09 July 2014

Papay, Day Eight

Yesterday was a bit of a recharge and relax day. A little bit about Papay: the full name is Papa Westray, but the locals call it Papay. What is interesting to me is that all the place names, of both the islands and the towns on the islands, came from the Vikings. And though they have been slightly corrupted over time to fit the English language, when the locals speak its Old Norse/Norn that you hear. Papay was named because there was a monastery on the island when the Viking arrived, so the "ay" is a corruption of the Norse "√ły" meaning island, and Papa meaning "Papes" or those who follow the pope. So island of the Papes. And Westray is "west island". 
In the morning I visited the community shop - for such small stores, they are extremely well stocked. I picked up some things for dinner and had to get some Cadbury chocolate (for Chrissy, not for me!) Then since it was sunny at the moment, I decided to walk along the shore and head for an Iron Age fort and medival church ruins. 

The beach was rocky, with rock ledges exactly like the beach near me on Westray. What is really neat was that you could see some fossils on the stones...I think this must be some kind of ocean plant:
I kept an eye out for fish fossils, but didn't see any. Along the beach were the remains of an old mill, which still had the grinding stone in it, and an abandoned farm house. 
The fort and church were located on a man-made peninsula stretching out into a loch. 
Everywhere I've gone on this island, I've been the only person! Its interesting because the hostel is full, but I never see anyone else out and about. Same as on Westray, if I'm walking along the road the locals always wave, but on the paths through the fields there is no one. Back at the hostel, the fog rolled in. I was hoping it would dissipate as the afternoon went on, but it didn't. I wasn't going to a let a little fog change my plans, so I still went on my walk to a different beach. 
It wasn't too bad; on Westray I was told about fog so thick you couldn't see in front of you, and this time I kept to roads instead of wandering off through the paths. Down at the Old Pier a boat was pulling up and unloading what looked like lobster pots. Then I reached the beach:
It would be a perfect place to sit out on a sunny day! Further along, the air was filled with artic terns, who weren't too happy to see me:
So I headed back to the hostel. 

Today the weather looks good all day long, which is perfect for my last full day on the island! 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for getting me some Cadbury!!