[ blog » 2019 » UK_tour ]d02, Orkney, day 2 (by Philipp Gesang, location: John O'Groats)

This one started early despite the more than 12 h sleep I got. Sometimes jet lag works out to your advantage. The route led me along the west coast all the way up to the northernmost road of Mainland Orkney. A mere hour after I left Stromness I reached Yesnaby, with its scenic view over the cliffs.

Passing by Skara Brae once again, the route led up to Birsay and then turned northeast. The wind was rather unnoticeable up to this point. Which changed completely only minutes later on the east coast of Orkney. As soon as the road turned south, the light breeze turned into crosswind inferno.

The wind gradually worsened until it turned into a full headwind when I approached the highest "col" of the day just outside Harray. On the ascent the legs were complaining for the first time too. How was that possible at all? There were no climbs worth mention whatsoever. Turns out the accumulated elevation gain on the rolling terrain of Orkney -- which as far as I was able to ascertain is completely devoid of level roads -- was growing rapidly. At the finish in Burwick the GPS counted over 1400 m climbed. Not bad for a virtually "flat" island!

Having told the legs to shut up I continued south, crossing the Churchill barriers en route to the ferry at Burwick pier. After an hour of waiting it arrived and on board I had a refreshing talk with an American passenger who turned out to be a passionate tourer himself.

I gambled on there being shops at John O'Groats but everything was closed. How unfortunate, but I improvised by taking a room at the Seaside hotel in the town. After a shower and a sneaky laundry job in the bathroom I sat down to enjoy Scottish cuisine for the very first time. Not Haggis, cause I figured seafood would be more appropriate at a place that is surrounded by the sea in three directions. So a fish called "Haddock" it was. After the great main course I went back to doing laundry.


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