One to add to the bucket list!
We had a very disturbed night as the crossing that was initially delayed turned out to be incredibly rough. We had a cabin rather than put Gordon into a kennel and he appeared to be the only one who managed to sleep through the roller coaster that was our ferry crossing. We landed in Lerwick at seven and headed up to a local viewpoint and park to let Gordon powder his nose.
It was a beautiful start to the day and set the tone weather wise. There was a strong cold wind all day with sunny spells and the occasional shower. We headed out of Lerwick towards the coast which is not difficult as Shetland is very long and thin at times we could see both coasts when driving through.
St Ninian's Isle tombolo
The largest active sand tombolo in the UK forms a beautiful landmark along the coast of southern Shetland.
A tombolo is a beach or bar created and maintained by wave action that connects two landmasses. The 500m long sandy tombolo at St Ninian's is subject to waves from two opposing directions. They break simultaneously along its length, resulting in beautifully symmetrical sweeping beaches facing north and south. The first known depiction of the tombolo is in a chart drawn around 1700. It formed as sea levels rose after the last ice-age but the forces that created it continue to work, making it the largest active sand tombolo in Britain. In winter sand is lost from the centre and builds up at the ends, while in summer the opposite occurs. During low tides it can be 70m wide, but during high spring tides the centre can become submerged.
We walked across to the island that it led too. A beautiful and dramatic coastal path which simply took our breath away.
The wind was increasing in strength and quickly blew through any showers. The ones we did experience were intense but brief.
The waves were crashing onto the shore ad at one point we were entertained by a seal who appeared to be playing in the surf.
As we walked along the sand gave way to rocks.
The rain stopped as the day progressed but the winds remained and were bitterly cold.
We carried on down to the bottom of the mainland where in the spring the puffins nest.
The lighthouse and visitor Center was closed for the winter so we walked around the head before returning to the van.
On our way we had to wait as the road runs across the runway of the islands airport.
Another first. We wrapped up in layers and really enjoyed our day in Shetland. So much more beautiful than Orkney and has a real Scandinavian feel to it.
This was probably the best day weather wise. We are hoping to use buses tomorrow and free camp in Lerwick the capital. The following day we catch the ferry back to Aberdeen and start the homeward journey. Tonight we are in a marina campsite with electric which makes keeping warm easier.
The sky’s are hopefully clear at times this evening so we will keep our fingers crossed for a northern lights showing.
Alas no sightings of these guys but they have been seen recently so you never know 🤷♀️🏴