Orkney Islands – Adventure of the week

I’m doing a bit of a throw back Thursday since the snow ruined my hiking + cat adventure at Lori State Park in Larimer County, Colorado on Saturday. No doubt, I had a great time on the weekend with friends over brunch and lunch, but it wasn’t quite the adventure I wanted to share.

So instead of Wednesday, here is my Throw Back Thursday in the Orkney Islands about 8 years ago.

I should start by saying that every intent for heading to these remote islands off the coast of Northern Scotland to see puffins.

Yes puffins.

Because they’re adorable. Check out these faces:

Here are some of my journal entries from the time:

May 4, 2010
Stromness, Orkney, Scotland, United Kingdom

Anyway about yesterday I started to feel better after being up a while and had to make a train at 10:38 a.m. to Thurso. I made the train no problem and rather enjoyed the 4 hours of scenery and rural towns I got to take in. I did find it amusing to have the birds watching so intently from their rocky perches in the sea. Almost as if them acted as if they were totally blown away by some human made contraption.

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After 4 hours on the train where I read, listened to music, and watched the world go by I arrived in the sleepy little town of Thurso. Where upon arriving I had simply had enough of some of the junk I was carrying around, that I decided that I had to mail some home and this is how I met Karen.

I was asking the lady working the booth at the station how to get to the post office, and another local popped in insisting she would give me a ride. Going with what I consider, a healthy intuition, I agreed. Karen was right, I really needed someone to show me where it was because it, was more or less hidden in the grocery store. Of course I got the average rundown of where I was from, what I had been doing? Was I homesick? Is the weather too cold for you? How cold is it in Colorado? The typical questions that I have been kindly asked over and over again with.

Karen dropped me off and we said our goodbyes and I went into hassle with mailing something home. Now this I was rather unaware of but a package going to the states from the U.K. cannot exceed 2kg. So I was only able to mail home about half of what I wanted and will again have to mail some more stuff home today. 
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After all t of hat I felt a coffee was in order and that’s where I met Keelie at a small bakery in Thurso. I ordered my stuff, and after a while asked which taxi service to use to get to Scrabster for the Ferry. A
fter I had said the first thing, we struck up a great conversation on what I’d been up to. When I said Colorado she thought of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” and told me she was going to go there one day and find and meet him. Then she asked about Forks, Washington in reference to Twilight and a couple other things. She actually surprising me that “South Park” wasn’t brought up. Oh and she told me when I first came into the shop she had thought I’d run away from home, another blow to me trying to at least look my age, hey I wasn’t even wearing my glasses which make me look younger! Ah well I can’t win everything.

After the coffee I called a cab and popped up to Scrabster. I can’t remember my cab drivers name, but he was truly a great laugh from the start. First, calling me Beverly just to torment me, then talking about how much he hated the English and the French! He was just hilarious and a lot of fun to talk with for the quick ten minute drive. 

Finally at the dock station,  there was a couple of hours wait until I left. Thus, I worked on reorganizing my schedule. About an hour before departure I got onto the ferry and settled myself next to the window inside and warm. No outdoor freeze your ass off ferry but a really nice, more luxurious type for the hour and a half trip.

I found a TV and watched Scrubs and Friends, comforts of home which truly I was missing. I really haven’t sat down and watched TV since before I left Colorado. So in truth, it was nice to veg out on old comforting shows, and ignore the somewhat nauseating rocking of the boat. 

I arrived in Stromness a little after 8 p.m. and was immediacy confused as to where I was due to my crappy bing map that I took a photo of on my camera. (THIS WAS WAY BEFORE SMART PHONES AND INTERNATIONAL CALLING PLANS)

So, instead of directly making it to my hostel, I went all over until I found another map in town, explaining it all. I was honestly a bit furious at this and have now learned not to trust bing maps either, after issues with Google maps! But I got to the hostel okay and only a little wet from the sea mist, and settled in for the night. The lady that owns this Brown’s hostel is very sweet and understanding and put me in a room by myself for the dorm rate. 

Part II this weekend 😉

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