Walk 39 and 40 – Sunday 30th December and Tuesday 1st January

The walk on Sunday began as a coastal walk round Lerwick, hoping to first round the Ness of Sound. This plan changed as the wind picked up, especially as the sea was quite rough already and south-easterly. This would have meant quite difficult conditions on the narrow banks. Took a short cut up by the Sound farm and down by the Seafield road, avoiding a drenching from the waves by running between them. With the road scattered with stones and seaweed it shows how a mixture of weather and tide conditions can be as destructive as ferocious weather at this time of the year – mix of high tides and wind is never a good combination for low-lying properties.

I continued on the main road avoiding the path by Jimmy Cols steps as the waves were breaking over the path. Followed round the rest of the coastal path as it was high enough to avoid the waves reach. it was nice to see a number of people out walking, taking in the wonderful winter light.

Despite the high winds in exposed coastal areas, it was a beautiful day and even quite warm in sheltered corners. Round by the lodberries, the harbour,  Malakoff and Mareel before heading home, I pulled and pushed Erika, who into the third hour was beginning to rebel.

Looking at the old town map and even reflecting on the changes over the last decade, I still wonder why we are attracted to building so near to the sea and sea-level.

Well, Happy New Year! A complete year since my first walk and walk forty! Not quite one a week, but I am so pleased this has become part of my art-practice, part of my life.

I was going to revisit the south end but I decided instead to give the tea-man a rest. As there was negligible wind, a bright sky, even some sun, I decided to walk round the Ness. I did this walk last year as one of my unrecorded walks with some very nice company, so I knew it had to be a careful walk given the very wet state of the hills and paths.

I felt a bit bad taking Erika with me as she is a frustrated pandered pooch, and she was going to get her feet wet – very wet. The first half of the walk was difficult as the sun at such a low angle was a little blinding, and I thought (correctly) that it would be safer to face into the sun on the east side than on the west. Having navigated through the puddles and mud past the WW gun emplacements and up the hill, I decided to be even safer by crossing to the upper side of the fence. I then had to turn back as I found myself on the wrong side of a double barbed wire job by the time I got to the top of the hill. On by Dainaberg and carefully down past the Ruggen the sun decided to slip behind a cloud, and stayed there till I was back at the Sound Beach. It was a splendid walk but admittedly much nicer in the summer on a dryer path.

Erika is still sleeping!

© Copyright Diane Garrick