Sunday 14th October – Walk 33

Bressay Walk 1

Bressay Pier – Gunnista – Setter – Pier

A round(ish) walk today, setting off on the Ferry at 9.00 am and catching a dullish morning that brightened and provided some wonderful wintery light with the sun doing its best to ‘blue up’ the sky. It was well timed as it just tumed down when I arrived back in Lerwick later in the afternoon.

I suppose I like the beginnings of walks best, fresh to the route there is always an alertness that becomes lessened as the rhythm and pace settles down, although with frequent stopping to look at something or absorb the surroundings, the freshness remains a lot longer than just an A-B walk with a time limit. I really like the walks the slower they are, the less organised and the more spontaneous, but this is a little tricky when you are working with a ferry timetable, especially on a reduced service winter timetable on Sunday with Tea- man waiting for you!

My walks now have my new project ‘Blue’ floating through my head and with this focus I am amazed by the quantity of blue plastic and nylon roping there is. Hardly natural Shetland blues, as I was hoping. Despite this, the late season still manages to produce Devils-bit Scabious, a marvelous name (Latin meaning to scratch), and used for skin afflictions. With a truncated root it comes kitted with a folklore tale of the devil being so angered by the healing properties that he bit off the short black root – presumably with so many sheep in Shetland the Sheeps-bit Scabious (not a Scabious at all actually) comes with its own tale!

Nice Rosehips this year. Every year I think about gathering them and turning them into jam or rosehip crumble – I have a recipe somewhere. I have with fond memories of Rosehip syrup, (especially rich in vitamin C) and can remember on beautiful Autumn day at the school gathering them for some charity or government sponsored scheme.

Walking through Bressay with a very expressive sky threatening a drenching one minute and enlightenment the next gave some splendid photo opportunities, but typically I had previously decided not to take my better camera due to its old fashioned weight. The old Mausoleum and graveyard at Gunnista had some of the hairiest most prolific lichen I have seen yet, and the old remains of the St. Olaf church and crofts near-bye oozed history. The flat sandstone around  Aiths Voe has been quarried in the past for building purposes, and I imagine that the beaches would have been ideal for the haaf-fishing – although I’m not sure.

I was a little surprised to find myself at Aith so soon, and became a little alarmed at the size of the droppings, an animal perhaps of considerable proportions. Just in-case it was a horned beast, I swiftly made my way to Bruntland, before meandering down the road by the Hill of Setter. From there it was an easy walk back down by the hall and the school towards the pier and the ferry.


© Copyright Diane Garrick