Monday, May 29, 2017

Killing Time

Jim on hill near a loch, he is the orange dot. (cell phone)

Today started with the same unexciting buffet breakfast, then packing up to leave Orkney.  The weather this morning decided it was going to be traditional Scottish weather (cloudy, dreary, windy and rainy) this morning so I needed my raincoat and glove liners. Our original goal was to go see the Mayshow chambered cairn, but it by tour only and the only tours available were the 12:00, 15:00 and 16:00 which would not work out with the ferry schedule.  So we drove around Orkney to the Orphir Circle Church ruin, which was smaller than I expected.  It was quarter of a domed structure.  From there we headed to the Tomb of the Eagles which is has a bronze age and mesolithic site at the southern tip of the main Orkney Island.  Once you arrive at the parking area for the site you walk along a mile loop trail along the cliff edge.  The bronze age site was first, it was small compared to the other we have seen. They speculated that the site was used for making hot water.  The second site was the mesolithic tomb where they found several artifacts and eagle talons.  To get into the tomb you had to pull your self in using a creeper and rope system. So you would lay down on the creeper and pull yourself in with the rope then stand up in the tomb pushing the creeper out to the next person to use.  You reversed the process exit the tomb.  After that it was off to lunch.

We had lunch at a cafe located about a quarter mile up the road from the tomb site.  The cafe was situated on the cliff edge overlooking the Pentland Firth.  It was also the location of the Tomb of the Otters, which we did not see.  From there we traveled back into Kirkwall so Bill and Jim could stop at the Scapa distillery.  Apparently, Scapa Scotch cannot be found in the US.  From there it was over the St. Margaret's Hope ferry terminal to wait for our ferry to take us back to mainland Scotland.

The ferry crossing was unexciting. We did not see any sea life, except birds. Our B&B is nice, with very large rooms.  Tomorrow we head along the coast to Ullapool.

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