After a week back in Devon soaking up the sun and backlog of work I made the pilgrimage to Scotland once again. Instead this time I drove further north than ever before (to John O’Groats), and then got on a ferry and drove for another 40 minutes, eventually we were on Orkney Mainland.
Another strike of luck meant I had been offered 3 weeks work on Hoy, the second largest Island in the Orkney group. After 4 and half days of travelling and numerous ferries we where finally settling into our home for the next three weeks, Rackwick Hostel.
Rackwick Hostel is beautiful, on the west side of Hoy and placed on the hillside above the picturesque Rackwick bay. A 15 minute commute to the east of the Island on the desolate roads in the morning took us into Hoy Outdoor Centre, a small and well equipped outdoor education centre above Creekland Bay, another picturesque aqua marine and white sand beach.
Our first week at work involved Coasteering with seals, Gorge walking with fulmars and seals and seal spotting with excited 10 years olds from the harbour…along with Archery, Orienteering, Bushcraft and Canoeing. The clients happened to be 9-12 year olds from neighbouring Orkney Islands.
Evenings have been spent Mountain Biking (although I carried my bike more than I rode it), walking on the beach trying to catch a glimpse of dolphins and orcas, cooking tasty food and checking out activity sites.
For our first weekend, we hopped on a ferry across to the mainland. Saturday was spent climbing in the sandstone quarry at Yesnaby and getting frustrated at the lack of abseil stakes. Sunday was spent pottering around Kirkwall, eating cake and looking at expensive jewellery. We headed back to Yesnaby to take pictures of Puffins on Sunday afternoon and I spent the evening teaching Kate to crochet!
Our first week has flown by so quickly, although it feels like an age ago that we were packing up Kate’s van ready for the peedie adventure to begin!