We have The Admiral visiting Tense Towers at the moment, so this morning was an opportunity to slip into tourist mode and search out a walk that would be new to all of us. From a short list of four stretches of South Ronaldsay coast, Our Lass chose the section from Windwick to St Peter's Kirk, Eastside, a linear walk along cliff tops and a sandy beach.
From the small car park at Windwick, the view was immediately pleasing, especially as rain was forecast to arrive by lunchtime.
If I'm reading the map correctly, the sea stack on the right is the Clett of Crura.
The going along the cliff tops was interesting...
But the buttercups kept us on the straight and narrow...
The folds and inclines of the rock are a story that is beyond my ability to read, but the fulmars seem to be central to the plot.
I was struggling with plenty of plant names too. This is a species of vetch, but which one is it?
Though I do know that this is Gunnera, I'm just not sure it's native to Orkney!
Eventually we arrived at Newark Bay, with its expanse of sandy beach.
Our destination was St Peter's Kirk, seen on the right at the other end of the bay.
But there was still time for a few more surprises...
Oysterplant, Mertensia maritima, is rare nationally, but does rather well in Orkney, and Newark Bay has several clumps along one particular stretch of beach.
And just as we were about to leave the beach, I picked up this bit of plastic which was sticking out of the sand. Later enquiries, with clever folk who know about this sort of thing, revealed that this is a lobster creel tag from the northern tip of Nova Scotia in Canada, dating from 1991. And still readable after 25 years! As it only takes about 18 months for the Gulf Stream to carry stuff across the Atlantic, it may have been buried on this beach for most of that time.
That needed some thinking about, so we adjourned to a local bistro for lunch and a bit of cogitation.