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Old 12-26-2008, 10:32 AM   #31
Avispao OP
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Fri. July 2008, 25th.



Early in the morning we continued our travel north. The fog started to cover us as we got out of Wick. We run through the long straights to John O'Groats, as we couldn't see much landscape away from the road. Some dunes told us where was the coast, but we couldn't see the sea. Finally, after 11 days, we got there (and we had the sensation of being out for a month).



We diverted to Duncansby Head first.. We tried to walk a little to the cliffs, but we got a bit scared about them as we couldn't see absolutely anything. Shit! I would like to see the Orkneys too.



We went back to the village and take the usual pics. There's nothing there. I think you could see all the village in this pics.





Now was time to go west. We stopped to see Castle Mey, now a hotel, where Ewan and Boorman started their second trip to Cape Town (which i didn't like it much).




We got to Dunnet Head, the real northernmost point of Britain. The road to this Lighthouse is interesting, with lots of small lakes above the sea level.






Where are the waves?

Anyway, after urinating there to mark my territory, we continued to Thurso to have breakfast. I think Thurso is bigger than Wick, and i liked it a bit more. After Thurso the sun brighted, and we started to see really beautiful beaches, dunes, lochs... The sun and the beaches invited us to take a bath, but we expected it to be very cold, and we hadn't time enough.





The first part of the road is interesting, but after getting to a single lane road, it's very demanding because of traffic. It doesn't have a lot of traffic, but you have to watch it because you don't have reverse gear!

After this point, the road is single lane. And you have to surround this loch through 25km.



We stopped to see Smoo Cave, before Durness, which supossely has a internal fall. But it was dry.





In Durness, there were going to be Highland Games in the afternoon, but we had to continue and couldn't see. There were some near Balmoral the day we were there too.

Then, we started our travel south.





Finally we got to a double lane road. And a really fast road.






I like this one.



Unapool



We took the single lane road to Stoer. Really funny. My girlfriend said it was a rollercoaster.






Fantastic views!




Celebrating it!




Stoer beach. In this place we overtook a bike from Netherlands, which we would find next day again.




We tried to get some fuel in Lochinver, but we found it the most expensive in mainland Britain! 1.33/lt (in that time it equaled to 1.68). I put only six pounds to get to Ullapool (and i paid by Visa).

Going to Ullapool from there you have to see Ardvreck Castle. Cool!




The road to Ullapool is reaaaally fast. We rode at 140kph without effort, with all our luggage.




We went to the camping site, and after camping, we made a walk through this small but beautiful village. It has lots of accomodation facilities.





We had dinner and some pints in three bars, and took some conversation from a strange/freak/putyouradjetivehere young man from Madrid who worked there that summer. He introduced us to some people there, and we talked a bit with them. They told us about how dangerous that road was, as many locals with bikes had died there. I agreed, as i could see that it was a very "fast and easy" road. We talked about midges, and about weather, as they had 35C that day in Ullapool, and in february they had -35C. Wow!

The ferry from Stonoway arrived with lots of people.




With the trip of the day (350km), and the party at night, we had a memorable friday there!
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:04 AM   #32
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Sorry for the delay, what i was talking about?



Sat. July 2008, 26th.


As we were leaving Ullapool we had the horrible sensation of being finishing our travel yet. We got to the northernmost point and we were going south then. And although we were 3000km from our home, and we had to visit Skye and many other places, that rare feeling wouldn't leave us in the rest of our trip. It was a bit like the light of the last days of September, which can be hot but shines announcing the fall.




Anyway, if you have the opportunity of going to Ullapool, you should do it from the south. The views of Loch Broom as you approach the village are spectacular. We had to turn our neck to see it and take pictures, as we were going south.




We turned to Gairloch road, and tried to see Falls of Measach, but the little river didn't have water enough. We rode through a single lane road with some effort until Gairloch, which was smaller than i thought. Then we saw the beautiful Loch Maree through a faster wider road, and took expensive petrol in Kinlochewe (not as expensive than that in Lonchiver, but...). It was mandatory, as i didn't know where was gonna be the next petrol station.

We then took the road to Torridon. This pic was made a mile or so from that petrol station in Kinlochewe. The bike on it is the one from Netherlands that we passed the day before and then again. We were doing the same route but we were a bit faster. (i love this pic)



Loch Torridon seemed to me as Rias Baixas, in Galicia (NW Spain). In Torridon they have some nests? for oysters or so, as in Galicia do. This is Shieldaig.




Finally we took the known road to Applecross, where we could see good views of Skye's isles. It was saturday, and there were a bit of traffic in that single lane road.






We stopped at Applecross Inn, as i've been told it's a must do for any supposed biker. There we had a bit conversation with some other bikers who were sleeping in the Inn that weekend.





After the rest we dealed with the famously known Balach Na Ba, which, well, it disappointed me a little. Views are good, but biking speaking this pass didn't tell me much. Perhaps it must be because i live 50km from some of the best mountains in Spain for biking (and i'm not talking about Pyrenees), with much longer, and much steeper passes. But, in any case, i liked more the Cairngorms and the Lake's than the Balach.






We read in our guide that Plockton deserved a visit so we went there. It's a very small village, only a street in front of the bay, with nothing more to consider. TomTom told us to cross through the sand in that village, and we did (hehe).




We then crossed the Skye's bridge, which is more outstanding when you are in it. If you are in its start, you only can see the top, but you can't the end.




We rode through a really new (as there were still some works on it), and fast and with intense traffic, road to Portree, looking at Scalpay and Raasey Isles, and the Red Cuillin mountains (yes, they are red). And then looked for the camping site near Portree (cheap again, and cheaper than Ullapool one). As we got installed, a pair of big germans, on new and black BMWs (R1200R and GS1200R), with all the equipment you can buy in Louis and put in your bike at the same time, arrived. We had seen them in Ullapool too.




We went to Portree to dinner, have some pints and so. In one pub two people talked to us. One was really drunken and i couldn't understand a word of what he was saying... he tried in gaelic too. The other was a really nice person from Islay, and we talked many hours with him. We went back to the tent about 2 or 3 in the morning, because we had to travel next day.



In Spain we don't have many of this.




That day, 325km more or less, in perfect temperature for biking, not more not less.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:04 AM   #33
Saso
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It's good to see this RR continued - I love Scotland. We spent a few days in the Fall of '07 in Shieldaig - without midges. It's so beautiful and those Cullen beers from the Isle of Skye are so good. Thanks for sharing your trip.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:27 AM   #34
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great pics, nice story, thx for sharing...

maybe we also going to GB this sommer, i hope....
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:27 AM   #35
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Lovely trip. Lovely photos. And it's always interesting to read a foreigner's account of your own country. Especially when that foreigner has seen so many things you haven't! (In turn, I myself have seen many places in Spain that Spanish friends have not). You have packed so much into your time. So many castles in particular. Shame you didn't visit Bath, it's pretty. But you can't do everything.

If you have the time, any chance you could put a route map together?
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:59 AM   #36
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Great report !

Glad to see you seem to be enjoying your visit to Scotland.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:03 PM   #37
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Great Report and Photos. I have been to Scotland and Skye 6-7 times and it is always great. I would love to ride it on my GS. There is that big pond between us, or I would. Great Beer, Pubs, Scotch, People, B&B's, Inns, Roads, Scenery , make it a must do.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:08 PM   #38
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Also meant to tell you about a Cairn we left in memory of my mother-in-law that we left up on the Quirang on Skye. She was the one we gave us our love of Skye & Scotland 30 years ago. She now keeps us safe on our rides...
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:48 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saso
It's good to see this RR continued - I love Scotland. We spent a few days in the Fall of '07 in Shieldaig - without midges. It's so beautiful and those Cullen beers from the Isle of Skye are so good. Thanks for sharing your trip.
Yes, the Red Cuillin Ale is really good. I think i drank this and another one from the Isle, but i don't remember its name.

I now know that Applecross Inn do their own ale. Wish i knew in that moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpitfireTriple
Lovely trip. Lovely photos. And it's always interesting to read a foreigner's account of your own country. Especially when that foreigner has seen so many things you haven't! (In turn, I myself have seen many places in Spain that Spanish friends have not). You have packed so much into your time. So many castles in particular. Shame you didn't visit Bath, it's pretty. But you can't do everything.

If you have the time, any chance you could put a route map together?
Many people don't like to travel, or they think they don't like it. And the world is very large (or was the life too short? or was the money too little? anyway) to know everywhere.

I knew about Bath, but we had a little pressure to get to Caerphilly and TomTom didn't help in the way. Next time, as i left some things to see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelbike
maybe we also going to GB this sommer, i hope....
This year is being a good opportunity. Pound is cheaper than this past summer (now 1.11euro, was 1.25 this summer), petrol is much lower too, and probably hotels would low their tariffs. If years ago Britain was expensive to visit for spaniards, now is almost at the same level. And for germans could be even cheap.

FotoTex, the ocean is both ways... if not...
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:35 AM   #40
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A really nice RR, we need to make lists of campsites in our own areas and publish them here, you got stung at Harlech, I know of three campsites within two miles of there, love the Scottish pictures, thanks for sharing.

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Old 01-15-2009, 04:17 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oilybimmer
A really nice RR, we need to make lists of campsites in our own areas and publish them here, you got stung at Harlech, I know of three campsites within two miles of there, love the Scottish pictures, thanks for sharing.

Stewart
Wow, i couldn't see any. We saw some fixed-caravans but any tent. But in that moment, pouring rain, with my dainese pants wet, i wanted a room.


One thing about B&Bs we could see... why the f**k do you put carpets or similar in the bathrooms? That's anti-hygienical!

And what about taps? One for cold water and one for hot water, each of them far apart from the other. You can't mix the water... or you chill or you burn.
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:29 AM   #42
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Great report. I did spain and scotland last year and wales the year before so I've got a lot of very similar pictures to you. I did a double take of the first ones at santander because they were so similar!

Within sight of Harlech is shell island. Probably the best campsite in the UK (bit late now I know). It looks like this...

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Old 01-15-2009, 04:53 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5th-Elefant
Great report. I did spain and scotland last year and wales the year before so I've got a lot of very similar pictures to you. I did a double take of the first ones at santander because they were so similar!

Within sight of Harlech is shell island. Probably the best campsite in the UK (bit late now I know). It looks like this...
I thought it was a golf resort! Anyway, as i said, it was raining a lot.
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:53 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Avispao
I thought it was a golf resort! Anyway, as i said, it was raining a lot.
It does that in Wales. Judging by your pictures you were pretty lucky with the weather.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:42 AM   #45
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