ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-16-2009, 05:36 AM   #1
ChubbyThumper OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
ChubbyThumper's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
Oddometer: 434
Orkney and Ardnamurchan solo

After a most enjoyable trip to Applecross with friends from Ireland earlier in the year I wanted some more Scottish sights but unfortunately none of them were able to join me at short notice. The forecast wasn't too bad and looking like the front coming in might pass south of the Orkneys if I could get up there quickly enough.
Arrived Troon, Scotland from N Ireland about 9.30am fuelled up and rode to the Dunoon ferry at Gourock. The Western ferry is about £7 if you ride straight on but £4 if you get a ticket from local shop or filling station. Off the ferry after chatting to a bunch of Swedish guys on cruisers taking A815 North but turning off at the sign for Ardentinney A880 ( Aidan 1150 please add this to your list of lovely single track roads ) and rejoining the A815 further North. I recommend this wee road if you are in exploration mode and not needing to make fast miles.
First stop was at a castle North of Inverary to take my first pic and have a pee




crossed the road into the undergrowth and met this fella on the path. Anyone know what he is? We don't have em in Ireland thanks to St Patrick.


ChubbyThumper screwed with this post 03-28-2011 at 04:30 PM
ChubbyThumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 06:35 AM   #2
ChubbyThumper OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
ChubbyThumper's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
Oddometer: 434
On up the A819 taking a right on A85 to Inverlochy then left into the old favourite Glen Orchy. Keeping ahead of the weather so far.







The fishing is so good here they even come from other life forms to enjoy it. This alien greeted me with "how op how op" Dunno what galaxy thats from.




out onto the A82 heading for Glencoe




ChubbyThumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 06:52 AM   #3
ChubbyThumper OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
ChubbyThumper's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
Oddometer: 434
I don't really like the road to Fortwilliam from Ballachulish as its usually chokka with caravans and motorhomes making very slow progress so took the Corran Ferry (£1.90) and went up the A861 with the plan of coming out at Spean Bridge commando memorial via Gairlochy canal bridge

Fortwilliam from A861


Gairlochy lock




Rejoined A82 turning on to A87 at Invergarry heading for Applecross campsite.

The pass, less wind this time. Came up with a German reg rice burner, good fun.


You can see this track from the viewpoint at the top of the pass. I saw it before but thought I would give it a go this time. Mistake mistake.


Got most of the way up in second but had to change down on the last climb, spun out in first, stopped and couldn't get going again on the slope so took a while getting the bike, still with all the gear on, turned and heading back down. On the last incline near the road I hit a stone like a babbies head and went over the bars! All I could smell was petrol, the adrenaline kicked in and I quickly got her back up off the Ardcase which had taken most of the impact...cheers Roger.. Out on the road I promised myself a wee nip down in the village when my pulse rate had slowed enough that is.

Entering Applecross




7pm, one wee drama, three ferry crossings and three hundred miles later


ChubbyThumper screwed with this post 07-16-2009 at 08:49 AM
ChubbyThumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 07:13 AM   #4
ChubbyThumper OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
ChubbyThumper's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
Oddometer: 434
Day 2 to Orkney

Up early with another biker from Stirling I think. We were both packed and ready for the road when the camp gates opened at 7. Going North on the coast road this time past Monty Halls pad



They didn't show you his military neighbours on the TV series!







7.30am


Breakfast in Shieldaig, coffee in Ullapool. Onwards and upwards along great quiet and grippy roads through Scourie and Laxford bridge. I read a book once called " The road to Ardmore" by John Ridgeway. Well sure enough didnt we pass a sign for Ardmore...in the ar5eend of nowhere I might add........ Down the road to Ardmore for a nosey





Road ends, there is only a public footpath or boat access. You can just make out the Ridgeway residences through the drizzle.

ChubbyThumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 07:33 AM   #5
selkins
No hay banda!
 
selkins's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: The Frozen North
Oddometer: 1,487
Keep it coming! Scotland is my favorite place on the planet, and your pics do it justice.
__________________
“How do I stay so healthy and boyishly handsome? It's simple. I drink the blood of young runaways.” - Shatner

Mid-America -- Ozarks (Darkrider) -- Lake Superior Circle Tour -- NW US -- Labrador -- Big Bend (Darkrider) -- Yukon/Dempster Hwy -- WTX/NNM/SCO
selkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 07:35 AM   #6
ChubbyThumper OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
ChubbyThumper's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
Oddometer: 434
Across the top

Amazing quiet grippy roads

Smoo cave






Lough Erribol



Crossing to Tongue



And on to Scrabster where petrol is £1.13 a litre. The nice lady in the ferry terminal charged up my camera battery while I was having a brew and a bacon buttie. All the Northlink ferry staff were very friendly. £34 one way to Stromness ( 90mins) no discount for return ticket. I heard later on the campsite that there is a cheaper fast ferry from Gill bay near J O Groats. It was used by the Top gear guys in their recent programme.

Old man of Hoy from the ferry

ChubbyThumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 07:43 AM   #7
4th Axis
Gnarly Adventurer
 
4th Axis's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: The Canadian Steppe
Oddometer: 186

__________________


A lack of confidence is the heaviest anchor you can carry...Believe in yourself!



4th Axis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 07:51 AM   #8
ChubbyThumper OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
ChubbyThumper's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
Oddometer: 434
Orkney 3 nights on Ness campsite

I loved Stromness, its a nice old seafaring town with a lot of historical connections to the Hudson bay company and was last port of call for sailing vessels heading for the Arctic. I was very keen to see the museum exhibits on the Franklin expedition which watered the ships here

The golf course beside Ness campsite. They were playing at 10.45pm in broad daylight the first night I was there



Downtown Stromness



















Good farmland, didn't expect this
ChubbyThumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 08:06 AM   #9
ChubbyThumper OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
ChubbyThumper's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
Oddometer: 434
Exploring Orkney Mainland,Burray, Sth Ronaldsay

I rode into Kirkwall next day and due to woeful signposting managed to get lost! Couldn't see much of interest so went down to the Churchill barriers and the Italian chapel built by Italian prisoners of war







Its actually an old Nissen hut, you can just see the sides in the pic












Churchill barriers. Sunken ships to keep gerry out.



What about this then? Owned by a really friendly Belgian couple who gave me the tour. 40mm insulation and plans for Alaska and Patagonia





The ring of Brodgar. Definitely an atmosphere...



ChubbyThumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 08:33 AM   #10
MarkN
Beastly Adventurer
 
MarkN's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Dorchester, Dorset.UK
Oddometer: 1,958
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChubbyThumper
crossed the road into the undergrowth and met this fella on the path. Anyone know what he is? We don't have em in Ireland thanks to St Patrick.

This is a Slow Worm
Great write up and superb pictures
__________________
Only ride as fast as your guardian angel can fly!
MarkN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 08:35 AM   #11
ChubbyThumper OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
ChubbyThumper's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
Oddometer: 434
The Island of Hoy

£18 return on the Houton ferry, chatted (who me?) to the ferry engineer most of the way across.
First stop the grey and depressing naval museum.Lots of guns, small arms, naval smg's, Lewis guns, 303's and brass everywhere. Even a brass flagpole! Some poor sod had to polish that, poor sucker. Good soup and crack in the cafeteria though.





heading for Rackwick, a glen down to the beach and reportedly the most scenic part of the Orkneys. Skies very grey, not looking good.








There is a path out to the old man of Hoy. A 45 minute walk for me, windy and cold but well worth it. I parked at a climbing hostel



A free entry historical hoose beside the hostel


The path looks promising





past another free exhibition. This was really worth a visit. Very sheltered when you come in out of the wind but mind yer head the doors are quite low



The only clue is a small sign in the window










Back outside and on the path to the old man



The old man of Hoy





and home for the night. 100 mls done.


ChubbyThumper screwed with this post 07-16-2009 at 09:42 AM
ChubbyThumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 10:03 AM   #12
ChubbyThumper OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
ChubbyThumper's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
Oddometer: 434
Dunnet head to Ardnamurchan

11am ferry from Stromness to Scrabster met my Belgian buddies in the queue


Had a cup of tea in a Hymer with a retired couple then when the bikes got the word to board met Shifty from UKGSer and an Orcadian on a harley.

Off the boat and away to Dunnet head in glorious sunshine





Shifty and his mates were just leaving John O Groats when I arrived. I can see why they didn't hang around. its all a bit touristy



Petrol at a supermarket outside wick and bang on for Inverness. I could see bad weather ahead but there was no avoiding it
.

New years resolution, stop photographing bloody screen



down to Inverness through intermittent downpours then found the B862 as recommended by Aidan1150 and rode the south shore of Loch Ness in the rain. Not many pics. To be done again on a sunny day



Booked into the Red Squirrel campsite Glencoe for two nights to be used as a base for going out and back to Ardnamurchan next day



A nice site but the worst midgie infestation ever. Avon skin so soft keeps them away but the robbin baskets charge £8 a bottle for it!! Be warned.

There is a good swimming hole in the river. I had a dip and its not as cold as the sea.


Local attractions

ChubbyThumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 10:17 AM   #13
ChubbyThumper OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
ChubbyThumper's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
Oddometer: 434
Ardnamurchan point and back

Glencoe to Corran Ferry



The road to Strontian



I was taking the next pic when I saw some movement . Check halfway up left margin.


The peace of Loch sunart was shattered as I nailed the 950 round the bay to catch these guys



Stay lads, nice cows just don't fkin move!







Thanks dude



On to Salen and out the Ardnamurchan peninsula














Yep traffic lights. Looking back along the approach road, lighthouse behind you









Heading back to campsite



Now that is a road....


ChubbyThumper screwed with this post 07-16-2009 at 10:31 AM
ChubbyThumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 10:19 AM   #14
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 55,380

__________________
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2009, 10:22 AM   #15
selkins
No hay banda!
 
selkins's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: The Frozen North
Oddometer: 1,487
Must...get...bike...to...the Highlands!

It's been six or seven years now since my last Scotland visit and you're really giving me the itch. Thanks!

FYI, if you want to stay in one of those historic black houses, I recommend this youth hostel on the west coast of Lewis. It's a unique experience. The walls are so thick and solid, it's akin to sleeping in an isolation chamber. When I was last there, only the one hostel black house had been restored, but it looks like they've got a range of restored places now.

Here's a better link to some really cool Outer Hebrides hostels.
__________________
“How do I stay so healthy and boyishly handsome? It's simple. I drink the blood of young runaways.” - Shatner

Mid-America -- Ozarks (Darkrider) -- Lake Superior Circle Tour -- NW US -- Labrador -- Big Bend (Darkrider) -- Yukon/Dempster Hwy -- WTX/NNM/SCO

selkins screwed with this post 07-16-2009 at 10:28 AM
selkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 05:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014