Episode #29d- Bonnie Scotland Tour Day 5 : The Orkney Islands
Today was an especially long tour day, leaving the hotel at 8:45 a.m. and not returning until 6:30. Our bus took us to the pedestrian ferry at John O’Groats at the northeastern tip of Scotland in order to cross the Pentland Firth to South Ronaldsay. By using the Churchill Causeway, the tour bus that met us at the ferry was able to take us onto Burray and the East and West Mainland islands to see all the major sites.
The Orkneys are home to just over 22,000 people, 100,000 cattle and about 120,000 sheep. At a latitude of 59 degrees, they are even with Juneau Alaska and Hudson’s Bay, but are much more temperate due to their nearness to the Gulf Stream.
The WIND, on the other hand, can be crazy. In January of 1952 a storm with winds of up to 120 mph (200 kph) effectively wiped out the chicken farming industry in the islands. Our guide John joked that the hens arrived in Norway as feather dusters!
Honestly, I’m just too tired to be as chatty as usual today, and a late dinner with entertainment by Scottish dancers beckons. I hope you’ll enjoy sharing our day in pictures with captions.
That was today! After a slightly choppy ferry ride back to John o’Groats, we returned to our hotel in Caithness for a demonstration of Scottish dance and a rich venison stew dinner.