Dai's slow LeJog

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July 17th 2010
Published: July 30th 2010
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Stromness to Hoy day trip

There is only one ferry each way to north Hoy so I was on it in plenty of time in the morning. A nice half hour trip with good views of Tysties, Bonxies, Eider duck and Guillemots as well as Kittiwakes and other gulls.
After a dry trip over arrived to a heavy squall!! .
Heading up the hill I arrived at the road end to the path through the hills and a sign saying no cycling. I decided to push the bike and had a very enjoyable walk. Stopping at the loch to watch the hundred or so bonxies bathing in the water. Carrying on over the water shed the path then descended through thick heather towards Rathwick Bay. To the right of the path was the visually unimpressive but important ancient wood remnant of Berriedale Woods. Tiny trees no more than a few feet high nestled in the heather. Several very attractive growths of honeysuckle unexpectedly grew with the heather. Arriving at Rathwick Bay I ate my packed lunch by the rather spartan looking hostel, whilst admiring the spectacular beach and cliffs. I took photos of the particularly luxurious heath vegetation with stags horn clubmoss and heath spotted orchids. Parking the bike up I set off on the three mile hike out to The Old Man of Hoy. A beautiful walk across the cliff top moorland with good views of the spectacular cliffs as well as Bonxies and Mountain Hare and fulmars on the cliffs. Returning to Rathwick I cycled back to the ferry point with the familiar senstaion of getting soaked in a prolonged shower. Luckily there was a very pleasant little cafe to spend my last hour on Hoy before catching the ferry back to Stromness. In the evening in Stromness I dined on Ronaldsway lamb chops and enjoyed entertainment from young island fiddlers to round off my trip.

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