Thursday, 24 August, 2017: Shetland


Arriving at brother Paul and family's house in Shetland.

The journey completed, and having spent a pleasant evening in the company of Paul and family, who it’s always good to see, I was greeted by pretty poor weather outside.

I had considered heading down to Shetland’s southern tip during the morning to the Sumburgh Head lighthouse, one of Robert Stevenson’s many lighthouses, which, since my last visit, had been renovated and restored into a full-blown visitor attraction and nature reserve.

Although it wasn’t a crucial aspect of my journey, it would have been nice to tick off both the toe and tip of Shetland too, but given the inclement weather, I appreciated being able to have a ‘day’, or at least most of a day, off, my only fixed plan being to catch the ferry back from Lerwick to Aberdeen that evening.

I arranged to meet Paul for lunch in Lerwick during his lunch break, so decided to use the morning to stay indoors and work on organising some of the materials I’d gathered on the trip and also to contact people regarding press coverage. I arranged to visit BBC Shetland in the afternoon and had a phone interview with the Shetland News.

I’d also been contacted by Channel 5 News, thanks to one of my fellow Coventry and Warwickshire Advanced Motorcyclists members, who told his son, Matt, a journalist there, about my trip. Matt, another keen biker had followed my progress and asked to interview me over Skype.

As I had some time, I agreed to talk to him that morning and so, with the aid of a few books on a coffee table, I was able to balance my phone in such a way that we were able to have a decent conversation over Skype about the trip, which in itself was quite enjoyable and I was asked some good questions by Matt.


ITN Channel 5 News Interview.

At 12:35, all packed and with the bike fully charged again, I said goodbye to my niece and nephew and headed off to Lerwick to meet Paul. I parked up and crossed the road to the Toll Clock shopping centre where I met him and we headed to the Olive Tree delicatessen/café, where we had some lunch and caught up a little more with things.

His lunch hour over, he offered to show me where BBC Radio Shetland was and so I followed him to the studio, then thanked him and said goodbye.

Entering the BBC building, I was greeted immediately and led straight through into a side studio, where I engaged in another conversation for inclusion as part of a later broadcast.

At 15:00, it was back out into the rain and I returned to the Toll Clock shopping centre to kill some time and take shelter before it was time to check in for the return ferry.

I returned to the Olive Tree, had another drink, and browsed social media and the Web for a while. Then, at 16:47, I headed the short distance to the Northlink ferry terminal and checked in, boarding the MV Hrossey a short time later.

Having found my cabin and changed into “civvies”, I made a small video clip as we departed Lerwick and then went for an evening meal in the ship’s restaurant.

Then, retiring to my cabin, I showered, read for a while and turned in for a good night’s sleep.

5 News Interview