Finding Our Way Around Adventure Begins…

Not too jet-lagged, we check out of our hotel and visit a few spots before leaving the island of Varga. Mary really likes waterfalls and there are many of them here – some will stay as they come from the springs and others will stop after more of the water has left the ground.

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I was really taken by the housing settlements clustered by the water.

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Our next goal was to get off of Varga and onto the island of Streymoy where we are staying. Travel between the islands involves tunnels – some of them quite long. Mary is driving this part of the trip and is unflappable – a good thing as you will hear later.

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We had an appointment in the afternoon with Jens at Bunadarstovan, the Agricultural Centre. He kindly gave us over two hours of his time to explain some aspects of agricultural in the Faroes.

Here are a few interesting facts (with the caveat that if there are errors, they are mine – not Jens!):

* there are about 70,000 ewes ( all Faroese Sheep) on the islands

* 20-30% of the ewes are horned, with about 30% white, 30% gray, 30% black and 10% moorit

* lambing rate is about 70-80% (although more twins this year due to very hard winter last year meaning that the ewes were in better shaped to produce twins than would usually be)

* ewes and lambs are rounded up from the “infield” (land closer to villages) in May and sent up the mountains to the “outfileds” to graze, until brought down again in October, thus giving those lower pasture areas time to recover.

* each group going up has their local shepherd who checks on them from time to time.

* there are no natural predators for these sheep

We had a tour after that of some of the facility, seeing some of the sheep that are part of the Centre’s flock

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One who Mary says is having a particularly bad hair day!

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After leaving Jens (who with what we are finding is the typical Faroese hospitality, provided us with coffee and pastries!), we began the 25 minute drive to our hospital in the capital, Torshavn. 2 1/2 hours later, we arrived! And it only took us stopping a very nice lady who drove out of her way to lead us partway there ( only to have us fail due to out lack of Faroese language skills, both verbal and reading of street signs), and stops at 2 convenience stores and a gas station, the last of whom provided us with a different map than we had.

That evening, we tried our navigation skills again when we went back up to the same area as the Ag Centre as we had been invited to a knitting group at the home of the Dorthea, organizer of last year’s North Atlantic Native Sheep and Wool Conference held on the Faroes. We had a wonderful time, fantastic food and met some very nice and helpful people who gave us more ideas of what to do during the rest of our stay.

Mary and I got back to our house with only a few wrong turns this time. Yay!

Tomorrow’s trip: back to Dorthea’s for a lot more of these!

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Published in: on May 12, 2016 at 11:26 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks again for sharing your adventures! Is Faroese a breed or a local denotation of the sheep on the islands? If not a breed, what breed(s) are these sheep.

    • Yes, these are all Faroese Sheep (a breed). Very similar to most of the other North Atlantic Native Breeds – short tail sheep such as North Ronaldsay and Shetland.

  2. Jonathan: I can see in these sheep hints of many of the breeds of the British Isles, but particularly Hebridean, Shetland, Soay. White Welsh Mountain …


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