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Old 12-07-2008, 01:34 PM   #16
Avispao OP
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Location: Oviedo, Spain
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Sun. July 2008, 20th.

Sunday, nine in the morning and we were on the road again. The traffic was null and the sun brighted, what more could you ask for?. We took a wavy road from Dumfries to New Galloway, with lots of curves, some jumps and good sceneries. In New Galloway we took the Queen's Way, a road that enters inside Galloway Forest Park.





From Newton-Stewart we rode to Girvan, with some traffic queues made by that class of people known in Spain as "domingueros" (could be translated to "sundaiers", people who only drives on sundays and don't see you, drive slow and make queues). As i was saying, with that kind of people disturbing our flow throught the road, we reached Girvan. From the hill before Girvan we had good views of Ailsa Craig, Arran and Ireland even (you should take a look at a map at this point ).



We stopped to see Culzean Castle. In this castle Eisenhower was given an apartment, as a gift from British for his help in WWII. Very nice castle and grounds, with a lot of families and children playing.





We ate there our first "baked potato" as is made in Britain, in this case with chicken in cajun sauce. Delicious.

After resting a bit in the sun, we travelled to Glasgow, where we took a room in Etap Hotel, in a commercial area with a lot of restaurants, cinemas, bingo and so on, named The Quay. This hotel chain is very cheap (36£ per room), so the rooms are really small. But it's perfect for traveling and we used them much more after that (ok, i know, some people use them for other things :angel ).



We left all the luggage in the room and went to see the Falkirk Wheel (near Falkirk). It is a mechanism used to lift boats from a channel to another. Impressive, as it uses very few energy to do that.



We tried to find the ruins of Antonine's Wall, which they told us they were really near. But we couldn't, so we came back to Glasgow. We took a look at its cathedral, and its university after that.





We went to the hotel and dinnered in an italo-american style restaurant. And of course, we had some pints!
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:07 PM   #17
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What a splendid report! Thanks for taking the time to post it.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:52 AM   #18
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Mon. July 2008, 21st.

This day we traveled without luggage, as we were going to come back to Glasgow to pass the night. We went to Edinburgh to see the typical tourist things, and first of all of them we went to see archi-known Roslyn Chappel (which is very expensive to see, as the Heritage Pass doesn't rule there). I have bad pics of there, as it's covered from the rain.



We parked near the middle of the Royal Mile, and we walked to the Castle as we were taking pics.





Edinburghians! (or what is it said?) Please, as you have a lot of tourism in your city, you must clean your churches! It's a real pity to see them in black!




The view of New Town from the wall of the castle.





We liked it, but i thought it was going to be a medieval castle, and it's not. It's updated to s.XIX.

We walked down all the Royal Mile to Holyrood House. The people in the entrance congratulated us because Rafa Nadal had win Wimbledon, and the national football (soccer) team had win Eurocup, hahaha (as if we were earning a buck for it...).






It was time to walk up the Royal Mile again... buf, it's tiring.



We couldn't see much more from Edinburgh, and it's a pity, we will have to go back. While we rode back to Glasgow, we could see the castle from New Town.



The Quay in Glasgow (the commercial area where it was our hotel), has good views from River Clyde.




We ate this that night, in another restaurant. Two delicious chicken dishes.


Avispao screwed with this post 12-11-2008 at 05:16 AM
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:18 AM   #19
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Tue. July 2008, 22nd.


After having breakfast, in 15min. in the parking lot, I adjusted the chain and added more oil to Scottoiler. Then we entered the traffic as we were any other commuter, as it was the third time I used the same highways! This time we were riding north to Stirling, where we saw the castle.

It's updated to s.XIX too, and it's smaller that Edinburgh's, so I didn't like it very much.




We didn't go to see Wallace Monument, as we didn't have much time. But I could take a picture from the castle.



After a short trip we rode through Perth,




And then we went to see Glamis Castle (which forms my Avatar). The plains between Perth and Forfar have a lot of plantations of wheat, barley, potatos, strawberries, and much more. And the side of the roads are full of "free range everything" signs. I remembered some roads from Castilla, but without that signs. And it was really hot that day, too!





We wanted to ride a bit more before having lunch, so we took first the highway north, and near Johnshaven the coastal road. Fantastic road. Fast, little traffic, good corners, spectacular views. But I cannot understand that there wasn't any wave in the sea. It seems incredible for me in such a northern place.



And we stopped to see Dunnotar Castle, famous one, where we had lunch while watching it.




If you are there, you must present your respects in the village of Stonehaven.




In Stonehaven we took a very interesting road, full of corners, to Crathes, where we planned to see another castle. But it was late, so we started to look for a camping site. While we were doing it, I tried to turn around in the road, and again, we fell off, and again, by the same side. This time we weren't lucky, as the brake lever was broken. But I could use one finger on it, so it wasn't that bad.

Finally we got to the camping site and hired a hut... for 22£! Wow, camping was cheap, comparing it to hotels and B&B. A hut like that in Spain could cost about 70EUR per day in summer time (the same than a medium ranged hotel per double room).



We went to Banchory to buy some food and beers, and could see that Banchory have nothing of interest. In this pic, i'm eating "chorizo", a spanish kind of sausage that we brought for this occasions.



This is the brake lever after the accident.



And this is how I found the bike in the morning.

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Old 12-11-2008, 06:44 AM   #20
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Thank you for another fabulous update to your most excellent ride!! Great pics and it's nice and sunny too!!

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Old 12-11-2008, 07:57 AM   #21
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Fabulous! I WILL be doing that someday.

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Old 12-11-2008, 09:04 AM   #22
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Great update... Keep it coming
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:48 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Jetmoto
Oh yeah, and that bird is a starling. If you don't have them in spain, you're lucky. They've just about displaced all the native songbirds out here in oregon.
Oh, yes, Sturnus vulgaris. We have it here, but not in my region. They come specially in winter and then they are a plague in some places, like Logroño.

But the most common here are sparrows, pigeons and gulls. All of them "flying rats".
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:23 PM   #24
VictorBravoMikeIndia
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I'm enjoying your Ride Report....sounds like you enjoy the variety of Real Ales available over here.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:02 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorBravoMikeIndia
I'm enjoying your Ride Report....sounds like you enjoy the variety of Real Ales available over here.
Yes, a lot. Except the Pedrigree one, which, as its name says, tastes to dog's pee.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:11 AM   #26
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Wed. July 2008, 23rd.


The problem with camping in Scotland in summer is that sun rises soon, about 5am, and early in the morning huts and tents get hot in there. Specially if it was going to be one of the hottest days of our holidays. I remembered that somebody said in Scotland always rains! Fool man!

So we woke up soon, and had to make time while Crathes Castle opened. Nice little castle.





We rode then through a good road for biking, to Balmoral. We found some bikers there. The woman in the entrance asked us for leaving our things in there while the visit, which it was very kind of her. As there was really really hot, we thanked her offer a lot, and we had a little conversation about our trip. Nice old woman.

Balmoral Castle is a bit boring, as you can only see it from outside and the stupid "dance room".




This was gonna be one of the best parts. We crossed the Cairgorms landscapes until Tomintoul (which is not the same than Teutul ). Reeaaally liked it! They were full of heather flowers (i think is its name), and the roads go up on down through the hills.

What is this "stones hill" for?






I think somebody put this bridge in the "best pic ever" thread, but seen from the other side.




As we were entering Speyside, the wonderful smells of barley and its malt came to our noses. It's incredible how far from distilleries you can smell them. Then we reached River Spey.



And some famous distilleries, as Cardhu



We tried to see Glen Moray Distillery in Elgin, but as we were leaving our helmets the last tour was entering. We took a look at our guide book and went back 15 miles to Rothes, to see if Glen Grant's was opened. But not. So we went back again to Elgin and saw its cathedral.





Then we started to look for another camping site as the day before, but as we weren't finding them, it was getting late, and started to see signs of "no vacancies", we tried in the first B&B. And we took the last room (55£). Buff, again! The man in this B&B in Forres was very kind, and reported us about Benromach Distillery in Forres, where to dinner, and THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL, where to drink ale.

We made a walk through Forres, had dinner and had some pints in a very old pub, with a group of friends that talked to us a bit (they were in Spain once).


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Old 12-16-2008, 10:14 AM   #27
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Thu. July 2008, 24th.


We had a little conversation in the morning with our hosts, and they told us they had an apartment in southern Spain. They were interested in our problem with the brake lever, and found some garages for us to resolve it in Inverness. We thanked them and, to return the favor, i want to put this pic with their house (it's at the entrance of Forres from Elgin, near the Forres Pictish Stone).




Before leaving Forres we went to see Benromach Distillery, the most little one in Speyside. We made a guided tour only for us through the factory (we were the first of the day), and tasted a bit of their whiskies. The guide woman was very patient with us, because we had some problems to understand the technical words of the processes. We bought a bottle of the cheapest whisky they had (the Traditional one), that we enjoyed a lot with our friends at home. Good whisky, soft but with lots of the malt flavour that we had smell through Speyside.

Then we went to Inverness and started looking for a garage to buy another brake lever. GPS and Yell were wrong, as Mitchells had move to the outskirts of Inverness. We found a biker with a strange looking bike (a streetfightered GSXR, i think, with tartan paints, if anybody knows) who guided us through Inverness to Mitchells new location. Thanks mate!





We then continued riding north, but we saw a sign inviting us to see the Black Isle Beer Factory, and we did. The tour is for free, and we bought some special beers for a good price. After that we went to Tain were we had a rest.





After the rest we visited Dunrobin Castle in Goslpie.




I was enjoying a lot the road, despite there were a little traffic on it. Some bikes passed us in a frenetic ride, but we weren't going slow precisely. I tried to follow them a little, but my angle limitator started to hit me , and we were going to stop soon, in Hill o'many Stanes, after Lybster, which was a very good excuse not to speed.

Hill o'many Stanes is an ancient stones alignment, a kind of Stonehenge. The small stones are aligned north-south. Bored primitives did amazing things.





We then finished our journey in Wick, were we camped in a very clean, very quiet, and very cheap camping site: 8£ for bike, tent and us. WOW, THAT'S VERY CHEAP!. In Spain camping sites costs between 15 and 25EUR for the same, which is cheap for travelling, but not that cheap as Scotland!. Another thing we liked of UK camping sites were that picnic tables everywhere. They're very useful (when you get one).



We made a walk after that to Wick "downtown", to have some pints, and have dinner. The village is not very pretty, but it's fine. I tasted there one of their specialities, as every bar had it on its menu and i didn't see anywhere after that: the lamb and mint hamburger. JUST DELICIOUS! Since tasting it, i made it a few times at home.



We went back to our tent at 11.15pm, and we still could see without any light... that's amazing.

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Old 12-16-2008, 02:38 PM   #28
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This has been a great RR, thanks for taking the time to post it..
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:22 PM   #29
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What is this "stones hill" for?

If the pile of stones was on a hill top then it's called a 'Cairn' People who visit the hill top will each add their own stone to mark their visit...

We're really enjoying your report- thanks for taking the time to post it up.
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Old 12-26-2008, 11:26 AM   #30
Avispao OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wully
What is this "stones hill" for?

If the pile of stones was on a hill top then it's called a 'Cairn' People who visit the hill top will each add their own stone to mark their visit...

We're really enjoying your report- thanks for taking the time to post it up.
I should know before, to leave my own stone. (although i marked my territory in any case... see down)
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