01.08.2015 - 01.08.2015
An early start Saturday morning as our ferry to Stromness, Orkney Islands departed at 8:45am and we wanted to be there in plenty of time to board and get a cappuccino. The included cooked breakfast at the hotel included haggis which was not to Jim's tastes but the eggs and bacon were and so with satisfied appetites we rode the short distance to the Scrabster wharf. The ferry crossing took 90 minutes and, according to the locals we spoke to, the morning of 1st August was the best they'd had all summer. Once disembarked we set off to ride the roads of The Orkneys. The purpose of our trip was so Jim could see Scapa Flow, the stretch of water between the islands where his father had been on convoy duty with the Australian navy in WWII. We rode down the west coast of Hoy, over The Churchill Barriers and around South Ronaldsay. We stopped at the Italian Chapel that had been built by the POWs who built the Barriers and then rode back to Kirkwall for lunch at St. Ola hotel.
After lunch we rode north along the East Coast of Harray and found the Ring of Brodgar (standing stones' circle dated around 2500 BC and the Standing Stones of Stenness 3100 BC. Jim happy, Lyndel happy, Frank happy too. It was only as we were riding back to catch the 4:45pm ferry that the weather changed with the rain and blustery winds starting just as we had parked the bikes in the queue for check in and were walking into the terminal to wait for loading time. The weather misbehaved for 30 minutes and then passed. The ferry ride back was clear and smooth and the ride of about 30 miles to The Bettyhill Hotel was a perfect end to another day in paradise.