"The fairies only left Orkney when folk stopped seekin' them" - Anonymous Orcadian
"Never be afraid to seek" - Ally

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Abandon (The) Hup All Ye Who Enter Here

It was a lovely day today, so we (Viki & I) decided that my brother was going to take us for a run to show Viki some bits of the mainland that she's not seen yet, and we'd make some sandwiches and coffee... and have a nice picnic.

So, shopping was done... sandwiches were made... and between 6 and 7pm we set off, headed Eastwards. Crossed the Churchill Barriers down to South Ronaldsay, and then down to the most southerly point of mainland Orkney... Burwick.

Parked the car there, and my brother & Viki walked along the rocky shore for a while, while I (not wearing the best shoes for scrabbling over slippery rocks, and being a bit wary in case I would fall and hurt my leg again) opted for a leisurely saunter along the road and down the little pier, before coming back up to meet them as they arrived at the pier.

We all came back via the road, and got in the car to find some loos and head somewhere to eat our sandwiches (it being close to 9pm by now, and getting near to sunset). Brother started the engine and we drove off with a horrible "dunka, dunka, dunka" sound - yup, a flat tyre! Now, South Ronaldsay and the village of St Margarets Hope kind of gets the pi$$ taken in a "Deliverance / they're all rednecks / meet my sister and my cousin... here she is" type way... and we'd been humming "Duelling Banjos" a few times. Saw the hole in the tyre, but no sign of what caused it... but my brother remarked, "It could even be a .22 shot". Maybe one of the yokels... sorry, locals... decided to teach these strangers a lesson? After all, there is a bit of seal shooting goes on down there... allegedly.

Brother changed the wheel while Viki and laughed at him doing his best "me man, you woman" caveman act, trying to impress us with his skills as hunter / gatherer.

Got it all fixed, then set off to St Margarets Hope to find the public toilets that we were assured by the sign at Burwick were "open 24/7"... except they were shut. Apparently they are open 24/7, but only for 8 hours a day. Yep, that's the way things work in The Hup!

On the way back, we stopped at the sandy beach bit at the 3rd Barrier, where a seal was watching us as we walked along the sand. And then on to some public toilets that WERE open, and to the kirkyard on the shore in Holm to (finally) eat our sandwiches and drink our coffee, before coming home.

A lovely Sunday... and we survived our trip into Redneck country!

*Disclaimer: Er... this post is intended to gently take the mick... I'm not really suggesting that one of the fine upstanding citizens of South Ronaldsay took a pot shot at my brother's tyre... It was probably a stone or a nail or something... and could have done its damage in Holm or Burray!

Nice Rednecks... er... call off the dogs, please? Pretty please?

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