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Old 01-15-2009, 11:41 AM   #46
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Great report! Love the picture of the road to Ullswater and the Kirkstone Pass on page 1. Thanks for sharing. I want to go ride there too!
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:36 PM   #47
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Hi I 'm from TURKEY So I want to go more north from Turkey maybe this summer.I undecided until see your pictures, I choosed, UK is good place at north.

Thank you for sharing
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:17 PM   #48
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Scotland tour

Ok, I could handle sitting here drooling over your trip, haven't been in UK for over 40 years, and that was on foot, anyhow after googling the stones finding the Caitness village's web page which led to genealogy pages from that area which lead to my finding out that my surname isn't Scottish, a long held belief, but English which then cleared up some geno confusion. Poor Scots don't realize what they have lost. My friend I owe you a good one, many thanks.
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:01 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by lovias
Ok, I could handle sitting here drooling over your trip, haven't been in UK for over 40 years, and that was on foot, anyhow after googling the stones finding the Caitness village's web page which led to genealogy pages from that area which lead to my finding out that my surname isn't Scottish, a long held belief, but English which then cleared up some geno confusion. Poor Scots don't realize what they have lost. My friend I owe you a good one, many thanks.


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Old 01-15-2009, 11:27 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by lovias
(I found) out that my surname isn't Scottish, a long held belief, but English....

As Cecil Rhodes once memorably pointed out, "To be born an Englishman is to have won first prize in the lottery of life"
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:18 AM   #51
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Great RR and fab photos, well done. Reminds me of when I was a lardy bloke riding a lardy bike

Did you visit any whisky distilleries along the way? Absolute nectar.

The ride up the North coast of Scotland remains one of my treasured biking memories.



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Old 01-16-2009, 05:38 AM   #52
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Mats, you should go to the Lake's District. We are from the Pico's in Spain, and we liked even. And i know there are more fantastic roads in such a small region.

Realismail, it's a long journey from Turkey. We want an extensive report!

Lovias, i don't know if it's worse to be an english piraat or a scottish shepherd with kilt.

Dickyb, a long journey from Turkey too, do you have written anything about it? (yes, we visited Benromach distillery)
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:40 AM   #53
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Sun. July 2008, 27th.

We were going to do a round through Skye that day, before travelling south to Fort William. We took the road to Staffin and we soon started to see beautiful landscapes. Here, at the right, the Old Man of Storr.

They call Old Man to that kind of natural obelisk, and there are some in this part of the world, but this was the only one we could see from the road.

We stopped in a must-see in Skye, the Kilt Rock. There was little water in it, as in every fall we tried to see before.

The haze was over the sea and we almost couldn't see the coast of Applecross. You could suppose well that it wasn't cold in the sun, but in the shadow.

Going northern you can see the rebuilt village of Trotternish (much rebuilt)

Here in Uig we took breakfast next to the petrol station. A man was taking a photo at it, as it was the most expensive petrol he had seen, but, hey guy, we have seen a more expensive one in Lonchiver!

The road now was double and, as every road in this part of Scotland, from Durness to Kyle of Lochalsh, is marked by ice in winters.

We went to see Dunvengan Castle, but we had to pay and had little time, so we continued our travel south. We took a pic of Red Cuillins from the road. I wanted to go to Elgol, where they say there're the best views from this mountains, but again, time wasn't enough.

We bought some sandwiches and drinks in Broadford and talked between us about Isle of Skye. We weren't impressed by Skye, perhaps because we had travelled from the north which is very similar.

We went for the next stop, Eilean Donan Castle. Reaaally impressive in person.

Then we rode through Glen Shiel. This is told as one, if not the best, road for biking in Britain. Well, i don't understand it. It's a main road, a fast one, and the corners are not demanding unless you go really fast. I travelled through it at 120-140kph (75-90mph) without effort (and you know, loaded at maximum). I liked more, as a road, and with good views too, the one from Cardigan to Aberystwyth in Wales, but has much more traffic. And the one from Laxford Bridge to Unapool in Scotland, or the one from Inverness to John O'Groats.

After this considerations, which i had while riding through that road, we reached Urquhart Castle in Loch Ness. There was much hotter here than in Skye.

With all that boats in the lake is logical Nessy won't appear ever, so we went to see Caledonian Canal in Fort Augustus. I could take a video of it working, as it was sunday, sunny, and a lot of yachts were using it.

We were tired as it was going a long day (355km at the end), but we did a tiny stop at Commandos Memorial. In this zone they trained while WW2.

And then to the camping site in Fort William. Very big one, and expensive one (well, the same prices than in Spain, 14). This pic was taken the morning after.

We went down again to Fort William for a walk to know it, buy some gifts, dinner and have some pints as always, some of them in the Grog&Gruel (the only pub which name i remember). I only liked the main street in Fort William, the rest is really ugly.

We went back to the tent, and have to fight hard to the midges. We hadn't any problem with them before, but in that camping site, buf. We had to put a towel outside, closing the ventilations of the tent. It was dark, and we turned on a lantern to see. There was a cloud of midges inside our tent. We started to slaughter them with another towel until we thought there was'nt any. But in the morning we were massacrated by them.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:05 AM   #54
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Nice report and pictures, looks like you had a good trip.

I love Scotland and Skye, I was there a couple of weeks before you in July and had a great time.
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:03 AM   #55
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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.
On the Faroe Islands (wife's Faroese) the pile of stones was originally made, so people could find their way over the mountains in bad weather like fog etc.
Thanks for a fine report
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:14 AM   #56
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Mon. July 2008, 28th.

A thing a forget to tell. Last night in Fort William we decided that it was time to eat proper scottish dishes (but not haggis!). So we asked for two dishes named as scottish that were in the menu sheet (one for her and one for me). The first of them was calf meat cut in dices, with peas and potatoes in a brown sauce. The other one was the same but minced meat instead of dices (we didn't know it was going to be the same). What? Is that really Scottish? Every mother in Spain do it! ("carne guisada", we say). What a dissapointment.

After this adventure with the dinner, i'll continue with the day's report.

We stood up with lots of pecks from the midges, but they didn't ouch. It was gonna be a hot day, and from the camping site we could see people in the slope in front of us walking up to Ben Nevis. We rode the road of Glen Nevis to its end, to see what it was.

We could see some falls, that would be stronger in spring. (behind it is the Ben Nevis)

We looked to people with some envy, and people looked to us as we were aliens (which we were, haha). If we had more time we would spend a day more to climb Ben Nevis. "OK, we do nothing there, let's go."

We rode to Glenfinnan to see Harry Potter's Bridge (it's is name, isn't it?). The road pointed good things in the way to Mallaig, but we couldn't go further.

In the same point, Bonnie Prince Charlie started his rebellion for the crown (well, rebellion, as always depends on who you ask).

Back again to Fort William traffic was more intense, and more even in the road to Glasgow. The traffic was so intense and slow (first gear) that i couldn't pass anybody even by bike. I got nervous and i took the road to Oban instead the Glen Coe's one. After this decision, i spent all the day damning myself for being so stupid (and i do now), as Glen Coe everybody says its very pretty and a must-see.

The road to Oban was good, without traffic and interesting, but i couldn't get of my mind the other one.

We were not going to Oban really, so we detoured through Pass of Brander. Here two Hercules passed few meters over us. We tried to take a pic but we weren't prepared. They are the small spots over the trees.

Then we stopped at St. Conan's Kirk. A very rare piece of modernism.

The we took the road to Inveraray, seeing the Kilchurn Castle. This one is one of the most pictured too, but we took a very bad pic of it.

The Kirk from the other side of the lake.

And then Inveraray. Pretty small village, all in black and white. It was hot, and we took a rest at the pub of the Argyll Hotel. There was a man with all the scottish clothes and playing bagpipe in the bar in front of this, trying not to falter because of the hot (30C). I saw him in another RR of 2003. We bought some sandwiches in the petrol station, ate them and continued.

Then was time to climb the Rest and Be Thankful pass. It's more its name than what it is, but the road is good.

We passed through Luss to see Loch Lomond and continued to Glasgow, to the Etap Hotel again. In the parking lot i adjusted the clutch cable (the last time we were there i adjusted chain and scottoiler).

After shower, we made the ale tour and have dinner again in a italo-american franchise restaurant. This time the waiter wasn't as kind as the waitress of the last time. The tip wans't as good too.

We had good views of new Glasgow from the room.

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Old 01-20-2009, 09:36 AM   #57
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Really enjoying your ride, your report and your pics! Thanks for the continued updates

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Old 01-27-2009, 12:04 AM   #58
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Thank you very much.

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Old 01-27-2009, 03:46 AM   #59
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i dream of riding around europe some day, and this is exactly the stuff i want to see. the hills, the castles... beautiful.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:59 AM   #60
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Tue. July 2008, 29th.

When we awaked up Scotland was crying because we were leaving her. She welcomed us with brightness after some horrible days, but then that we were leaving it was raining.

This is the same view from the room than in the night. I like that golden angel in the church in the left.

We did a reserve in the Etap in Leeds, which resulted me a bit difficult, because Leeds' people speaks too fast for me. A thing i noticed was that when i got used to welsh accent, i was going to south Scotland (which accent are softer than any i noticed there), and then i was in north Scotland, which are stronger, and then in Skye which is different. And then in Leeds... where they don't speak, but vomit words. My spoken english is not very good, and i sometimes seemed stupid asking "repeat please" almost three times to understand something.

But hey, in Spain we have asturianos, gallegos, andaluces, and catalanes, that it's very difficult for you to understand a word even when we try to speak real spanish (not talking about other home languages).

Well, we then took the road to New Lanark. We hadn't planned go there, but was in the way to Galashiels. We took a look from the upstairs, as it was raining and we didn't have time to explore. Afterall, we live in a mining region and the oldest blocks of mining villages are very similar to these, so it wouldn't be very different.

We reached Peebles and went for Galashiels. This road is very good for biking, but beware, there were warning signs saying "74 motorcyclist have died here". I think it's because the road is narrow and has heavy traffic (buses and trucks). It also was difficult to pass lorries because visibility is poor. But even under the rain, we enjoyed it.

We stopped finally in Melrose, to see its abbey. The rain stopped too and we enjoyed the ruins and could took a look at the cemetery, to see that the oldest of the lapids were from s.XVIII.

We tried to see Dryburgh Abbey, near of Melrose one, but didn't find the way. So we went to Kelso to see its one. If our third day in Wales was the day of the castles, this was gonna be the day of the abbeys.

Near Kelso we could see Floors Castle, but only from the road. The village of Kelso liked us, with is cobble stone streets and the bridge. The abbey wasn't as spectacular as Melrose, or Sweetheart one (this was in Dumfries, remember?).

Then to Jedburgh, to see its abbey too. This one was really huge, with less grass and more "old stones". It has all the ruins of what it was an abbey: kitchen, bedrooms, mill, etc. We enjoyed for an hour visiting it.

It was time to leave Scotland in sorrow and enter England again and in sorrow too, as our travel was finishing. We have to go back, cause we missed Glen Coe and Trossachs!

We crossed to England through Carter Bar pass, inside Northumberland National Park.

We looked after Hadrian's Wall (132aC). We took a small road full of overloaded wood trucks (i could see its tyres) which went up the hills at only 10mph. But police do nothing, as always. After passing some of them, we reached Chester, and its roman fort. I have seen many roman ruins in Spain, but seeing another one in such a northern place excited me.

It was getting late, so we went to Housesteads fort in a hurry. But we couldn't go up and only see it from afar.

Back in the road we could see the Wall in its splendor. This road goes near it, and sometimes you can see the moat in its side, and other you can see the old wall.

I was time to go to Leeds. I tried to gain time going south directly through A68, instead of taking the motorway that goes near Newcastle (and do 50km more). I think i didn't gain it, because it has traffic and lots of villages. But hey, now i can say that i saw something in that part of England!

We reached Etap hotel about 9pm. after eating in a McDonalds at the entrance of Leeds. We asked for our room and went up. As i was entering the room i could see a young woman entering the shower. "Mmm, i think this is not our room dear..." She didn't see us, so we hadn't to stand for the shouts.

I went down to reception to see what was happened. "Oh, sorry was our fault, take this one". We went up again to our new room... and found it undone. "What the f**k? They're gonna hear me!" But no, i couldn't shout nothing, my vocabulary of damning is not very good. I had to eat my frustration while she gave us another room. This one was the one.

But i want you to imagine the situation: two people on cordura clothes, tired of doing 400 km. and seeing many things that day, with rain and sun and rain again, at nine in the afternoon, with two cases, two bedrolls, a tent, a tank bag, two helmets and gloves, going up and down in the lift for three times. It was surrealistic.

After a shower we went to look for our pints. We did a walk through some comercial streets, with some beautiful galleries, and many clocks in the walls.

Top of it we could see some nightclubs and bars, and entered one. They had damned belgian beer! Franziskaner, Leffe and so. Don't misunderstand me, i love that beers. I have ALWAYS some of them in my fridge, but we wanted real ale, our time in Britain was finishing. British beers are not distributed in Spain, and i don't know why, as 15 years ago (when i started to drink alcohol) i could find Bass, Tennent's and Caffrey's (at least).

It was a poor sign of globalization. We drank our belgian beers and made a different walk to the hotel.

This nightclub was in a interesting place, under the train rails. It remembered me that kind of gothic films, like Blade or Underworld, filmed in Praga.

It was a long day.

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