Scottish Isles 2014

Open forum for ride reports, videos and photos of rideouts, etc.

Moderator: Digga

Postby Tonibe63 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:00 am

Since last year’s Alps trip the bike has sat unused and unloved in the garage covering less than 100 miles including going to the MoT, so with 10 days off work we decided to do a ‘staycation’ and tick another couple of things off the bucket list. The plan was to do as much wild camping as possible but with no cooking gear and move on every day as some sort of preparation for ............. who knows :?

Sunday morning we got the gear out the loft, load up the bike and head North to stop en route at Louise’s Sisters in The Lakes. I’d forgotten just how heavy this lot is and very nearly dropped it whilst still on the drive, this did nothing to ease my concerns about this trip possibly being damn hard work.
Image

Monday morning as they head off to work we go North, we clear Glasgow by Noon where the scenery starts to change for the better and the old feelings about a bike trip started to revive themselves as we chat to fellow bikers fuelling up.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Tonights destination was Applecross, which although a bit of a detour was worth it just for riding The Pass of the Cattle
Image

We set up camp and head off down to The Inn for a well deserved meal on the sea front.
Walking back to the tent we got chatting to a couple of blokes from Newcastle who had been there a couple of nights and were leaving tomorrow. The younger guy was heading home but Colin the older one (early 60’s) had planned to head off to the Islands on his dream trip of doing them on a bike. Unfortunately he’d had bad news 6 months earlier about the big ‘C’ which had been compounded recently with a heart operation, yesterday he’d taken ill again and didn’t feel ‘right’ so he too was thinking of going home. The look of disappointment and resignation would have made you cry as the sparkle in his eyes drained away along with the dream :cry: .

Image

Tuesday
The next morning after a chat with Louise I spoke with Colin about tagging along with us so that if he was taken ill he wouldn’t be on his own but after a brief pause he politely declined and said he wasn’t sure he had the strength to get home never mind tour the Islands, the departing handshake said much more .............................. “Enjoy yourself it’s later then you think”.

The ride back over The Pass of the Cattle was a little sombre which wasn’t helped by the low cloud as we climbed the mountain and the view ahead looked like we were heading down in to a bubbling couldren
Image

Image

Stopping for breakfast at the side of a Loch got the energy going and soon the fantastic Scottish roads were starting to flow as we carved our way through the middle of Skye finally stopping at Uig, filling up with petrol and getting a ferry ticket over the North Uist. We hadn’t booked ahead but being on a bike it wasn’t a problem and there was time to grab lunch before we sailed.
A calm sea was welcomed by Louise as was spotting dolphins of some sort swimming across the bows of the half empty ship.
Image

Image

Arriving in Uist late afternoon I set off towards a beach that Steve had told me was suitable for our first ever night of wild camping. When we found it there was already a camper van set up so carried on around the coast, picking up supplies and a disposable barbeque en route before eventually finding this fantastic spot :greetings-clappingyellow:

Image

Which was my own little slice of Heaven

Image

Image

Image

But of course I just “had to go too far” :augie
Image


Image
Last edited by Tonibe63 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:55 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Open your eyes and you see what is in front of you, open your mind and you see a whole new World.
Tonibe63 Offline

User avatar
Paid Member 2017
Paid Member 2017
 
Posts: 4199
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: In a World of my own

Postby Jon King » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:48 am

Wowser....Need to do this one day
http://www.FunBikes.co.uk

:) :) :) (REPRODUCED UNDER LICENCE FROM B8PPJ)

Image
Jon King Offline

User avatar
Paid Member 2016
Paid Member 2016
 
Posts: 1742
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:33 pm

Postby Tonibe63 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:12 pm

Wednesday

A really good nights sleep, waking occasionally to the sounds of birds or waves on the sand and the icing on the cake was when the early morning mist cleared to reveal this- WOW!!
Image
Image
Image
Image

Time to move on which took an hour to break camp and reload the bike.
By now the sea mist was blowing inland and because the islands are quite narrow the whole of North Uist was covered and quite thick in places. The roads were now often down to single track tarmac with passing places which also made for hard work having to stop start with all that weight aboard.
Sticking to the main road (if you can call it such) the Island appeared to be quite low lying with scrub, pasture, rocks and sea all mixing together to make a fairly barren landscape. The villages were just a small group of houses dotted along the route with no cafes or places to eat until we spotted a sign for a golf club and grabbed a brunch of tea and cake. The place was deserted but the staff very friendly, apparently many American and European golfers fly in to play the course during the Islands Open Tournament.
Moving on we crossed a couple of causeways between North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and finally Eriskay without even realising due to the mist, infact the whole place felt like a deserted lunar landscape.
Arriving at the ferry port to Barra there was a que of small campers and cars waiting to board but again we squeezed on to the ferry and bought a return ticket without any thoughts or mention of having to book.

Arriving in Barra the mist had finally cleared and we rode North to look at the landing strip where the small planes land on the beach.
Ten minutes later one of the 3 flights that day came in which was quite impressive as the spray erupted as it landed
Image
Image

Heading up to the top of Barra the weather was really improving and we saw this house-what a fantastic view out the back window
Image
Travelling South it was time to look for somewhere to stay the night, preferably with showers. The beach on Vatersay Island was stunning but alas no camp sites or even wild camping near to the bike.
Image

Heading back on to Barra we found a Coop for supplies and then a small camp site at Borve Point with facilities for £14 a night. The owner was also the local postman and carpenter who delighted in showing us the Oyster Catchers and chicks nesting within 20 feet of our tent, he even left us his binoculars to watch them with-very friendly.
Another evening of beer and barbeque whilst gazing out to sea.

Image
Last edited by Tonibe63 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Open your eyes and you see what is in front of you, open your mind and you see a whole new World.
Tonibe63 Offline

User avatar
Paid Member 2017
Paid Member 2017
 
Posts: 4199
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: In a World of my own

Postby bmk » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:47 pm

:lurk

Keep it coming Tony. :D :handgestures-thumbup:
.
Image

"Style is not a decoration added to a functional structure, it is a work of art."
bmk Offline

User avatar
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 10533
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 1:56 pm
Location: Not far away.

Postby skunkyd » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:34 pm

I wish I had the balls to do something like this Tony, great picture and write up! :handgestures-thumbup:
Skunky
*************************************
skunkyd Offline

User avatar
Paid Member 2017
Paid Member 2017
 
Posts: 3765
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:45 pm
Location: Narborough

Postby bmk » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:04 pm

skunkyd wrote:I wish I had the balls to do something like this Tony, great picture and write up! :handgestures-thumbup:


Doesn't take balls Rob, you just need to pencil out the time and do it. It's not nearly as difficult as people think it is. ;)
.
Image

"Style is not a decoration added to a functional structure, it is a work of art."
bmk Offline

User avatar
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 10533
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 1:56 pm
Location: Not far away.

Postby Tonibe63 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:25 pm

bmk wrote:
skunkyd wrote:I wish I had the balls to do something like this Tony, great picture and write up! :handgestures-thumbup:


Doesn't take balls Rob, you just need to pencil out the time and do it. It's not nearly as difficult as people think it is. ;)


It's far easier than organising a Family holiday. You just need a rough plan, no preconceived expectations and make the best of whatever happens.
A couple of years ago we flew into Marrakech with a couple of small suitcases and nothing else booked, it was a fantastic trip and far beyond anything I could have wished for. Despite what we are told 99.99% of the Worlds people are great.
Open your eyes and you see what is in front of you, open your mind and you see a whole new World.
Tonibe63 Offline

User avatar
Paid Member 2017
Paid Member 2017
 
Posts: 4199
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: In a World of my own

Postby Tonibe63 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:02 pm

Thursday

Another great nights sleep, packed up in an hour and away North. The previous day there had been no phone signal anywhere on Barra, no problem really as we had a return ticket. Pulling into the unmanned port around 9.30am the 2 lanes for prebooked vehicles were already full, with just the remaining ‘lane of shame’ for the non booked vehicles and we were the first and only ones in it-oh how the cage drivers frowned upon us. Checking my phone I finally had a signal so rang the Booking Office to be told .......... “I’m sorry Sir but all crossing are full until tomorrow morning but you could wait to see if somebody doesn’t turn up”.
As the ferry pulled in and unloaded one of the crew made a beeline for us saying there was no motorcycles booked on this crossing ..... but no problem he would squeeze us on=result.

Photo looking back at Barra with the beach landing strip
Image

Originally we had intended to go to Harris&Lewis but several people had said that Mull was a beautiful Island so after a look at the map we changed our plans. Mindful of the earlier ferry issue we push on through Uist, which was just as barren in the sunshine as it had been in the mist, and head straight for the ferry back to Skye. With the bike now running on fumes we booked on the next available crossing which gave just enough time for Brunch at the local port Museum.
Landing in Uig the clouds were gathering so after fuelling up we head straight for a campsite we know in Dunvegan, 2 nights on the trot with showers-oh my you are spoiling her MrB.
On Sunday when travelling up the M6 we gave a thumbs up to a Landrover with “Australia to UK 2012/13” written across the back and tonight as I returned to the tent I spotted it over in the corner so stopped for a chat. Some of the photo’s on their laptop were fantastic and they were thrilled to meet like minded people who understood rather than asking “why” like most of their friends do. They had clearly sleep walked back into the work/bills/2 week holiday lifestyle but you could see their excitement grow as they answered my many questions. A very inspirational chance encounter with a couple of 'normal' people who just had a dream and did it without any book deals or sponsorship obligations to fulfil.
http://oandltrip.com/

Image
Open your eyes and you see what is in front of you, open your mind and you see a whole new World.
Tonibe63 Offline

User avatar
Paid Member 2017
Paid Member 2017
 
Posts: 4199
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: In a World of my own

Postby PaulG » Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:44 pm

Brilliant Tony :greetings-clappingyellow: :greetings-clappingyellow:
If only Julie woul do camping :(
Of all the things i have lost i miss my mind the most.
PaulG Offline

User avatar
*Mr. Treasurer*
*Mr. Treasurer*
 
Posts: 3919
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:14 pm
Location: UK

Postby bmk » Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:01 pm

PaulG wrote:If only Julie would do camping :(


Tight git, you're only thinking it'd be a cheap holiday. :lol: :lol: :lol: ;)
.
Image

"Style is not a decoration added to a functional structure, it is a work of art."
bmk Offline

User avatar
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 10533
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 1:56 pm
Location: Not far away.

Postby PaulG » Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:04 pm

bmk wrote:
PaulG wrote:If only Julie would do camping :(


Tight git, you're only thinking it'd be a cheap holiday. :lol: :lol: :lol: ;)


Haha :lol: :lol: :lol:
Of all the things i have lost i miss my mind the most.
PaulG Offline

User avatar
*Mr. Treasurer*
*Mr. Treasurer*
 
Posts: 3919
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:14 pm
Location: UK

Postby skunkyd » Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:50 pm

PaulG wrote:Brilliant Tony :greetings-clappingyellow: :greetings-clappingyellow:
If only Julie woul do camping :(


She does :oops: :oops: :oops:
Skunky
*************************************
skunkyd Offline

User avatar
Paid Member 2017
Paid Member 2017
 
Posts: 3765
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:45 pm
Location: Narborough

Postby PaulG » Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:56 pm

skunkyd wrote:
PaulG wrote:Brilliant Tony :greetings-clappingyellow: :greetings-clappingyellow:
If only Julie woul do camping :(


She does :oops: :oops: :oops:

In your dreams :lol: :lol: :lol:
Of all the things i have lost i miss my mind the most.
PaulG Offline

User avatar
*Mr. Treasurer*
*Mr. Treasurer*
 
Posts: 3919
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:14 pm
Location: UK

Postby Tonibe63 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:37 pm

Friday

The weather was a bit grey again but still no rain, packing up was down to half an hour and we were off about 9am. The roads were so wide compared to the smaller islands making progress a lot quicker and riding much more enjoyable. There was also lots more bikes around whereas on the islands we saw very few.
A quick photo stop at Portree
Image

More fantastic roads down to Armadale ferry where we got a hopper ticket and joined another long queue to board along with about 20 other bikes, no problem though as we got on the next crossing.
Getting off at Mallaig we set off in a line of bikes along my favourite road towards Fort William before turning off towards Kilchoan where the roads narrowed again.
Arriving at the Port we were the only vehicle, there was no ticket office and just an electronic sign that said ‘all crossings suspended due to sea mist’ but with a hand written note saying ‘message board broken’.
Image

Thankfully 15 minutes later the ferry turned up on time and we were the only vehicle on it
Image

Half an hour later and we arrived in Tobermory on The Isle of Mull
Image
Image

After spending an hour or so checking out a couple of campsites we finally settle on a permitted wild camping site just back from the beach-perfect
Image

We set up camp then head off to find food but everywhere was fully booked. We stopped to chat to a couple touring on pushbikes who had not booked a place for the night and everywhere they rang was fully booked, the next day we found out they got the last room in a Youth Hostel. If you come in a car/want B&B/food you’re best to book. Eventually we found a great restaurant in Tobermory Harbour but by now the fuel light was on and the only petrol station was closed-doh!

Heading back the sun was just setting
Image
Image

Image
Last edited by Tonibe63 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Open your eyes and you see what is in front of you, open your mind and you see a whole new World.
Tonibe63 Offline

User avatar
Paid Member 2017
Paid Member 2017
 
Posts: 4199
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: In a World of my own

Postby Tonibe63 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:17 pm

Saturday

Another great night’s sleep and woken up by sounds of the birds.

Louise hand feeding the birds
Image

Last night we clocked 13 miles from Tobermory to the campsite and the bike was saying 15 miles left in the tank but the petrol pump was at the side of a garage workshop and we didn’t know if they even opened at weekends. We packed up and set off making a mental note of rotavators , outboard engines infact anything that may have petrol in, it should we run out.

Thankfully they are open because the next one is 12 miles away
Image

We were heading for the Southern tip of the Island today with only small villages en route so we stocked up with supplies in Tobermory, had some brunch and then set off around this beautiful Island for a camp site marked on the map.
Image
Image
Image
Image

Petrol in the tank and supplies in the boot means we are now self sufficient again
Image

Many hours later at the end of a gravel track we found the campsite which was £2 each payable to a house on the hill.
Image

This was Louise’s favourite
Image
Image
Image

When the tied went out we could walk between a couple of the Islands off the beach

Image
Image

And as the sun went down we had our last beach barbeque-Heaven
Image
Image
Last edited by Tonibe63 on Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Open your eyes and you see what is in front of you, open your mind and you see a whole new World.
Tonibe63 Offline

User avatar
Paid Member 2017
Paid Member 2017
 
Posts: 4199
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: In a World of my own

Next

Return to Ride Reports

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest