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The Shetlands

No Night, Non Stop Yakking .. I love it here !!!

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View The World So Far on towander's travel map.

OK, where did I leave off last time .. ahhh the blonde moment.

So after my 'extra' night in Aberdeen we woke up bright and not early, I'm getting into this holiday mode very quickly. Stay up yakking half the night and sleep half the day. Its wonderful. This far north at this time of the year it doesn't really get dark and I love it, there is so much extra day. It makes our daylight saving look rather pathetic.

Now .. Chris asked if I would like to go shooting. OMG !! me who is petrified of guns .. but what the heck, this journey is for all things new and the opportunity was presenting itself.
After getting ready we piled into the Range Rover, people, dogs and guns .. and drove out to the place where they shoot.
It was a lovely day and we drove in the opposite direction to yesterday. We wandered around for an hour or two, up hill and down dale. There where a few shots taken but nothing hit. Ryan came over and asked if I would like a go, this was apparently a small rifle more used for beginners or kids to learn.
I was pretty nervous and he setup a target for me. After the instructions , BANG !! , being a small rifle I didn't get too much kick back AND I hit the target .. cool !

Some more walking around and later on I had another go and then Chris said to try his rifle. I have no idea what it is but its a tad more powerful. Lean forward, sight, pull trigger ... whoa .. that was some kickback. I have to say I really enjoyed it. I couldn't imagine I would like to shoot at anything living, but targets are fun. So one new first for the day, time for the next one.

We left the country with plenty of time to get home. I packed up which only took a few minutes and got dropped off at the terminal ready for the boat trip.

Up to now I have only been on boats when I can see the shore. I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the open ocean and particularly the North Sea which is not known to be calm, but was about to find out.

I got on the boat early and wandered about to get my bearings and then settled in for a long ride. The trip to the Shetlands leaves at 7pm and gets in at 7.30am. All in all it wasnt too bad. Bloody cold and windy outside, it was so funny walking down the corridors swaying away, you could tell the drunk ones, they were walking straight. I managed to grab a few hours sleep on one of the couches, you can get cabins, but at an extra 90 odd pounds for the trip I decided to forgo the luxury.

By 6am I was tired of swapping ends of the couch to change sides, my handbag pillow was getting hard, it was time to head up to the top deck to watch us come into the Shetlands. What a fantastic view, it was well worth the cold. Spot the Australian, 2 x Tshirts, Light Jacket and Red Wool Jacket, I looked like the Michelen (sp) woman having a bad hair day. We eventually docked and Lee and her flatmate Sara came down to greet me at 7.30 in the morning off the boat.

I am so blessed with the Couchsurfing hosts I've had so far. We got home and sat and yakked till 4ish in the morning. That was one hell of chat session. We got up somewhere around lunch time and had to get ready as Lee had organised for a friend of hers to take us for a drive. Shona and her daughter turned up and off we went.

The countryside was absolutely beautiful. So many hills and crofts and lochs. Its quite an experience on the single lane winding roads, lots of bends and crests with no idea if someone is on the other side. First off we went to this wonderful little gallery which had some designer kilts on display. Very creative and made from things like paper and plastic with handprinted lyrics or graphics. At roughly 1200 pounds a pop I'm not sure how quickly they will sell.

We then headed out the the most westerly part of the Island. Shona and Lee told me so much of the history and explained how things were like. Generations ago Shona's family ended up on the Shetlands because they became shipwrecked and the spot where we visited is where they landed. We stopped for a while and had a bit of a photo session. Lee has a funny one of Shona and I dancing around on the green grass singing .. the hills are alive with the sound of music ... yes silly buggers was the order of the day.

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Time to head home and still lots more stories. What can I say, this is such a wonderful way to get an introduction at a such a close level. It just really doesn't get any better.

We got back and popped around to the Nepali around the corner to get dinner and whoops, Lee and I sat up till 4 again. Over the last couple of days there has been so many stories, so many laughs, so many commonalities, I feel like we have all known each other forever.

Monday was a bit of a recovery day, got the washing done, went for a walk down to Lerwick town centre and really just vegged. Some more yakking .. a bit earlier this time .. um 2ish I think. Lee is really interested in Thailand, Nepal, Vietnam, etc .. so I am trying to talk her into going in 6 months. It works perfectly. She has stuff she needs to finish which will take 6 months, my visa runs out in 6 months .. we shall see. I think it will be fantastic.

Tuesday I managed to get my self out of bed and ready by midday .. damn its a hard life. I headed off in the other direction and went for a long walk around to Westloch and had a wander around the Broch there. This was a village for the Picts from the Iron Age. Its built from stone obviously and absolutely amazing. They must have been so small. To get through any of the walkways you have to be totally crouched over.

I then headed on to walk around the coastline. It was blowing like mad so on the way there it was a struggle at times to walk against the wind and once it got behind me it was pushing me along. All up I think I walked for about 4 hours. My timing was perfect, as I headed up the last street home it started to rain and I just made it in. It took me a couple of hours to thaw out and now I'm busy typing this up.

I am just loving it here. Such fantastic company but more than that I really feel peaceful and calm. Its one of those things that you don't realise how long you haven't until you do. As I came into the Shetlands on the boat it just felt like I was home and its getting stronger. Its fairly isolated and I know I couldn't live here permanently, but I have no doubts I will be back.

Wednesday was yet another veg day and sitting around talking till goodness knows when. I just feel so comfortable and peaceful in Lee's house its hard to move. My bodyclock just thinks its always day, its amazing how quickly time goes when you don't have night per se.

On Thursday we are heading to one of the pubs as its the night the local musicians have a bit of a jam night. Lee is inviting a few friends and I can also cry in my vodka over yet another year passing. Where the hell do they go !!!! .. despite that, it feels like a good place to spend my birthday.

This is turning into war and peace, I shall bid farewell to all for now and update soon.

Posted by towander 06:01 Archived in Scotland

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