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Published: 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 today was not one of them. There were many old ruined crofters homes interspersed with modern buildings, many made of clapboard and painted colourfully in reds, blues and yellows. One of the highlights of the morning was a private collection of old British motorcycles going back as far as the 1920’s and as new as the 1970’s. There were two foreigners amongst them, a
Heinkel Messerschmitt three wheeler and a Nimbus motorcycle. One of the oldest was a very tidy 1924 Raleigh and the latest one of the last original Triumph Bonnevilles. The owner of the machines kindly allowed us in and enjoyed the interest we took. Shetland is not flat and after much upping and downing we arrived in Brae for the infamous fish and chips at Frankies,the most northerly chip shop in the UK. Just above Brae there is the Mavis Grind, which is the place where over 100 years ago mariners dragged their boats 100 metres across from the North Sea to the Atlantic Sea to save them sailing around the north of Shetland and Unst. At the same location there is a wall comprising the different rocks quarried in the locality. The terrain is up and down past many lochs and barren moors not unlike the Pennines or North York Moors. We took a long loop round to the hotel which was not that interesting in reality and to make matters worse our fit cycling group got ahead of me and missed a turn, dropping out of site down a hill. Nice one. That will teach them. After several phone
calls someone answered and they dragged themselves back to the junction full of smiles - yeah. After this we turned into the wind and the last eight miles were a bit more difficult and seemed more like ten miles, especially as the rain started to descend in earnest making me wish it was all over. Straight into the shower to get warm and cleaned up before the bar beckoned and then to top it all the sun came out to make a pleasant, if not cool, evening. An excellent meal at the St Magnus Bay Hotel tonight where we had lovely rooms in this Nordic hotel built with a wooden frame and clapboards in 1900 after being exhibited at the Great Exhibition in Glasgow. Did I say the wine was good?
Tot: 1.623s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 12; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0253s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb