Friday, July 16, 2010

Orkney Islands

I'm discovering the same thing in Scotland that I did in New Zealand. Both places are really beautiful, with rolling green hills that you want to reach out and touch. The trouble is that they're crisscrossed with barbed wire to keep livestock in their pastures. So you can't get very far unless you're willing to deal with the wire about every 200 yards. Which I did for about five miles. It's mostly a matter of figuring out where the gate is and climbing over that, but sometimes you have to climb the wire. Other times there's no gate and the wire is too difficult and you just go back.

Once I encountered a farmer who drove up near me in his truck while I was in his cow pasture. I told him that I was just hiking around, and he gave me what I think was a 'salt-of-the-earth local guy encounters eccentric but harmless tourist' smile.

The picture up there wasn't taken by me, but it gives you a clear view of the situation, with the exception that I had a worse sky and got rained on a lot. My ship sails from Orkney to Aberdeen in an hour and a half, so I don't have time to put up one of my own.
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