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Old 04-25-2010, 07:51 AM   #1
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Scotland for the Brave.

First of all there were supposed to be a whole bunch of us going on a forum Big Trialie run sort of thing. And then there were two of us. And the way the cookie crumbles there was only little old me left.
Funnily enough it was a nice morning when I was putting the boxes on the bike. It's usually pissing down but I just had to put up with the dry, mild morning. Oh well


There is something really fecking good about packing up and knowing that you have nothing to do all day but ride the bike.
The ferry was at 1.30 from Larne so it was a leisurely enough trip up spent wondering what I had forgotten to take and would Scotland have shops so I could buy replacements. I don't believe in packing light. Bringing loads of stuff is what separates us from the Apes, you know.
I wasn't bringing a tent because I had heard a rumour that Scotland had these things called "B&B's. It's an arrangement where a lady, usually quite foxy but to be honest, on some occasions fucking haggard and not a little scary allows you to sleep in a room in their house and in the morning have a little breakfast. And in no way, wank in to the bottle of shower gel they leave in the room for you. That would be considered impolite. And unhygienic.


The ferry over was a pretty quiet affair. I was the only bike on it and a few hundred lorries. We all spilled out in Cairnryan at 3.30 and I headed North with a rough plan of going North and not South. Seriously, that's how organised I was with an itinerary.

I eventually called it a day in Largs at about 5.30. I applied my "first B&B I see at 5.30" rule and settled for here,


35.00 with a a landlady who knew how to fill a pair of jeans. The only draw back was that it was a shared bathroom and not en suite. That would be a draw back for anybody else who had to share the same bog as myself that is. I had been sat on a bike all day and been eating Ferry food. My second (the first is, erm first thing before I get out of bed) bowel movement of the day on a day like this is always like the side falling out of an old house.

It was a lovely evening and time for a scrub and a fiddle and then maybe an amble into the bright sights of nightime Largs.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:57 AM   #2
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I took a walk down by the sea front. It was fecking beautiful. Loads of people out doing their thangs..


I really had a craving for a pizza and hoped that there would be some sort of a shop that sold them. So After walking for what felt like an hour I settled for an over priced burger and chip in a small restaurant. It was pretty fecking good though.
There were loads of bikes about as well, parked over beside a tea van. I decided that it would be a simple enough task , not to retrace my steps back to the B&B but to take a somewhat roundabout voyage of discovery around the town and hook back up onto the main street and then back the way I came....
Fuck me, how many back streets had Largs got? What was a simple plan in my head turned into a fucking three day camel ride with me eventually trooping through somewhat shitty streets dressed like a tourist with me camera strung over me shoulder.. The scene in Trainspotting about the yank coming into the pub on the first night of the Edinburgh festival kept running through my mind. I eventually burst out onto the main drag after half an hour or so and then had to find the sea front again and then retrace my steps...Should of brought the bike.....

Bright the next morning. Bowels empty and nuts hollowed out as well I was feeling kinda sexy. And looked it as well..


It was time to hit the road. Bedags, I was like a dog with two dicks I was that happy. Clicking the boxes onto the bike, Strapping the old Kriega across my manly chest, waving a fond farewell to yet another satisfied landlady...


I was heading for Goulock and the ferry to Dunoon. I love this wee bit of the trip. To my mind, this is where the Highlands start. As the boat crosses the water you can see in the distance the mountains dark and brooding piled up behind each other. Always gives me a little tingle in my pee pee.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:08 AM   #3
DaveK671
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Looking forward to reading the rest of ur report, I do love touring Scotland. Im from the Borders and the scenery just isnt quite as good as up north
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:18 AM   #4
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a true poet
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:18 AM   #5
Bryn1203
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Hi Frey B.

are you gonna ride the western wiggly bits ? Hope so - post the pics if you do.
The weather forecast is for sun, sun, sun - NOT - just kiddin, hopefully it'll be good.

cheers
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:01 AM   #6
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Aint modern technology great?
Be prepared to be underwhelmed by actual moving pictures in some of these posts.

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Old 04-25-2010, 10:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryn1203
Hi Frey B.

are you gonna ride the western wiggly bits ? Hope so - post the pics if you do.
The weather forecast is for sun, sun, sun - NOT - just kiddin, hopefully it'll be good.

cheers
Oops, sorry, should have said, this was last year. So I am home safe and sound and even the rash I got from the natives has faded nicely. But in answer to your post, it was mainly up the west squigelly bits.

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Old 04-25-2010, 06:21 PM   #8
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:15 PM   #9
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Did you make it to Skye. One of our favorite places on earth. Never seen a yellow seat before. Looked good on your GS. Cheers. y'all.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:15 AM   #10
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Yep. Skye was on the itinararararay. I was pleased meself at how well the yellow seat looked with the white.
(the bike used to be red and the seat a different yellow.)

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Old 04-26-2010, 09:03 AM   #11
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:19 AM   #12
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Off the boat and onto dry land. I headed east from Dunoon and towards Inverarary. Another beautiful road that hugged the coast in parts. I had a couple of episodes where I didn't stop to take pictures when I really should have but I had been this way before and done all that. This trip was mainly about getting me head down and enjoying the roads. I only had 5 days and that is no where near enough.

So We will skip on a few miles.

I had formulated a plan the night before, between bouts of relaxing the man's way and eating (always wash your hands kids) Of getting around Skye. The last time I was here on a bike me and a mate were going to do it but the ferry had dropped a bollock and there were no sailings that day.

So I headed for Mallaig and from there to catch the ferry to Sky and see If i could maybe get a B&B on the island.
These are on the A830. The fucking beauty of a road to Mallaig.







(By the way, just wondering if people mind the swearing? I write as I talk. And I swear a lot. I'm sure a Mod will let me know in no uncertain terms I suppose....)

When I was heading for Mallaig, which by the way is at the end of 30 odd miles of road and no way out of it except to retrace your steps I saw that I should fill up with petrol. However, as the traffic in Fort William had been a particularly tedious I punched fuel in to the GPS and it said there was a pump in twenty odd miles.

Now I have before followed the directions for fuel only to fid a petrol station that had been closed for ten fecking years. It could be e treacherous bastard at times. But girding my loins, I decided to put my faith in technology and ploughed on. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

When I was stopped by the side of the road taking that last set of pictures I got to talking to a couple of blokes who were in aa car but into bikes. I asked them about petrol and they said they hadn't seen any.
Oh well, onwards and upwards. As I got nearer where the GPS said the pumps were I got more and more convinced that the c%+ting thing had done it again, and was going to leave me high and quite literally dry. But just around a corner, there was the turn off to the right that it had been predicting. I followed a wee back road for a mile, convinced that it was going to be a red herring but low and behold there it was. A fully operational garage with a pump.

The relief was welcome as on that last trip with me mate we had run out of juice at the top of the country in a wee town called Durness and had to get a hotel because the only pump for miles wasn't open until the next day.

I filled up and followed the directions back to the main road. It had recently been rebuilt and was wide and sweeping here. There was a cop car sat outside the village with two bored looking peelers in it. Obvioulsly real crime was taking a back seat so they could linger in a car park and nab the occasional tourist.

Frey Bentos screwed with this post 04-26-2010 at 11:26 AM
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:28 AM   #13
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So I rolled down to the ferry at 3.00pmish. There was a mouth breather standing in the middle in what looked like a position of authority when it came to information about the boat. After a few abortive attempts to engage him in conversation and with some further encouragement of clicks and whistles it became apparent that the next sailing was at 4.30. Bollocks. An hour and a half wait? I thought that it might be pushing it getting onto Skye and to get a room somewhere. I didn't know what to expect on the island. If it was heavily populates or not.

See kids, proper preparation is essential. It's what separates us from the Apes, you know.

Anyway, I decided that to head back the way I came and loop up towards The Kyle of Lochalsh. I would procure some fine lodgings there and then in the morning relaunch my attack on the Island, suitably ablated and refreshed. With a breakfast and huge shite.

But first a stop for a wee and a tea..



The A87 to The Kyle of Lochalsh is a fucking lovely road. I bowled along it listening to Dreamtime by The Cult on my fancy new stereo headfones. It was grrrreat as Tony might say. By applying the first B&B rule again, I spied a likely looking establishment by the side of the road just past Eilean Donan Castle and it's hordes of tourists.



Even standing beside it, it looked, er, fine. Okay, a little rough around the edges but I weren't born in no palace and headed in to see what I could see.

It was warm and cosy and fucking coming down with tartan. I rang the bell, there was no answer. I waited and then ploughed on in through a doorway and into a lounge bar. There was a couple of people sitting by a table and a couple, obviously the proprietors holding court.

I got her attention and then got a room. A single, with en suite and a breakfast fit for a prince all for the price of 40.00 of your earth pounds. What could possibly go wrong?

So I trooped up to the room with some of my gear. It was down a low corridor to the back of the building. I got the key in the door and nearly put the window out. It was a tad compact. The bed looked like the one I slept in as a child. A sort of lumpy, tenth hand, single thing. Although the sheets were clean and it didn't actually contain a turd. Well, not yet.

There was a sticky carpet, a fucking awful wardrobe and a leaking radiator with a stain down the side. All in all, just like home
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:30 PM   #14
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:32 PM   #15
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So, time for a shit and a shower. But not at the same time.
Well, okay, AT the same time but that is why showers have a wide plug isn't it? It was still a pleasant evening so I retired to the veranda for a cigar. And a walk about. By this time i was hungry enough to eat the snotters off a corpse and so went to my table what I had done booked.
I had a rather nice spicy chicken soup followed by Salmon and spuds. All I had to do was banish all thoughts of what the kitchen was like and enjoy the food. It's not that I saw the kitchen but I deliver to other hotels and know that it doesn't matter how posh some of them look like on the outside, I wouldn't feed a dog out of them. Fuck knows what this one's looked like. Maybe the Black Hole of Calcutta or something.


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