48. Day 16 in Shetland: The Ness of Hillswick, Mostly

Twas a cold, blustery, and rather rainy day. So I kinda took my time before getting out and about. One of the blessings of 20 hours of daylight!

I decided to tackle the Ness of Hillswick. It looked pretty do-able, and I wanted to see the Drongs.

I plotted my course as I devoured this homemade fry-up! And yes, an entire pot of coffee.

It was looking like a dreich and disappointing week ahead. I had already learned not to read too much into the forecast, as it may say rain for the whole day but it’s really just for an hour or two here or there. But still, the odds were not looking in my favor. My usual philosophy is to just go on out in it, with the proper gear, and see what happens.

So I did, and in fact, it was not bad at all. Rather grey, rather windy, but definitely okay for a 5 or 6 mile walk. Good intentions and all that!

This rocky coastline was amazing in its variety of geology. The color of the water here was so variable.
Embiggen to see the fabulous colors of moss and lichen and grasses.

Some time after this, after I’d gone over a few stiles and tromped through a couple of fields, I felt maybe something wasn’t right. I checked my Ordinance Survey app and sure enough — I was not on the Ness of Hillswick, and in fact went entirely in the wrong direction. It didn’t appear that there was a path on from where I stopped, at least not easily accessed. So back I went!

OK, that’s more like it. The Drongs in the distance offshore.
Looking back on my misbegotten beginnings.
Lovely little geo here, with a nesting fulmar.

And this, friends, was as close as I got. Why? Further on, the path was hugging a cliff and the wind was really picking up, although the rain had stopped. This was as close to the Drongs as I would get this trip. I was a little disappointed, but safety first, my mama and my orthopedic surgeon always told me.

Coming back down, these playful lambs!
And this very handsome grouse.
A small cemetery with a view.

I had decide, instead of going home, to continue the walk to the other side of the Ness, as far as I felt like going. I didn’t really think I’d make the entire loop, which was fine as I had burned my first two hours going on the wrong walk. And at this point of my trip, I was not up to 10 mile walks anymore. Or infrequently, anyway. As I’m fond of saying, I got nuttin’ to prove.

That grouse again! He gets around.
I hoped to spot otters in all that kelp and seaweed, but no such luck. I loved the variety of rocks on the beach.
Hello little ring-necked plover!
More rocky coast, but much lower cliffs on this side.
Hills so green and lush. Thanks, sheeps!
One of several natural arches along this path. Looks like an otter kissing a turtle!
Black sand beach. Looked like some volcanic rock on this side of the Ness.
Pretty sure that’s some lava rock down there! Along with a lot of other kinds of rock, though. Also pretty wildflowers.
Embiggen for beautiful textures and colors.
And another arch. Pretty rolling hills across this bay.

Well, if I continued on and up, I’d get my view of the Drongs. But really, I was feeling bushed and hungry at this point, and it looked like a long walk. So ’round I turned and back home I went!

Cute little oystercatcher couple.
Just an oystercatcher pottering around on the beach.
Shingle beach, used to be a wharf here.
Hillswick, with the St. Magnus Bay Hotel dominating, and the church to the right of it. My place was right below the hotel, the middle white building on the beach.
There are many artists and artisans in Hillswick. Loved this place.
My neighbors.
My “patio” table.

The sky had finally decided to clear a bit, and it had been a very, very lovely day. A perfect example of always being flexible with your expectations, and not being married to any particular outcome. I had had a perfectly lovely walk, and could not have been happier!

14 June, 2022


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s