DASHAWAY to: Shetland!
Dashaway to: Shetland! ("No ordinary holiday").
This report is dedicated to Tara, “The Wheelhome dog”, who sadly passed away just a few months after this trip. Shetland was to be a rather fitting last adventure for her.
June/July 2018, Stephen Wheeler (and his Sheltie collie, Tara) of Wheelhome took the ground-breaking new and exciting all electric Dashaway e caravan to the stunning Shetland Isles. Heavy rain and strong winds were expected. However, blue sky was the order of the day, and a whole lot more besides, as this turned out to be a genuine adventure with terrible tragedy involving a full-scale air and sea search, helping police Scotland "with their enquiries" Tara being filmed and the Dashaway being the catalyst to the extraordinary warmth and hospitality of the Shetland Islanders. Stephen's account is told alongside the photographs. It will take a little while to go through, so, get yourself a nice drink, make yourself comfy, and immerse yourself in the adventure! We hope you enjoy the journey and maybe even contemplate a trip of your own to Shetland (or Sheltieland as Stephen calls it). Note: You will need to click on "Next" at the bottom to go to the next page.
If you're thinking of going to Shetland, some points to note: You will probably travel further than you expect, I did over 500 miles, which astonished me, but I was so hungry to see more. Keep your fuel tank topped up as fuel stations can be elusive, and when you find one it might not have any fuel, happened to me!
Temperature was around 16 to 17 degrees with a mostly gentle breeze, but the wind can become extremely strong. The wind is incessant. You do get used to it but Shetland is not suitable (in my opinion) for awnings, not only because of the wind but the campsites are almost always on hard standings.
The first thing I noticed once back in Aberdeen was the lack of any wind (silence), and about 5 degrees warmer. A big plus though, was I experienced no midges!
Dashaway was the only caravan on the MV Hjaltland along with a handful of campervans. The caravans that are on Shetland seemed to be mostly owned by Shetlanders themselves, who holiday on their own island quite frequently, and who can blame them? Most campsites charged £18 a night, but you are welcome to camp wild if you wish as long as you abide by the rules. I chatted to a good number of "locals", for some time too. I was invited, and accepted, into more than one home for dinner and tea. "Why don't you join us on our table", came my way too. Even my sad encounter with "officialdom" - the police officers, were a mirrored reflection of the friendly islanders.
There are so many words to describe Shetland; stunning, beautiful, friendly, welcoming, calm, (harsh!) etc. But for me, my one word to sum up Shetland simply has to be "community".
My warmest thanks to the special people of Shetland Isles.