Today Michael, Pam, Ian and I caught the first foot ferry across to the Island of Hoy, (£6 return) and on reaching the island we were met by a minivan (£6 return trip) which transported us to Rackwick, which is the beginning of the track to The Old Man of Hoy which is a famous 137 metre sea stack. On the road to Rackwick we stopped to see The Dwarfie Stone, which is Britain’s only rock tomb, thought to have been hollowed out around 3000BC. At the moment the RSPB have a telescope set up on the side of the road as they are monitoring the first white tailed eagle chick to born on the island in 140 years. It is a very exciting event.
The track to the Old Man is about 3 ½ kilometres with a couple of steep sections and mostly stony but relatively easy. We took our walking sticks which were not essential but came in handy at times, but we definitely needed hiking boots. The scenery along the walk is stunning, the cliffs overlooking the ocean and the ocean pounding against the cliffs. The Old Man of Hoy is a spectacular sight jutting out from the ocean off the tip of an eroded headland. There are 1000 or so seabirds mainly kittiwake and razorbills living on the cliffs. It took us three hours to complete the 7-kilometre walk. At the end of the walk at Rackwick, whilst waiting for the minivan to return we went inside a small museum with displays of farm machinery and information and pictures about the school which closed in 1953 and now houses the hostel. At 3 o’clock the minivan returned and dropped us off at the café where we waited for the 4:30 return ferry. It was a really good walk and a great day out.
We stayed in the carpark across the road from the Stromness ferry terminal for a second night.