John slept too long. When he finally crawled out of the tent, I had already finished packing.
Somehow, I do manage to wake up before sunrise here.
Well, time enough for a shower and some snapshots for the ladies:
From John I learned, the little cuties are actually a famine here and with every Easter Bunny you ride over, you indeed do some good.
Well, I managed to not do some good, being the soft-hearted man I am
Bunnies wouldn't have fitted in my frying pan anyway. And c'mon they are goddamn cute, aren't they?
After that, I ran for Inverness. I wanted to go there, but had no idea why exactly. No woods in Scotland, are there?
Arriving there, I went to a supermarket to patch me up and gave my (work)colleagues a call, of which one had given me the tip to go to Inverness.
Since he was not in office, I simply ran into city center.
I must admit, while Inverness is not a place I like – it’s a city, after all – it didn’t make me spit out and flee either.
For me, this means something. Went to St. Andrews Church and even spent money for it – total against my behaviour.
The shores of the River Ness in Inverness reminded me a bit of Dresden, our Saxonian capital. Maybe that's why I liked it there. For a given value of “like”.
Inside St. Andrews church, I began to understand why appearantly the Scottish Epis...whatnot Church does not seem to receive any funding from regular christian institutions:
Oh and by the way: really, something like that exists? What for, actually?
Then, I speed to Wick, along the coast (A9) to see the Old Pulteney Distilery.
A place I found by accident on my GPS and decided “just go there and see whats it ‘bout”. So I did.
On the way there I stopped to make myself some delicious Burgers on a parking lot at A9, directly after the bridge over Cromarty Firth.
It was interesting to see the oil platforms in a couple of miles distance.
The thought hit me: “from the sea directly into my tank”. It wasn’t particulary cheap in that area nonetheless.
Speeding northeast, I suddenly read the sign „Glenmorangie“ and quickly turned to take my first whisky tour. They have quite a huge distillery and focus on their core competencies very much.
This means, they have 16 stills and a loooot of warehouses, whilst only 22 whisky brewers plus the tourist guiding girls (and here I saw my first whisky brewery touring guide, which was NOT bleach blond in completely black clothes…).
The malt is being mashed elsewhere (due to the amount required) and the barrels are actually filled into TANKERS being brought to Inverness for filling into bottles.
Glenmorangie is a very strong, sharp, unpeated single malt and normally only 12 years old. Due to the strength, they don’t offer cask strength, but many special editions (double casket of different kinds).
Their newest addition is the Artein. I’ll see if I can have a bottle shipped to Germany to me. No room on the bike, I figured.
Having seen that, why does one really take the distillery tours? Exactly:
Further north we go. I tried to catch the marvelousness of the landscape and the ride in pictures.
It dawned to me this would never ever be possible (for me at least), so it made it easier for me to cope with imperfection.
But the coast IS great: the sea (or marsh of mud, if its not flooded) on one side, the soft hills on the other. Take a look at these pictures:
By the way, the flora of the British Isles is not very nice to you. Its all harsh and thorny, like the land itself.
To make this panorama, I had to go through 15 meters of stinging nettle and thistles. Oh how I love my thick leathers.
The cagers in their thin trousers had no chance on such a great view...
Finally, I reached the Pulteney Distillery in Wick.
Funny how I seemed to be the only visitor – particulary maybe ‘cause the still was kinda closed (quiet period to clean up mash tons and so on).
Particulary also since not many people seem to get here anyway…as I thought.
What they offer for visitors is utterly friendlyness, the option to fill your own cask strength bottle and seal it with wax and a cozy little showroom.
The distillery has been founded by a Lord of that region back when there was now street and it could only be reached by ship.
Thus, the first brewers where all fishermen and thus, the hints to the history everywhere.
Old Pulteney itself is unpeated and tastes a bit of sea salt. Interessting.
Of I went to the Ferry at Gills Bay.
I came over several miles of road through Nothingness and black earth, but there ARE still people here.
It’s not the end of the world.
I arrived on the Ferry over 2:30 hours before boarding, so plenty of time to finally start my ride report and do stuff online.
Would it not for my adaptor not working and my notebook running out of energy.
It was not the only thing out of energy, basically everything was drained, esp. the photo.
As it seems, the solar cell I have with me is really just a help in extreme emergency circumstances with a lot of sun and a lot of time -.-
So I went of to a polder, finally having some meal.
And all of a sudden I detected seals popping out of the water all around me. If you’re actually looking for them and don’t find them, its frustrating.
If you are finding them its…well..okay. But I was completely unprepared and thus, astonished.
I know they are hard to spot, but how many seals do you count?
On the ferry, finally, I felt bad omens and such.
I forgot to put in the first gear of my bike. The MG right next to it was moving about.
The sea was rough. I had no more energy. I would be on the Orkneys late that day and only get back tommorrow…sometime.
My timeplan was slightly stressed despite the 650 km I did the day before.
These bad omens and feelings would be not without reason: I found neither a free hotel nor B&B NOR a Campsite on the Orkneys.
Guess, you have to think differently on such odd places… So in the end I camped 'wild'.
And found, I was perfectly prepared for it anyway, didn’t need anything.
Had everything on the bike, thus, in the end I was thankful there was no washing room access or anything: I found out, wild camping, independancy etc – it starts all in the head.
You have to start step by step and need to be forced to take some steps also. But afterwards, you’ll find out, you have always been the type and everythings fine.
So, in the end, I made myself a delicious filet steak.
Fuel burners are somewhat hard to control, temperature-wise. So trying to poach vegetables will be…unwise. But for making a steak, it’s perfectly hot.
Quite late I went to bed…I must admit, with some precious atmosphere.