After a very successfull event on the Isle of Bute, the paddle waggon and I set off northwards aiming for Aberdeen, and the boat to Shetland.
I’m not sure where to start. I spent 10 days on Shetland and paddled for nine of them. The weather was perfect and paddling conditions just amazing. The photos don’t really do it justice. There were enormous cliffs, huge caves, gullies, arches, stacks, seabirds everywhere, loads of seals and plenty of friendly local paddlers to show us the best bits. These photos were taken on a trip round Papa Stour. It was about a million times better than it looks in the pictures. At one point there was a tunnel that went right through a headland to emerge some 300m later in a different bay. A couple of small islands off the north corner of Papa Stour had tunnels right through them, and in the case of Lyra Skerry, just to make it more interesting there was a tide race running through the tunnel.
There were extraordinary sculpted walls to some of the caves. This one looked like a row of statues on a shelf.
There were arches around every corner.
This cave had a sunroof.
This one had three.
This is where we stopped for lunch. A rope hanging down the cliff at the back of the bay assists the climb up. It takes a bit of courage (or stupidity) to use a rope that you can't see how it is attached.
This probably used to be a cave but is now an enclosed gully with an arch to enter.
The sea was teeming with fish
I'm not sure whether this is a cave with arches, or arches with a cave. Either way it was a spectacular place to be.