Saturday, October 29, 2005

This morning I actually felt halfway decently so after a hefty breakfast of half a plate of omelet (good gracious) I wandered around the aforementioned one lit street, which, it turns out, is the only street with shops in all of Stromness. There are some charming little shops, though I have no idea where these people go to get most of their groceries, since they only have one tiny grocery and a butcher shop. That I saw, anyway.

I found a bookshop and got a little bird identification book, and admired the little things taped up to the shelves (“Get some fresh air if you start to smell”). Because it’d worked so well for me I asked the bookseller where a good place to walk would be. He sent me up the west coast. I would be able to see a cemetery, seals, birds, and a castle. And all the sheep I could shake a stick at. Should take me about two hours to get up castle ways – longer, if I lingered, and then I could walk back or hitchhike back to town.

Hitchhike? See, I’ve always been under the impression that one never, ever, ever hitchhikes. Unless it’s the 60’s and then it’s fine. Being told that hitchhiking here is safe is akin, to me, to being told that doing crack here is healthy.

But this being a tiny, friendly town I’m thinking it’s okay. And so I’m determined to try it. If the opportunity comes about. What was I talking about? Oh yes, the walk. After I left the bookshop the owner ran after me and handed me a beat up map of the island and said to just put it through the mail slot of the store when I was done with it. I was astonished. How often does that happen?

I started walking! Saw some seals (they do sit with their tails in the air) and some birds, though none that were new, that I could tell. It was lovely, though a bit windy. And two hours later I saw what looked like a ruin ahead, and checking the map realized that I was nowhere near the castle, and had only gone about a third of the way.

How on earth did he make that walk in two hours? He must’ve run the trail, cause damn. I had to walk on the beach – made up of lots of large rocks – which was heaven for broken ankles and made for really slow going. And I realized that there was no way I was going to make it to the castle. I couldn’t even see a good way to get to the ruined bit of house that I was looking at – my options were either to go through a cow field or through seaweed. So I turned around, slightly miffed.

In total I walked about 3 1/2 hours. Which is a long time.

I came back and rested a bit, then wandered around again. Everyone here’s so friendly. They – and their dogs – always say hello when we pass. I called the local tour company – which doesn’t have tours on Monday so I’d need to get a tour for tomorrow. No response. I called about fifty million other times, and still no answer, so no tour for me.

And since there’s no real way to get anywhere on this island without a car, I think I’m going to rent one on Monday. I was hoping to go scuba diving since it’s apparently really good here, but the season ended this weekend, so the best I got was that if something comes up they’ll call me. But I haven’t the faintest idea what I’ll do tomorrow. There’s not much more in town to see, and I don’t particularly feel like doing that walk again.

Of course, it could also be hurricane-style weather (see: current weather), which will mean that I’ll run to a pub, and spend the day there.

No comments:

Visitor Count (hi!)