|07-20-2012, 12:54 PM||#1|
Joined: Jun 2012
Finally settiing of: British Isles in 14 days
After weeks of...well, not really planning, but buying a shitload of unnecessary stuff and laying out tracks, I am finally ready to set of.
While originally I planned to go to Greece (dropped 'cause too hot) or Norway, I decided to roam more civilized areas instead. I only do ride for one year now and before, I have not been sittin' on anything two-wheeled for 12+ years. In the past 12 months, I did somewhat 30.000 miles, exploring Germany, Czechland, Saxony, Bavaria...
But the longest rides I took was something like 300 miles, thus, I thougt to myself: maybe 8.000 miles of Norway, were one can only ride 50 MPH may be a bit tough. And, oh yes, your ass hurts like fuck regulary. Do something about it!
So - this is my route:
Since I came home from work only 7 p.m. today, I intend to set of exactly 3:43 - the time of dawn here, tommorrow. The sun will go up in my back quite EPIC!
...And it might come in handy as well, since about all of Germany is driving into vacation TOMMORROW -.-
The trip will be flexible, but I though of 14 to 17 days. And I plan to take YOU along.
How is this me, BtW?
This is the trustworthy me:
Yeah. I indeed DO look like nothing can stop me, eh?
Well, maybe that my trustworthy steed is a bit of loaded:
But hey, one needs to be ATGATT, doesn't one? And this not only means: wear your nice helmet and leathers all the time. Be prepared for everything...except a new tire, maybe.
So, this will be from where I look upon the world in the coming days:
That's it. In short. Nothing more to show. You may go now.
WAIT! You may go now to come back tommorrow. I'll take the Ferry from Rotterdam to Hull. Let's see whether I have something to show until then....
|07-28-2012, 04:15 PM||#2|
Joined: Jun 2012
Dear fellow Riders,
I need to apologize. The last vweek I lacked a bit of Internet and had a WHOLE amount of impressions. I will not be able to report on my ride until I get home. One page of Ride Report in german evry day....500 pictures per day, it's simply to much. That's why I'm even skipping Ireland. Better to return there someday else. Could not worship it now properly.
Let me say just this: riding the UK is marvelous.
Proper RR will be following as son as I return.
Hailing from Moffat in Scotland on my way to Wales right now. I'm heading back to the bar having another ale.
Thank you all for your patience and following along. Posts worthy to reply to will follow in a couple of days....
Ride safeley, the olde Olo....
|08-03-2012, 04:36 AM||#3|
Joined: Jun 2012
guess what? I'm home.
A little bit earlier than I was supposed to, but that: later.
Either way, I finally am able to start my promised report.
Let's start right away!
Saturday, 21st of July
If you remember, my plan was to head out at the beginning of dawn. To achieve this, I called over a girlfriend of mine which should help me get to bed early and kick me out in the morning.
Appearantly, I am somewhat of good company and good to talk to, too, so she would not have me sleep before 0100 and I had to kick HER outta the guest-bunk later.
Well, it was a nice evening anyways and here's a picture of me finally starting. Can you see the sun?
No, you can't, 'cause it rose only after I passed the border to Thuringia, so I was punctual.
Next, I drove by the „Drei Gleichen“ or „Three Equal“ besides the Autobahn/Highway/Motorway/Superslab A4 or E40, the one highway going from the North Sea straight through to Russia. The „Drei Gleichen“ are mediaval castles, built between 8th and 12th Century. The are not that special and two are mere ruins, they even do not have something in common – but their destruction. According to legend, all three being so close by, were hit by a ligthning ball in 1231 and burned down exactly at the same time.
This is now being depicted by some Fireworks every year, as I read. Will be worthwhile to go there and explore further. And take pictures on which you can actually see anything ;-)
I mentioned punctuality. Well, I was punctual to drive into two hours of rain directly at Eisenach also. Thus – and for the new route of the A4 – no nice pics of the Wartburg.
It was during this soaking that I learned my helmet had funny venting: it won't let any air stream in, but water. This would form a small river from my forehead over my glasses and nose – straight into my collar. Also, appearantly my Anti-Fogging-Spray had worn of. Just nice.
Thus, in Bad Hersfeld I settled down in the just opened McStupid warming up, anti-fogging (luckilly my crammed my have behave like a Supertanker, but I HAD everything with me which would come in handy), breakfasting, taking a nap for halve and hour. I had time, hadn't I? Boarding would only begin 1700 and it was only 600 kilometers away.
What followed, were these 600 km of further boring highway. I'll try to make fun of it, though. That's the art of such kind of rides: find the good moments in it.
Some of these where when I settled down along A1 for the first time enjoying the sun and making myself jummi breakfast.
The group camping in the background arrived shortly after me. The car stopped, the drivers door was opened, a cigarette was lit, THEN the driver got out. Later I understood why. The driver had his compact class car filled with him and four members of the more beautiful sex, two of which under-age. Oh boy, what a poor chap! Nobody deserves this kind of punishment.
Couple of minutes later a hobo came along, rummaging in wastebins. This is seldom here in Germany, because Big Nanny Germany takes care of you in every respect, may you like it or not. Nobody needs to be a hobo here. Well, he rummaged in the bins with the obligatory dog of his but kept his distance to everyone, no begging or anything, just doing his thing. Thus, I gave him my cheese-and-ham sandwich. Probably wouldn't have it eaten anyways.
Oh, and by the way, Homo Erectus ATGATT:
Caberg HyperX convertible helmet. I like it, comfortable, great view, integrated sunscreen. Despite that it's quite loud over 60 mph requiring earplugs or in-ear-music for Freeway traveling. And the lacking waterproofness.
Held TouringFive gloves. I use them everyday, even in winter. They are grippy, you don't sweat, there wind-tight and at least to some point watertight, one can feel enough with 'em and they don't require much caretaking. They are even warmer than my thick Thermoboy Arctis PCM wintergloves – which are not tight at all to nutting, but bulky. Keep away from those crappy gloves!
IXS Harstad & Grimstad leather combination.
Great in many respects: warm, but not too warm. Flexible. Watertight. Many protectors, even for the hip, comfortable and I look damn sexy in it. But how could you know...
And, a unique feature: buttonable collar! No more nasty wasps hitting my throat!
Unfortunately, the Eidgenossens of IXS seemd to stop thinking halfway through development.
As soon as you sit down, kneel down, bend over of pretty much move at all, both the suspenders and the garter unbuttons itself. And as you can see, I am not the heaviest of men. So you can wear the trousers only with the jacket zipped onto it. Speaking of zips: the jacket has two inner pockets, watertight. But to get to them, one needs to unzip the rainproof zip-in. The fleece zip in actually has an incision to reach the pockets. Alas, the fleece is being zipped into the rainprotection – which leaves you with reaching through the incision to nowhere.
Bundeswehr Naziboots +2, Modell 2010. By Haixs. These are unbeatable. Water-tight. Oil-proof. Fuel-proof. Fire-proof. Tank-proof. Archangel-proof. Misuse them however you want, your foot will be cuddled like a kid in its cradle. Plus, the are grippy, give great lateral adhesion and are comfortable to walk 20 miles in without sweating. Actually, I do not even have other shoes anymore, except for business matters. Get yours!
Shortly after, I reached The Netherlands.
Which stunned me: how come there are Caravans in The Netherlands in summer? How come the country has inhabitants in that time, come to that? Shouldn't they not all be caravaning around...well...basically...everywere else?^^
Here you see two of the most beautiful cars ever built, one of which is a break. Oh yeah. And the obligatory windmill, of course. And a motorcycle.
Anyone recognise it? Have seen this face before, but cannot find it right now. Thought of the KTM Superbike or an MZ 1000, but not, this wasn't it. And a strangeness. Poor little engine of that Visa. :-)
I followed my well programmed GPS and ended up – in the wrong ferryport on Hoek van Holland.
It's kinda cool there. The Hoek van Holland is basically a big levee asided by endless rows of greenhouses practically in the water already. Nice.
But this led to my first ferry being a small one, covering 500 meter of water...when I drove on, a y oungster stood up through this cars roof and waved me. Try to do this with one of the modern cages!
On the Ferry, I met three Englanders which were appearantly return from a similar trip as SpitfireTriples. Only he took his time, they did the round in two weeks. Nice talking to, they were.
I boarded quite late, but not many bikes in the ship's belly. Nice Harley, though.
Went to have a look around, of course, so some shots from the harbour follow. I don't understand the Hollanders. They have such a beautifull (yet dull flat) country and then they ruin it by such concrete abominations.
But the seagulls were interesting to watch, how the flew along the ships hull, just to suddenly turn upwards and go less than half meter above your head. Elegant predators they are!
Well, I wanted to spend some heavy money in the restaurant, but they told me the had a table for after 2100 which I'd need to reserve. We had not even left the harbour, for christs sake! 2100 is in more than 2 hours!
Screw that, I called it a day.
Somewhat 811 km today...
Olorin_the_13th screwed with this post 08-14-2012 at 06:58 AM
|08-03-2012, 07:00 AM||#4|
Joined: Jun 2012
Okay, let's start with the real adventuring, shall we?
The nice guys from the Ferry woke everybody at 0600 – thats over two hours before arrival – via the Intercom. For breakfast -.- Oh well, might as well take a shower and later go up to the sundeck. Which turned out not to be a good idead – boy, was Port Hull an eyepain.
When I returend to my Beloved in the morning, the situation had changed a bit.
Also, I found a very nice sidecar bike. The BMW R1100S is such a stunning beauty, esp. when she flies the black and yellow colours. Almost a shame to sidecar that one.
Furthermore, what had to happen, happened of course. I run as far as possible from home, only to meet hometown again. It was actually a group of middle-aged riders from all over the Erzgebirge, which did a 12-day-trip through Scotland. They were not able to speak one word of english! But that's what their Tourguide was for.
Kingston itself was a neat little, typical british town. I liked the flair of the small houses and the kind of sleepyness. However, I was not able to catch it on Photo, so I head on to my first goal, the Bempton Cliffs, making my first shots of left-hand-driving.
The Cliffs are a nature research, for obvious reasons, as you soon will be able to see. First it was time to settle down and have my breakfast. Next to a memorial stone for some commoner (I liked that approach. The family mourning & remembering NOT on the graveyard, but probably his favoured
place of rejuvination) and a sinkhole, where birds were nesting in.
There is something rather HOT going on between my legs.
Yummi, I like that. A lot.
Bempton cliffs. No need to loose any words.
Astonished, I set on to the York Air Museum. You have a lot of those in England. The Englanders really love ther RAF and why shouldn't they?
York Air Museum is done like an old Airforce Base, with barracks and a central tower, from which music from the 40s and 50s sonically seduced everyone.
The enthusiasts in the museum have really some big collection of warmachines, which they carefully reconstruct or even keep in perfect flying condition, like these Nimrod and Victor. If you are lucky, you can see them screwing around on the enginees during opening times.
Also, the got a Buccaneer here. Always wanted to see them in reality. And Meteors.
And an actual Halifax Bomber, carefully rebuildt. It shall resemble the „Friday the 13th“. Which I should like, 'cause these are my lucky days, but this very machine has run a lot of bombruns over Germany, „visiting“ the town of my university, Chemnitz, twice. Wee bit disturbing, isn't it?
Along with the planes, they have a special show dedicated to the bomber crews and then machine gunners. The MIA-quote was very high, in the fifties, as I learned. Wow. Also, sitting several hours crammed in such small of a guntower, at as cold as -50 °C...wonder whether the high loss quote was from enemy fire or, just like in the Alps, more weather-related. These were some badass guys...
I found it interesting they showed pictures of burning german cities, including Dresden. And the plate read something like „From London and Manchester to Dresden, civilians suffered...“
So, they acknowledge, that the terror we gave them was neither worse nor less than the terror they gave us. It was horror, period. I like that, speaking like this in Germany will lead you into trouble.
The same goes for this, even if you display it to despise it. We do not digest the topic, we do not discuss it, we disavow the topic and flagellate in collective, endless guiltiness.
Right besides that, they had „motivational posters“ of the WWII. I immidiately wanted one :-)
By the way, the last pictures are really crappy, 'cause my cam ran out of battery and I had to rely on my trusted Montana 650t. How am I glad to have purchased the version with the unneeded gimmicks...
When I returned to the bike, I found another marvelous four-wheeler. TVR Tuscan Speed 6. Damn, are those seldom. And damn, are those sexy.
Next stop: York itself. York...well...the town seemed nice, but kind like a tourist trap. Crowded. Made some photos and ran for it. I am here for the riding, am I not?
Skipton I kinda liked more. Gotta have to do with it having some motorcycles around and my late meal.
Who says bad stuff 'bout british food?
The area of Lancashire and Yorkshire is not totally flat, but full of soft hills and fare views. Agricultural area, mainly. The following pictures try to sum up, what it's all about and summon the spirit.
Oh yeah, anyone recognise my balls? Didn't know what these were. Some kind of radio telescope?
Now we are in Lancaster. My favorite author, Terry Pratchett, obvisiouly took some inspiration from Lancaster Castle (see the witches). Pterrys view of the world did change and form me a lot. So, I wanted to see some of his inspirations first hand. I had to go there and crossing England from shore to shore was tempting anyways.
Well. Lancaster Castle is not really a nice one and above all, it is still a prison (which is Castle Asperg in Schwaben, Germany, as well and has been this for a long time – prison for prisonersd of war, regular prison, psychatric institution, prison for 'special cases'...all such) and while Lancaster is not really disgusting, it is a city after all. I felt uncomfortable.
Hence I moved on. On the map, Barrow In Furness looked like a nice little town on the shore. Alas, when I got there:
Well. Ups and downs, are there not? I figured I could just as well do some more miles and move back to the Eastcoast, where I wanted to start tommorrow. After a while I thought to myself „why not rest?“ and pulled over at the very next B&B I saw. As I did regullary during this trip. No planning, just tagging along.
We do not really have B&Bs here in Germany, not in such numbers and with the regular evening talk with your hosts anyway. I liked that alot, but about midnight and after about 430 km, I hit the mattress.
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I almost forgot, some ranting about riding in England and english drivers in general:
Riding in UK is EPIC! Twisty roads, but more like swinging, not hectic. A bit bumpy at times (long waves) but the tarmack is great. Except for the lightmarks on Motorways and A-level-streets… they tend to ruin tires.
English drivers seem to ALL be motorcycle drivers (despite one barely sees MCs). Speed-Limits are the law-which-one-obeys. But in the understanding of “when I am allowed to go 80 miles, I WILL go 80 miles at least, no matter what.” At the same time, they are very safe drivers and very friendly. Without so much as a wink from you, they let you pass on lights, when making a turn, when in a jam or even when in a snake of cars. With oncoming traffic, they all make room for a third, a bike lane just for you.
Are they in front of you, they drive fast not to hidner you – are they behind you and you are in cruising mode, the keep their distance and wait patiently to safely overtake. I was astonished.
Nonetheless, you will learn driving in the UK – simply because they have prolonged twisties virtually everywere. It's 5.000 km of driving lectures for me, even with my hog of a bike.
Olorin_the_13th screwed with this post 08-03-2012 at 07:23 AM
|08-03-2012, 07:30 AM||#5|
Joined: Jul 2012
Hi there! Thanks for the nice ride report! Please keep posting the rest of the story. You have a nice sense of humor to go along with the serious bits.
I haven't been to an aircraft museum in a long time, so it is interesting to know that at least one museum takes notice that the bombing campaigns on both sides were aimed at civilians.
I think Barrow is only famous for having a submarine base! Knew some lads who pulled time there and not one talked of it as a holiday haven. I'll bet you loved Scotland!
|08-03-2012, 07:33 AM||#6|
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Ireland, EU
Keep posting. I'd love to hear about Scotland. That's on my todo-list for when I have a week off.
|08-04-2012, 05:28 AM||#7|
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: England. Somewhere on the Canal.
When you go through Wales, take the B4574 starting near Devils Bridge (post code SY23 3JL), and follow it to the B4518 at Rhayader, this is the famous Elan Valley road, not to be missed. Half way along you will come to a junction, turn right, past the lakes
Make sure you have enough petrol before you start as there is no fuel until the end.
There is also a nice motorcycle friendly campsite at Cwmdu, http://www.campingbreconbeacons.com/directions.html, turn by the Farmers arms pub, the pub does great food and beer.
England-Kev screwed with this post 08-04-2012 at 05:46 AM
|08-04-2012, 11:40 AM||#8|
Joined: Jun 2012
Thank you very much for the appreciations and thanks for the hints, ebel and England-Kev.
I'll be coming back, so I will have a better look next time.
I'm just glad this radar station didn't cook my brains.
Let's move on a bit, shall we?
John and Susann, my hosts for tonight made me a wonderful english breakfast and we chatted a bit. I can recommend them in Sedbergh, they are the first B&B coming into town from West.
They miss dearly the bikers which normally go to the Isle of Man through there. Told me, one time they had 13 bikes in front. They want that again, so give them a stop.
And hey, with THAT view in the morning the day can only be great, can it not?
From Sedbergh, I drove further into the Yorkshire National Park. Hell of a lot of twisty roads, much up and down, everything very rural, of course. As you can see.
Looking a bit around, seems I'm about to get pretty much soaked, doesn't it?
Dark Skies and everything. Hence I made a little bit of haste at least. As we'll find later, totally without reason.
Driving those twisties, I pretty much learned soon: if the Englishman writes “slow down” you sure as hell do so. Otherwise you slip on the painting before the curve, which tells you to.
You do not see the end of the curve? Slow down.
You go up a hill, can’t see over it and could slow down even further without tipping over or appearing like a totally scared dork? Fucking do so now!
Otherwise, you WILL kill the Easter Bunny and make my niece cry.
If you are very, very lucky that is. If not, suicidal Nazivampirezombiesheep of Doom of Death from Outer Space +3 will kill YOU instead.
We'll find out more about them later on, of course. And no, this was of course no close call. Those came later. Once again, you really do learn to drive in England, esp. when your bike is an overloaded beast with nearly 400 Kilograms and a lot of UUMPH from the low revs.
Basically, I headed toward Aysgarth Falls. I admit, back then I was too much of a pussy to take photographs of the EPIC twisties one rides along the way. Lots of cottages everywere, you could zip out the camera al the time – which I did. Anyhow, you will never be able to transport the beauty of the scenery and moment. Oh well, Dave Schwartz is able to do that of course, but...
On Aysgarth Falls I bought a coffee which I drank looking down to the church and having a smoke. There I learned: Sheep make the best caretakers for your grass. And the mix well with gravestones as well.
Also, look at this furkin’ S-curve down a 25%!!! Hill. Going down was a pain. Going it UP was making me sweat. If for nothing else, then because there are Tractors with overbroad coming DOWN and they cannot brake. Or at least, they don't.
In “the Falls” Café which was very quiet and being operated by a guy who could just as well be Paul McCartney, from the looks of it and the music running, I bought myself some Game Pie, made of Peasant breast to be precise…will come in handy later on. Right next to the cafe, this rather famous wooden means of transportation has been parked. Remember the Emperor in Gladiator? The very same.
The Falls themselves take a bit of a walk and the Englishman encourage you to take it. From the looks of the people around they NEED to be encouraged. The Falls are not that impressive. Just some cascades of 1 to 2 meter drops, the water being brown as like coming from a swamp.
But then, the clever guys lead you right to the river on the way BACK. And this is nice, have a look!
From there, I headed out to Scarborough, which is almost all the way back from were I came. Haven’t gotten soaked so far and now sun came out, the Temperature rose to almost 30° C and I needed to get rid of my gear. But I drove on, ‘cause there was a hell of traffic going on between York and Scarborough. Still, I stopped sometimes after all.
Oh and I learned something about fourlaned streets in UK:
1. it is no problem at all to throw gravel on the road and the slow down traffic to 20 mph for skidrisk. For about 15 miles.
2. they actually buildplaces to go right or make u-turns in these streets. Nice idea. You speed with 70 miles and suddenly, someone in front of you makes a U-turn.
3. but they have pretty artistic signs warning of deer.
4. and their Flitzerblitzers are not exactly prone to catch someone.
The English people really like their Hores.
They do like them SO much, the let them run around freely along a crowded “Interstate”. And I liked them too, so I sat down and had about 90 Min of break, making me a meal. During that, World War II fighters were going over me all the time. You now, real ones.
Finally I arrived in Scarborough and made it to the Old Race Circuit.
Wasn’t worth it, but what the hell. If I didn’t drive there, I would have asked myself all the time what I’ve missed.
There, I learned something. As one says, when you are looking for beautiful women and your in UK: go elsewhere. Normally, I tend to agree.
But sometimes you just have to take a closer look… With the Girl playing with the dogs, I did not even recognize here age and I could not care less. The scene was just awesome.
The ride from Scarborough to Newcastle was very tiresome, but worth it. You do not see the North Sea often, but WHEN you do it’s when you are riding over the hills, with mountain flora beside you. Scenic.
Once in Newcastle, I immediately learned: veni, visi, vomisi.
I came, I saw, I wanted to throw up. But after all, Newcastle had it’s good sides: a) I did not need to waste my time there, b) it started raining there only after I left, c) I got out very quickly and d) an old Norton.
So, skip Newcastle.
Headed further to Northumberland Park and wanted to go to Bamburgh Castle from there. Once I passed the border to Scotland I was greeted immediately with the bad-to-the-bone kind of rain. You now, soft, smallest drops, which go everywhere no matter what. But I was greated by scenic views as well, so who cares.
Being about 60 km from Bamburgh, I found out I drove like an elder, not leaning in or anything – totally unsure, unsafe, tired. Thus I turned over at the next campsite possible, ‘cause it’s simply not worth it.
There I sat up the tent and after throwing all my equip in, it started really pouring down. What did I care, I sat in the dry with all my stuff. Time to roast my Peasant Pie, simply with bacon, onion, salt and pepper. Oh yeah, and ale plus cider alongside, of course.
Good night =)
Olorin_the_13th screwed with this post 08-14-2012 at 07:05 AM
|08-04-2012, 12:20 PM||#9|
Joined: Jun 2012
It’s wet and foggy, but not pouring down. Thought I overslept, but no, I woke up 0700 without any reason. Quickly packed my stuff and off I went to Bamburgh. And once again met an example of one of the most beautiful cars ever, in sport british racing green. Dig that!
Amongst others, I arrived before the opening hours. So, let’s start my fuel cooker – what a monster – right under the nose of the watchman and make myself some coffee. Could you imagine a better view for your morning coffee + cigar? Me neither.
Well, when entering the Castle, I learned Prince Charles could have been offended by my actions, ‘cause he was present. What the hell do I care, I met Bundeskanzler Kohl when I was 9. Such things make you less impressed by persons.
But by views. And views, Bamburgh HAS to offer.
Also, they are digging up archeological sites right in the middle of it. Totally cool.
Also, the castle is well suited for kiddies. It describes them mediaval games, you know, the nice, political correct ones. Not the real ones, played in the street. But it's educational worthy also, since it teaches them about Bamburgh having the first signaling system for ships in danger. Small cannons with which the kiddos may play. Totally cool, also. The whole place is, except for the exhibition, possibly. That one is nice, some ming vases here and weaponary there, but nothing spectacular. Still interesting, that most of the weapons shown there are of German origin or Italian – almost none from UK. Did not find out, why. Worth the entry fee, nonetheless, 'cause your wifes can have a look at how their kitchen could have looked, if they were lucky enough to be born a century ago.
To be honest? I loved this kitchen. Want to have one of these for my own.
Including the huge chimey-fire, smokery and bakery oven, of course. Namm namm namm!
How I would love to drink my Mead out of those:
Oh and all you "I am a princess!" girlies? That is crown.
And you are only allowed to wear it after taking on the attitude to behave like a princess.
Mind you, I treat you exactly for what you are...so I actually am willing to carry you on the arms. Possibly.
When I found the exit out of the Dungeon, my Beloved had acquired company. How I hated to be required to part them.
At the end, I rushed of to Melrose Abbey.
The town Melrose itself is a neat little place, no worries.
But they wanted me to actually pay 5.50 GPB to enter the site and look at an old Abbey. I DO like ruins, of course, but it would have been very unscottish to not just stick the camera through the gates, take a view shots and ride on. Tourist rip-off, I call that. Bastards.
Next goal: Glenfiddich Distillery. Twohundred Miles and the GPS tells me, I’ll be arriving after 6. I figured I would be too late, but just like with Scarborough: without going there, I would never know. I actually was WAY late (they close at 1630!) – but again, I couldn’t care less.
You know what I learned? There is soooo much to see here, I could never see it all. Every moment I could stop and awe in wonder. I could set up my tent and go hiking – which I totally dig, by the way. But then I would not go anywhere at all and miss even more. So I can actually just do what I am here for and RIDE without minding one single thing. And, suddenly, somewhere in the Highlands, something made CLICK. Without taking notice, I pushed the big Aprilia beast just like the Sports(touring)bike it’s supposed to be, for the first time in three days I forgot the weight and it’s instability. Mind you, I even took snapshots of the bends. And the suicidal Nazivampirezombiesheep of doom of death from outer space +3. She probably liked it, maybe I was a bit hard on tires and brakes and will come to regret that later, but for once I felt in union with my beautiful strong Lady. By the way, I rode my first single track road en route. This again was so awesome I didn't take much photos and none worth posting.
Of course, I am still a Pussy compared to the regular BMW GS rider. And I am still a wimp compared to the Supersports Kneescraper Squids – in their eyes, at least. Not to be mentioned being a pants shittin babie compared to Supermoto rides. Still, I felt good. Life’s good. And what’s else there to matter ‘bout, hmn?
In Glenfiddich (along Whisky Trail, never heard of it before actually riding on it), my GPS told me the sun would set in only 4 hours, so I could just as well move on to Inverness. Thus, I probably have more time tomorrow and will make it in time to Pulteney Distillery – or any other, maybe one on the West Side of Scotland, Oban, Bruchladdich, Caol Ila, whatnot.
And enjoy the ride, of course. ;-)
Finally, put my tent down in a Camp Site 40-50 kilometers before Inverness and here, in the office of the friendly guy, am writing this log.
My tent neighbour is a philosophical teacher, John, which as I overheard on the phone and talked with him about, has the same idea as me. You can’t see everything. Doesn’t matter. Do what you like to. For me its riding, for him its Birdwatching and teaching 'troublesome' kids in Leeds.
And thus enough of wisdom for now, I end the day.
is it actually a rule that the tour guides in distilleries need to be bleach blonde, as placeface as possible in completely black clothes?
wouldn't it be a great way of spending Christmas with my buddies, rolling and drinking along the Whisky Trail? Not a big fan of Speysides we are, so we can do the same on the Isle of Islay.
Hey pals! What'd ya say?
|08-05-2012, 10:41 AM||#10|
Joined: Jun 2012
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.
|08-05-2012, 11:39 AM||#11|
Joined: Jun 2012
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.
|08-05-2012, 05:52 PM||#12|
Joined: Jun 2012
Slept long. Very long indeed, til 9 o’clock and awoke with a headache. But feeling better nonetheless. I can blame the headache to the Ale in the hotel 'bar' with the dart-and-soccer-TV screens.
Met Clan Gunn during breakfast. They have annual meetings and people worldwide are coming. In this case, one guy from France and an elder couple from Quebec City. Odd idea, a group of people meeting where one half cannot understand the other. Nontheless of course, I like the clan/tribe approach. Blood will always be thicker as water, but since I follow the spirit of the old germanic tribes, the blood you bond with must not necessarily be the blood you were born with. Or, philosophically speakin', you will have the same blood as your people, as soon as you bond with 'em. That was the thinking of the old tribes. As soon as you recognise yourself as one of theirs, as being a child of the tribes' forefather, you will always have been one.
Be it as it may, I set of to the Atomic Power Plant about 10 o’clock. Oh, you don't know what I am speaking of?
Well, I wasn't either before I looked the APP up when writing exactly these lines.
I just found Dounreay as a APP under de-commission in my GPS and saw a 'visitor center', when planning my trip. As I originally wanted to go to Scandinavia and visit Forsmark & Ringhals, but re-scheduled to UK, I was bound to hit that site. My foolish idea was: hey, maybe I can see the primary containment from the inside and the control rod room – maybe even the reactor well itself!
Wikipeding now, I found out there was actually “some research” going on, with the fast breeding reactors on site – which means, plutonium on site in form of MOX and a reactor trying to produce highly enriched nuclear material. You know, FBRs are the type of reactors required for a proper fuel cycle ('burn' the fuel in regular APPs and then, re-enrich them in FBRs). And also, appearantly the APPs of submarines have been developed there.
Hmn. The more I read about it...goddammit, I wanna go there again and see stuff even more!
But when I arrive there, I was not aware of this. From the sphere I saw, I thought of the APP being of simple BWR type. Well, at least there I parked the first time next to more than one other motorcycle. She was appreciating this, I suppose. I went to the gate (Visitor Center) and photographed a police car passing by. Maybe that was not actually the smartest idea..it caused them to stop me and take my personal ID and so on.
Oh well, in the end they saved me time, ‘cause the actually DISENGAGED me from going back to Thurso to the visitor center. They said: nothing much to see, anyways. Decommission going on, dome will be brought down in the coming months, site will be completely cleaned up by 2023. APP of the net now for > 15 years, nothing there anymore. Boring job :-)
Retrospectivly...I wanne go there agasin :-D
Be it as it may be, I went on heading to Smoo Caves. About 1200, I sat down on a lake for proper breakfast (the eggs in the hotel where awful). That was almost the last sun I saw on that day.
Shortly after my stop, I drove directly into the clouds and got soaked.
Met the a couple from Switzerland again, with which I shared the Highland Park Whisky tour, on a stop. And from then on, we passed each other every ten minutes almost until Ullapool.
About the ride itself, I cannot say much. It was priceless and I'll let pictures talk. At least I'll give it a try. Loving my GPS, btw, for it leads me over sooo many scenic back-roads without me asking that from it specifically. I mean, beat that beach at the end of my photo series, will you?
Notice the lot of stickers on his tail? He was, as it seems, everywhere, basically. One badass MoFu of a real slender MILF!
Yes, this is exactly, where we are about to go. Promising, huh?
Now, this looks also "promising", doesn't it?
But on I roled and not minding anything, I enjoyed myself.
<--- wife of the swiss couple.
You don't like the pictures? You can see all that much in them? Fog and raindrops everywhere?
Well, screw you, this is what my cams were able to see and exactly what I was able to see, also.
The Smoo Caves on the other han were marvellous. I really love my Bundeswehr Naziboots: while all the kids where being pushed back from the water by their parents, I walked right in and did the best photos!
From there, I rode further to Scourrie and Ullappool. The scenery is just undescribable wonderful. North sea to the right, alp-like hills and highlands to the left, occasionally a passage through breakthroughs in the rocks, up and down and left and right. Suicidal sheep everywhere, of course. The tarmac is so hard, I am getting a bit worried of my front tire. We’ll have to see how he behaves.
<--- sheep don't dig rain, either
<---- hmn, yummi. Famous for BSE, but so addictable looking!
In Ullapool I stopped for fuel. Completely soaked, hypothermalized and exhausted. Took a coffee and switched to my FLM Stormchaser Michelin-Man gear. From there on, all got better (weather-wise. The scenery of the west coast of Scotland...well, if you can show me any place that beats it, be my guest).
I was able to ride properly and fast again, so within the hour I was in Inverness again.
<---- where is the pot of Gold?
Of course, I quickly passed through it, heading to Urquheart Castle on Loch Ness.
For me, Loch Ness is nothing special, just an awful big lake.
Urquheart is in ruins, but seems to be important (now, after the trip, I know it was). Being there about 1900, the castle was already closed and a big sign read“no unauthorised access”.
But nobody seemed to care, neither me nor the other germans I met nor the Spanish people following us. It looks better without all those darn tourists, anyways. And hey, to be honest? If one takes care and respects the site (not as the other crappy Germans I went in with), no harm done. IF the place has a spirit, I think it likes the after-hour-visitors way better.
Leaving there, I recognized I got a little tired, but having lost so much time with the Orkney, I was eager to make mileage. After all, I am behind my schedule already.
Shot down to Eilean Donan castle. Epic roads along a river and an artifical lake, but my camera was so foggy I couldn’t take proper images, I had to rely on the GPS for that.
And this one makes crappy pictures in the dark, crappier even than my compact camera.
One hell of a pity, but at least, when I tell you about the marvelousness and don't show you pictures, you have to go there yourself!
Met a german with an analogue camera at Eilean Donan castle. Oh how I envied him. Still, shot on to the Skye Bridge. Scarry, going up several meters with all that sidewind and the down again ;-)
Got myself money and some yummi stuff on a fuel stop shop. I like those here, unlike the fuel stop shops back home, they have a full sortiment.
Including Innes & Gunn. Last, I drank it in ~April 2011 and longed for it since then. It's a beer matured in oak casks, just like whisky, and thus has one really unique sweet and complex flavour.
It cannot compete with the Highlander beer, saddly, which was being brewed with peated whisky. How I miss that one. Nonetheless, for the FIRST TIME in a year, I have my hands on Innes & Gunn! Just like Adam&Eva in paradise, I have to keep my hands of it. This will be the souvenir for my buddies back home.
Driving on the Isle of Skye, I saw lots of B&Bs on the side, but I wanted to camp, without me knowing why. Was about to wildcamp, but in the setting darkness ('bout 2200) I found a small campsite: just 5 GPB the night, ONE shower, ONE toilett for the whole camp ground…totally spartanic, but directly at the sea, quite, and nobody asks dumb questions about my loud fuel cooker ;-)
That night, I just sat down in my tent, ate another proper Sirloin Steak, charged my devices, wrote my logbock (from which I deduct this RR, btw) and enjoyed ONE, exactly one I&G.
Life is good.
Nonetheless, it’s still 850 km to go to Ireland. I'll be delayed even further. We’ll have to see what happens…
|08-12-2012, 05:25 PM||#13|
Joined: Jun 2012
When I awoke on the Isle of Skye, this was how I have been welcomed:
But shortly after, I got to know the dark side of Scotland. Dark clouds of midges. Well, the camp site was at the sea with enough smell of swamp...
Packing my stuff and packing my bike was a fight of willpower, 'cause I was stinged by 2 millimeter big beasties more than a hundred times. All my face, neck, arm, chest...I'm completely covered. Especially the hard-to-enter parts of the body seem to be attractive to the midges. Like the inner of the ears. It is soooo nice to hear a buzzing sound deep into your ear, where you cannot reach, to be followed by a sting -.-
So, I tried to stay calm, swish the beasts away every couple of second, walk tall and proud of german proudishness and try to set of ASAP. Not because of the stinging, but because I am allergic.
The world was a bit of spinning inside my head, my face blushing and heatwaves rolling all over me when I managed to start my days ride with destination “Talisker distillery”.
Not a nice & safe thing, I can assure you. Highly unpleasant, much more than the stings itselfs.
And I received another warm welcome, this time to Carbost, the village in which Talisker Distillery is situated. But have a look for yourself:
Luckily, 'twas “just” the annual Village People party. The villagers build puppets made from straw to symbolise their regular activities. We have the same here in Germany, so it was nice to find that tradition so far away again.
Talisker lies at the far end of Carbost. You drive somewhat a mile through that narrow village awaiting for the still to show up anytime soon. And when you are almost no longer believing your GPS, there it is:
Here we have another distillery doing things pretty old-fashioned, which is of course always good in the Single Malt Context.
Our tour-guide was a young pal telling us a lot of stories of the distillery, like that it cannot produce in a hot summer because of lack of proper water and himself, like the police not minding when finding him distilling his very own whisky in the garage at the age of fourteen – but giving tips, rather. Talikser has only one big mash drum, it's about three times the size of what I have seen before. The fermentation itself then takes place in big all-wooden barrels, of which they have eight.
Every twenty-five years or so the wood tends to rot away and needs to be replaced. For that, a skilled (which means: old. No, antique) barrel-builder from the US is being flown in.
In the process, the old wood needs to be get rid of. Which is pretty hard, 'cause you can't burn it. It's so full of alcohol, it would explode. Nice little details. So it can only be left to rot.
Also, Talisker seems to have a small problem, they lack a master distiller. They are rare meanwhile, which is why the good stuff from the distillation process (the belly) needs to be distinguished from the bad stuff (the head and the...you know...) only by computerized means, measuring the alcoholic content. Well, that's why old and old-fashioned are so expensive: 'cause they are rare, ain't it so?
Before I left, I fulfilled one of my pals called Claymore (you can guess the reasons for the nickname) biggest wishes and got him a special little Caol Ila something. It's resting now here at my side, waiting for a great occasion to share it with him.
My next destination was Dunvegan Castle. Met this en route. Impressing, don't you think?
And just possibly swwwwwweeeeeeet for some people, too. Go ahead, cuddle it!
Also I found the Black Sheep, finally.
However, when I hit the parking lot I saw they charges almost 10 pounds for entry to that thing! I could not even sneek a look over the fences to see whether it's worth. No. No more rip-off with me, buddies. I'm off!
That's why I headed towards Portree Tourist Info, in order for them to guide me to Clach Ard.
Along the way my wise and allknowing GPS used its appearantly mystical powers to guide me straight to the next epic single-track road.
With another nuissance over here: cattle grids. Normally just make you rattle a bit, but all hell breaks loose when the get wet...
Well, I used the path to settle down for some meal and think. I understood suddenly, that I had seen soooo much in the last days, that I am no longer appreciating the marvellous views and moments being offered to me. Needed some change of scenery, at least. Given that and the time-pressure with the Ferries to Ireland and everything, I decided to skip Ireland for another time and head straight down to Wales.
Hell, it is summer after all! Didn't receive very much of it back in Germany (it is cold and freaking wet all over Middle Europe this year...). And what did I do? Drive right into the best summer of northern Scotland with almost 20 degrees Celsius!
Screw that, I wanted sun and warmth! Appearantly, Freyr liked my thinking, 'cause he waited with his next rain until I managed to finish my business of eating and resting and enjoying the scenery.
Clach Ard is a stone from the piktish era, with symbols and everything. Very...symbolic.
Of course I do appreciate these ancient sites and like to smell their flair and vibrate in their magic.
If only Clach Ard wasn't simply a stone at the regular village road. Coming back to Pratchett again and according to Lancres' witches, the unspectacular, common things are the most magic of them all. He is right, without any question, still, it was missing something.
Maybe that little sucker had to do with it a thing or two, barking at me from the moment I rolled by his house and, after five minutes of wuff-wuffing, while keeping his distance, with a snort, suddenly stopping and trotting back to his premises.
Oh well, I have the pictures for my buddy, who is more interested in these antique matters anyhow.
On I drove to Glasgow. Now, before we leave once and for all and come to regret it, some more impressions from the Isle of Skye and Nice Fata Morgana like views from the Ferry and, of course, where I was BOUND to head -.-
The route to Glasgow leads to Ben Nevis, first. The highest mountain in Scotland and UK. Well. It is so high, you cannot actually see it. What you CAN see, is the Ben Nevis distillery (one I decided not to visit...) and the pumped-storage power plant attached to it.
From here, you'll go through Fort William and Loch Lomond national park. Loch Lomond is really some nice place, whereas overrun by tourists. The coastal route is another epic series of twisties, a dream for any biker not moving a half of a ton hog around.
I can recommend that ride very much, however, no pictures of this final stage itself.
Shortly after Loch Lomond I hit the superslab and fought for miles until an empty tank and darkness. At ten o'clock I arrived in Moffat, the first best town showing itself and hit the Black Bull Hotel, the first best hotel as well.
Which was a great thing, since I enjoyed a long and quite fluid night in local pubs, listening to “Circuit Breakers”, local cover/rock band of aging musicians. Which is AGAIN good, 'cause those who remains have the spirit and the skills. The drummer of that band is simply awesome. Could be a free jazz drummer as well.
Classical pubs in UK are sooo awesome. Completely differing from our german culture, here its a lot of playing and singing along besides the drinking. Amazing experience, that.
I hit the sack somewhat 1 o'clock after also visiting the 'disco' right besides the Black Bull and achieving the state of completely drunk :-)
Oh yeah, I just now remembered my little Tigerprincess hit the 50.000 km line that day. Another drink on her!
|08-13-2012, 01:51 PM||#15|
Joined: Jun 2012
JM, every kind of feedback is appreciated, I am a comments-whore ;-)
So, thanks to you. It's nice to know you like the outcome of my efforts.
England-kev, I think I acutally did follow the road which you proposed...accidently, of course. Did I?
Woke up 0800 but set off only 0930. With a headache.
Five beers was a bit to much for an early start, I suppose. Wellll, it willll be a boring day, I thought anyhow, since it started with 250+ km motorway.
In between, I met a couple from Germany, both on BMWs with Sidecar. He and her are riding several countries llike this, allll over Europe, severall times per year. I’d marry her from the spot, where does one find such women? Can I order them onlline?
Unfortunatelly, the had a fllat tire which willll stop them for at lleast one day. Woulld have been nice to ride along, 'cause they were heading for Walles, too.
But I had my personal troubles. For reasons unknown, my balllls hurt llike hellll. Have you seen “Idiocracy”? Coulld have acted there: “ouch, my balllls!”. Allll I coulld do was to sit with one lleg spread of resemblling a virgin eager to be llaid, or hang off llike a squid. But mostlly, I just stood on the pegs for 30 killometers in one go. She is a stablle llittlle beast, my Fut.
Unfortunatelly, no photos of these events (or: lluckilly, not to sure about it, coming to think of), but merelly just some shots rolllling allong:
LLook at his packing methods:
Arriving in Conwy (spoken Konn-way) I once more found out it was good to trust my stomach feellings. Walles was a great decision, esp. since it was sunny. Not real warm, but a considerable improvement nonethelless. To reach the castlle, I decided to use the privatelly restored suspension bridge and drop the Trollll there his coin of tolll.
Stayed in Conwy Castlle for over 90 Mins. Quite nice pllace it is, one can go EVERYWHERE except those of 'em towers about to collllapse. Okay, it might be basicalllly a ruin, but an interesting one and with marvellllous views.
Perfect for kids, ‘cause: In 1401, Conwy Castlle, buillt by Prince Edward, fellll into the hand of Wellsh rebells for 15 weeks due to betrayall from within. And the Kiddies can find cllues allll over the castlle to find out exactlly what happened. Smallll spy game, so to say.
Be impressed by the mighty powers of my Supercam! I am, at lleast.
Allmost as impressed by these gulllls not the lleast bit being impressed by humans...
"Mind your head!" - and while you read this sign., dazzled continuing to crab-walk to the left, you hit your head on the stairs coming down there. How sensible.
Next, I head to Oriel Yns Mon. Really woulld have lliked to see the artifacts exposed there, which have been brought to dayllight from a swamp and tellll you stories of olld wellsh cullture, which was mainlly of viking origin. But when I arrived the Lladies of Tourism just lleft the buillding. Clloses 1700, the llittlle thingy -.-
Who decided such crappy times? You have them allll over Britain!
Only a biker knows, why a dog sticks his head out of a cars window!
So, “llet it be” as Solomon Burke says, I went to Mt. Snowdon and its nationall park. The Snowdon was more llike Fogdon, but stillll great views are to be had and – as I found out llater – my magicall GPS lled me right over one of the ten best riding routes allll over UK. “Twistie” is not even the correct word for what you willll find there.
Allso, there were stone walllls right beside the street allll the way and sheep – oh yeah, and a steep fallll waiting for unllucky drivers. So, extra care is required, a good excuse for my allmighty Pussieness.
Here are some impressions:
As allways, I headed right into the next best campsite, when the thought of calllling it a day crossed my mind and I found one marvellllous place. Have a llook!
Allso, sheepish neighbours were to be deallt with. Would be a speciall cooll for the lladdies.
As I sat down to fry my steak and baked beans, I saw midges again!
Which was, given my souvenirs from Skye, creeping me.
Thus, I invested into a proper KILLLLER repellllent. I at lleast hope it’s killller, 'cause it costs a fortune. 8 GBP the fllask, blloody helll! Just in case it works I’llll buy me a second bottlle for the girll, which kept me awake to llong in the night before the trip (as you, dear reader, of course remember).
I have no mobille connection here, but that’s fine with me. I simply enjoy the evening and being here. How could I not, taking the gllowing of the mountains into account?
Oh yeah, shot some pics with KTM orange esp. for Dave.
It was 500 kms today and quite easilly so. Llike that. Makes it easier tomorrow and to be home on Thursday, as I have planned for in the meantime.
BTW this campsite is being owned by a Hollllander. Internet by cablle? 1 GBP the hour. Hairdrier usage or pllugging one in? 20 pence. 6 eggs? 2 GBP…and so on. The guys from the Netherllands ARE very capable money-makers...
But actualllly, who realllly does even sllippery signs bi-llinguall?
Olorin_the_13th screwed with this post 08-13-2012 at 02:18 PM Reason: This report needs even more pictures :-D
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