Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shetland Ponies and the Strangles…

Shetland pony in a field of wildflowers.
July 11, 2012. Sometime in the past couple of days, according to the captain (who should know) we travelled 17,782 nautical miles, or exactly half-way on our journey of, presumably, 35,564 nautical miles. Also, in a few days, on our way to Halifax, we will pass the antipode—the exact opposite point on the globe—to Sydney. That exhausts my statistical bent. For today.

Although I was still sick (and remained so for quite a few more days) I went on the Lerwick tour that I had arranged with Roy of Shetland Small Group Tours. I only arranged the tour a few days ahead of time and was a tiny bit worried about his being available at short notice; did that mean he wasn’t very good? I shouldn’t have worried, Roy was great! There were eight of us in a van and he took us to as many places as he could  in a fairly short time period (the ship was only in port about six hours) and he wasn’t just a driver (as the guy in Le Havre was), he was a GREAT guide.

We got a tour of an old crofter’s (farmer's) home—the Croft House Museum—and he took us to see the Shetland ponies but we couldn’t touch, much to my and Donna’s dismay, because some of the ponies have the strangles and it’s very contagious. I don’t exactly know what the “strangles” are, but Roy was very serious about our not even touching the fences that the ponies came up to. He tried to show us the puffins but apparently they don’t open their email because they clearly didn’t get the memo telling them to be front and center for us.

Best of all, we had a very light lunch/snack at the Spiggie Hotel. Roy says he likes it because the big tours can’t go there (not enough room) and all the food is homemade. He had made a reservation for us at noon so the soup would be hot. A little expensive—£5 ($7.50)—especially since he didn’t check with me first, but it was delicious and everybody thought it was a great idea. So did I, I was just a bit miffed that he didn’t check to see if that’s what we wanted to do. We had homemade pumpkin soup and homemade scones with butter. Yum!

So we got to see lots of interesting things and got back to Lerwick in time to do a bit of “retail therapy.” I found a very nice (partially) hand-knit sweater, which I’ll probably not wear again after Halifax but I will need it in Lakes Entrance and Ballarat as it will still be in the last throes of winter when we get there.

As it turned out, that was the last time I was out and I probably shouldn’t have gone out. My sore throat and cough got much worse and I ended up in the ships hospital for some antibiotics and am only now (7/14/12) slowly starting to recover. Haven’t even been down to Happy Hour in the Rendez-Vous Bar!
Chris, Donna, and Steve at the Spiggie Hotel dining room,

Shetland ponies and babies in a field.

The sign says, "Dunna Chuck Bruck" the Shetlandian way of saying "Put it in here!"

The harbor of Lerwick. We had to anchor and tender in.

Typical scenery

"Use it up, make do, do without" the old New England adage of not wasting anything is used here, too. That is an old boat, no longer seaworthy, but still good enough to use as the roof on a shed.

Flat Stanley reading the welcome sign in Lerwick with Randy.
The living area of the crofter's house

A box bed

You will see these fallen down centers of the house all over!

This woman met our van on a single lane road and was NOT happy about having to back up. Probably because she didn't really know HOW to back up.

How to get over a fence.

Flat Stanley at lunch at the Spiggie Hotel

Pam and her beer at the Spiggie Hotel.

VERY shaggy Shetland pony.
Outside of the crofter's home

Roy, our guide, expounding on the virtues of peat.

Roy demonstrating how to make a spoon.

Flat Stanley had another beer when I wasn't looking!

No comments:

Post a Comment