly up the east side and the tail wind is every cyclists dream. Breakfast, for the more domesticated of us, was home made porridge with banana and jam. The molly coddled crew of three went to the Peerie cafe in Lerwick again and then to the supermarket to find some food for Unst. Five of us then headed off under a heavy sky and low cloud. The scenery going around the lochs and coastline was very good and would have been stunning on a sunny day, but alas ... read more
Coffee break. .
View from hotel

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 16th 2019

Shetland and Orkney. August 2019 The Clitheroe Bike Club head off to the far north. The eight of us start by taking two cars to Aberdeen Airport for parking before taking the overnight ferry to Lerwick. Landed to meet rain and dark skies at we disembarked and headed to the Isleburgh hostel. Luckily our room was available so we made up our beds hoping the rain would abate. No such luck, so off we went on our way to Burra and then back to the Scalloway Museum and Castle. The museum was well worth a visit with great staff and interesting exhibits. The castle was built by an Earl who was given the job of looking after Shetland and Norway but ended up being greedy and making the locals poverty stricken so ended up being executed. ... read more
Scalloway Castle.
Scalloway in the wet.

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Chiyoda June 28th 2019

Onsen Explorer. Day 13. Thursday. After sleeping like a log we needed a more European breakfast so had a egg and bacon tea cake at Cafe Delice before a trip on the Ginza underground line to Asakusa. Whilst this is a big tourist destination it is well worth the visit, full of tourist stalls down both sides of the street with the exquisite Senso-Ji shrine at the end with people milling around everywhere. There are several shops selling and renting out kimonos so there are girls and ladies parading the streets wearing them - very nice. The restaurants are good too if you get away from the main area selling traditional Japanese fare and Italian etc. From there a walk to Ueno Park is possible where you will find a zoo and several shrines of Shinto ... read more

Asia » Japan June 27th 2019

Onsen Explorer. Day 12. Otaru. Hokkaido. Great breakfast of all variety of food of Japanese and Western tastes. Full marks. The temperature was 22 degrees at 10am as we went out to exploreWww the Canal and dockside. Plenty to see with small stalls selling artistic products. Sakaimachi Dori street was a tourists Mecca selling allsorts of tat and classy products as well. We were asked to take part in a tourist survey and to take part in a tea ceremony by some school children. This was quite interesting with them making the green tea and frothing it up with what looked like a shaving brush served with a small sweet cake. All the while three girls were playing what I think was a tune on long stringed instruments. Since the temperature was getting to 26 degrees ... read more
Wolf shop .

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido June 25th 2019

Onsen Explorer. Day 11. Otaru. A nice warm sunny day for our last cycling day. 500m up the hill and a great descent to our first stop 16km away. We stopped on the hill to get a good view of the mini Mount Fuji called Mt Yotei, the top of which at 1900m was unfortunately covered in cloud. As we left town at the tea break we had a tail wind into the countryside which brought on a dose of perspiration running down my sun specs. The area looked quite prosperous again and it was a pleasure to ride through it to our lunch stop which was at the other side of a big hill, which has a 2km tunnel,very noisy but we cycled along the 1 1/2 metre pavement without mishaps. Down we went to ... read more
The source of the onsen spring.
Mount Yoshei
Hot spring

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