42. Day Ten in Shetland: Bum Knee & Funky Weather in Foula, Packing Up

Again with the knee I was. It was a grey day, and very windy, so didn’t have huge regrets. I was SO grateful to have had my excellent first day on Foula. I was content to spend another day indoors, with a bit of a walk to capture the ocean and Gaada Stack. My friend the selkie said “It’ll be fine!”

A Goose!
More selkie spells.

So. In retrospect, would I have spent three days in Foula? Would I have had nearly the wonderful experience of day one if I’d only had one day to spend? Would Fair Isle have been the better choice, with a more developed infrastructure and possibly more things to do?

It’s so hard to answer those questions. I know my Foula visit would have been much, much different if I hadn’t had my knee issue. I could have hitched a ride with my hosts to the southern part of the island and explored there, I also could have done the climb up to the high points near Ristie, or walked the coast down to Ham. My legs by that time were accustomed to 8 mile walks, and the long long days meant I would have had time, and I knew how to fight off the omnipresent bonxies.

I do wish I’d had more opportunity to explore the island and meet more people (my hosts were not the friendly types); my isolation felt forced rather than voluntary. A day trip with a guided tour would have made me happy, I would have seen some puffins and gotten some good hiking in, and also would have been able to see the sea cliffs from the water, which I sorely did miss, but the opportunity did not arise.

So. Woulda coulda shoulda. The hindsight-is-20/20 vagaries of travel still make me feel I made the right choice. I had a relaxing time in Foula, the accommodations were rugged but sufficient, and yes, that extraordinary first day was worth staying three days.

8 June, 2022


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