We arrived at Lerwick in the Shetland Islands in the early morning and crawled along the coast road from the ferry terminal to the old harbor in the fog and rain. After waiting a couple of hours for the weather to improve (it didn't) we explored the town on foot.

Broch of Clickimin.To the west of the town, on a promontory into the Loch of Clickimin stands the rather forlorn Broch of Clickimin.

A Broch (as you well know) is a circular defensive watch tower dating back to the Iron Age. There are around 120 Brochs on Shetland, some of them over 12 metres high.

Opposite the Broch was an ATM displaying a Window's error message to the effect that it could not find its "Domain Controller", presumably due to the fog. The nearby bank (and indeed several other banks in town) did not have any Icelandic Crowns and seemed slightly surprised that anybody might want them.

The tombolo from mainland to St. Ninians Island.Because we had two days in Shetland we thought we might as well drive south to one of the scenic highlights of Shetland, on the off chance the fog lifted tomorrow.

So we wild camped on a tiny dead-end road on the mainland opposite St. Ninians Island.

The fog lifted. A large truck arrived and unloaded a fluorescent pink jetty beside us. A dozen cars and 4x4s arrived towing two large rowing boats and carrying three rowing teams who proceeded to practice for the week end's festival till 22:00. After everyone had gone we were left in peace with a magnificent view of the tombolo (one of the best in Europe, the guide books say).

In the morning, in glorious sunshine, we watched the puffins (tamme nories) at Sumburgh Head.

On our return to Lerwick, to catch the ferry to the Faroe Islands, we were stopped by the local press and interviewed about Mog, China, Tibet and what we thought of the Shetlands. See next weeks local paper for details.

Stephen Stewart.

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