Saturday, 22 May 2010


Sandie and I completed our cycle route in Orkney last night. There is no ferry to Shetland on a Friday so we have an extra day. Yesterday's ride was 61 miles as a circular route from Kirkwall and it passed many of the stone age sites for which the islands are famous. They are also famous for trout fishing and we watched a fisherman land a trout while we had our first break of the day. The picture below has a story that had us entranced on our third stop.

This is Tingwall ferry terminal which is tiny. Contractors were doing some work to a slipway. We watched as a diver walked into the water beside a crane which was sitting on a barge. He had an air tube connected to the land. What happened next was that the crane lifted a huge concrete plank and placed it in the water right beside the diver, who appeared to be acting as an underwater banksman. A man who was holding the diver's air tube then walked off leaving the diver alone below water. A ferry appeared and pulled up right beside the submerged diver and crane. The barge had just done a wobble moving the plank. We were very worried about the diver who seemed to be fixing the plank. We waited with baited breath. The ferry departed and a few moments later up popped the diver. All was well but we could not help thinking that the episode had the air of Spike Milligan about it.

Tonight we leave for Shetland. Accommodation is sparce there and we have booked into a remote cottage on West mainland which is close to our route. I try to update this blog every two days but it relies on wifi. Where we are staying is renowned for otters so time permitting we will try and spot one. I am doubtful if there is wifi though so the next report will be as soon as possible after that.

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