27 - 29 August, 2015
Brunhilde's first trip away with the cat on board and I have to say that it all went terribly well.
It had been such a glorious day on Thursday, really hot and so sunny that we were enticed into fleeing these shores and heading for parts Foreign. We went to the East Mainland of Orkney for a few nights. I could have taken a hundred photographs before we ever left Sanday – the approaching cloud cover and resulting interesting light made for some stunning landscapes but as we had left home the moment that Mr Snail finished work at 4pm and had a 4:35 pm ferry departure, we just kept on going.
The sky grew ever more ominous until finally we were driven off the deck and under cover as the heavy rain and hail struck.
Luckily the rain had passed by the time that we reached Tesco, where we stocked up on provisions and then drove off to see if Brunhilde would fit into the car park at Inganess Bay [Site Report]. We had tried a dry run on our way home from Hoy last trip but the GPS had sent us the wrong way and we were still at this stage unclear whether or not the site was suitable.
There were a couple of cars parked when we arrived but there was still room for Brunhilde to tuck herself in.
Another hot and sunny day ensued and we took the opportunity to explore the footpaths that are available from the car park, taking all morning over it.
We left for Deerness with the intention of lunching at the Geo [Site Report] slipway, where in the event we elected to stop overnight because we simply enjoy being there. It rained considerably at the Geo but cleared sufficiently for the full moon to show when it rose and I was able to take photos before bed time.
Saturday saw us heading for our original destination of Mull Head [Site Report], where we now spent one night instead of two. On Saturday afternoon we set off to do the circular walk to the Covenanter’s Memorial – a hike of 5 miles or a little more.
I left my camera behind, so there are no photographs. Some of the views were simply stunning and made me wish that I had brought the camera but overall I was pleased to have had the sense to leave it behind. What should have been a nice easy stroll over pleasantly springy turf was after our long wet summer unpleasantly wet and a continuous battle against mud, puddle and bog, causing very careful foot placement and often extraordinarily long steps. In short, it was very hard work indeed. Had I been carrying the weight of the camera and lens on one side I should have been thoroughly worn out. We were both agreed that we should have liked to say “I enjoyed that” when we got back to the van but neither one of us could do so in honesty.
It was not a very pleasant walk overall but I am glad that we did it and Nell certainly was too.
Sunday morning we took slowly and simply ambled down the road to St Ninian’s kirk where I played with my camera in the kirkyard.
We’d had a good cooked breakfast, intending to skip lunch in favour of a late afternoon meal at Helgi’s back in Kirkwall and so we took our time getting back there by stopping off to investigate the car park and picnic site at Point of Ayre [Site Report], which we found that we liked very much and so just sat for ages, watching the view and a creel boat working, while we simply chilled out.
Teddy seemed to have a smashing time and we might be forgiven if we assumed he had always been brought up to a nomadic life. Just as when we took him up the island for a dry run he was very cool about the whole thing. He travelled mainly on my lap on his leash, though sometimes just sleeping on our bed in the sunshine. The first night at Inganess, he left us alone and slept we think on the front passenger seat but thereafter he settled on a mix of sleeping alone at first and then climbing in with us. He ate normally and used his tray with great success, wherever we chose to place it (in the shower when on the move and under the table when we were in bed) and he thoroughly enjoyed all the attention that he got from people who spotted him.
Next time we plan an extended trip, to see how it works out before we plan a long holiday. Teddy has a new folding travel carrier and a beautiful new igloo bed, the first to keep him (and us) safe, the second to make his life a little more comfortable.
Should I rename this site "Two Snails (and a cat) (and a dog)" ?