I had a HORRIBLE night. Thankfully the body normally wakes you up when you are about to freeze. And HELL was it friggin’ could!
Had I not have my sheep skin (for backside protection), despite what people think of seeing it on a sports bike with a young guy on top, and had I not learned a few tricks in the Army (sleeping naked and packing your clothes to your feet), I would have cooled my kidneys to death this night. Which is strange, 'cause I was warm in the sack, but from below, despite 20 cm of airbed, I was really, really cold. Learned later: airbed suck. They have convections in them, which is why you cool out. Next trip, Thermarest will relieve my pain.
Next morning I did not feel well, o’course. My face felt hot, was red and whatnot. That’s why I took hotel room the coming night. Still, I broke down my tent, wrapped in winter-like- clothing and went of.
During my doings, I was under observation all the time. When I went to relieve myself (i.e. pee), they came along to take a very close look at what interesting I might possibly be doing there.
I wanted to see everything I had on my list, including Balfour Castle, but catch the earliest possible ferry from Stromness.
Back to the bad omens again, my little tigerprincess is behaving not so nicely. Everytime I start here it takes a bit longer and the EFI – button comes up.
For me this feels like a bit of an electric problem, thus I switch of the light when driving and run in 4000 rpm minimum along the roads.
But not above 5500 rpm, cause then the GPS will have a whitescreen of death -.-
My first goal of today is The Gloup. It’s a kind of Broch in the coast, which has nice cliffs anyways, and there is much wildlife going on there.
I even heard two seals swimming and honking in there. Also, it’s a place without any security measures…nice.
Unfortunately, on the way there, there was my first Gravel Road whatsoever. With 2 hours of sleep, 400 kg of bike and road tires. Maaaan...when it comes, it comes thick -.- Take a look, isn't it scary? Uuuuhhhhhh..... 8-)
Still, nice pictures and hey, I didn’t tip over. Going south, I drove over the Churchill barriers. WC installed these polders there in WWII and sunk ships around them to hinder fast landing between the isles.
Some impressions of what living on the Orkneys is like. And The Trail Of Sheep:
From there I headed to the Tomb of Eagles. This is a bit of a rip-off for stupid tourists like me, which come in whole buses. It’s 6.80 GPB for what you’ll see on the pictures below and also 30 minutes of speech on what you’re about to see are included. I skipped the later and was in for a pleasant surprise:
Wonder, what they do with 'big' people?! Gave me quite a laugh, definitely. And hey, those Orkney-people seem to have a knack for making a touristic attraction out of everything
I don’t regret paying the money even since the tomb is not guarded. Everybody can just go there. But the family is making a living out of it and maintaining it. Under these circumstances, I pay gladly.
Back to the capitals of Orkneys, St. Margarethes and Kirkwall, there is a working traditional red telephone booth. In the middle of Nowhere. Take a look:
I wanted to call some people back home, confusing them, but since my mobile was out of energy (need to look up the numbers) and they charge 3 GPB per minute…no!
From there, I ran to Hoxa Head. Hoxa Head is where old bunkers against the Nazis have been installed.
Nice pictures would await me, my friends and me like such structures, but a) no energy, b) another gravel road with tight bends downwards, c) the roads end half a mile before the actual bunkers and I have no time.
Also I show first signs of the “too much input” phenomenum.
Next Stop: Highland Park Distillery.
They make peated whisky the really old fashioned way.
Exactly how I like it, despite the peat is pretty weak. There youngest whiskey is 12 years, there oldest regular 25 years.
And then, they have a LOT of special editions: just look at the pricing!
Ridiculous though is the “Thor” edition, part of a series of editions for Nordic Gods and that’s ridiculous, ‘cause the tour guides appearantly have NO idea of Nordic gods and find it silly to bring these special editions out, just because the Nordic culture is on the rise again.
This makes me even more angry, since Thor is Saxnot for the Saxons, where the Anglosaxons (also the Scots) originated from AND the Orkney people bond themselves with the Norwegians. The Vikings, basically.
Notice the wooden barrels, btw.
I wanted to go to Castle of Belfour, but this would have taken me another ferry, so I skipped.
I felt like getting off the isles ASAP, right from the start. Sounds silly, but this trip is exactly about these stomach feelings.
Hence I speeded to the Ring of Brodgar. Quite impressive to see my first stone computer – and honestly, here, with less people, it's even better.
One can really get some decent feeling for the magic of the place.
One can find enough evidence, vandalism is no phenomenum of the 20th or 21st century:
At least, the later had some celtic connections...maybe. Next to the Ring fo Brodgar, there are the Stones of Stenness:
From the Ring I ran to the Ferry in Stromness. Completely without cause, since that one heads of only 90 mins after I got there. But better that, than being to late. I met a guy named Kenny there, biker on a blue GSX-F, which gave me some tips for my further trip and ensured me, the trip along the coast back to Loch Ness would only be ~4 hours. That’s good, ‘cause I am behind my plan.
Nice ferry, isn't it? And the other boat, I was immidiately in love with.
Wonder how it may be to live in that particular house:
During the freeytrip, I finally managed to snap some shots of WWII bunkers and the isles cliffs from below:
Arriving on the Mainland I seeked myself the nearest free hotel to my first goal tommorrow, the Dunoraey Atomic Power Plant, and settly down. Collecting some really needed shower, warmth and sleep. And HEY they have internet, so I can finally do my first ride report...or could, would I have not been that exhausted.