Saturday, 17 October 2020

A Scottish Odyssey

 We have been watching the new series of "Long way up" starring two well known "Celebrities" which is about manlove, empathy for the planet, saving the Earth, saving the children and I suspect trying to save a revenue stream for the not so famous one. The two chaps take two Electric Harleys From Ushuaia to California supported only by about 20 people following in two electric pickups, a Mercedes Sprinter with solar panels and a huge truck with a diesel generator just in case there isn't enough power in South America to drive their entourage, as usual the cameraman (well the only bike driving cameraman) gets a raw deal and has to drive a petrol Harley on the same trip.

We decided to take two petrol bikes around Scotland to save the Earth by using up some fossil fuel (the sooner we run out the sooner we will have to go electric) and also to try and save the economy by spending money in local communities to try and help some of the damage done by our overlords to the rural economy with their draconian lockdowns which are or are not supported by much scientific evidence depending on who is on the BBC at any particular time. 

The trip took us through Glencoe, a stop at Kinlochleven where we met up with some like minded friends totally by coincidence, some guy by the name of Eric wearing a mask tried to sell us some smokies, I said I didn't smoke but apparently they are a fishy delicacy from the dark reaches of North East Arbroath... The following day in Fort William we chanced upon David T giving his Ducati a wee run out so had a 2.3 Metre chat then a run along Invergarry to Skye and Dunvegan for a few nights and sunny days exploring the Island. The Island, and Scotland incidentally is now officially having their own separate pandemic running alongside Covid 19, the great big fuck off Motorhome pandemic, it is spreading like wildfire and I predict gridlock in the highlands is not far off happening, all the carparks and laybys are almost full, the bins overflowing with rubbish, the fresh air being spoiled by the lumbering (max speed seems to be 40MPH) diesel behemoths roaming our fair country, maybe time for our overlords to think about Motorhome Lockdown (Good title for a rock band?)

After Skye we travelled to one of my favourite places which although busier than usual was still busy enough, we stayed at the most excellent Sunart Camping which compared to Skye was positively cheap (Thanks Tim & Lynn) Shame the pubs are all but shut because I would have loved to have contributed a bit more to the hospitality industry, nonetheless, the sun did shine and despite the fact we picked up a puncture and had to come home on one bike whilst the Blue bike gets repatriated by our back up team soon. It was a great week, Scotland is great but its busy enough now so save my roads, stay at home please! I know George Martin will read this and be shaking his heid at the fact I went away without the full toolkit and puncture outfit, I know, I know, must try harder.

Pictures tell the story......

At Glencoe for tea and sarnies 

Great view from the outside bar (But cold)

Sunset was excellent

People we dont know

Other people we dont know

Drone time
David T admiring our Triumphs

Dunvegan bay
Big Hills in Skye


Skye hairy caterpillar

Colley and McKenzie looking at the Cullins

The old Bridge

Dramatic
At rest


So nice when the sun is out

Fishing boats being readied for battle
Relaxing


Dramatic Landscape



Waiting for a boat

Back to the mainland

Lunch at Arisaig

So nice

Camp site at Strontian
Master chef


Ferry time

Waiting for the boat


Perfect

Monday, 21 September 2020

A Norton jaunt

 Some great weather recently and a great excuse to get out for a wee run on the Nortons before the Despotic "leaders" of this nation impose even more draconian limits on our freedom.

Enough of that, and back to the freedom of a sunny day, being able to roll out your old classic bike and enjoy a bimble on the small roads, enjoying nature, enjoying the fresh smells of the countryside, enjoying the mighty Norton on some of Perthshires best roads....enough of that and back to reality.....

We stopped in a random layby and by chance bumped into a couple from Argyll, lets call them Anne and David, a short while later a passing motorcyclist stopped by, lets call her Liz, and then completely by accident another motorcyclist happened by, lets call him Ian, these mythical people chatted at a good two metres distance before going on their way to enjoy the rest of their day. Some amusement was afforded by some on the hoof maintenance of Fiona's bike, the carb had a sticky float and battering it with a sharp instrument wasn't enough so I had to remove it and the float bowl to fix the issue. A pleasant bimble home and bikes safely away. At one point it felt we had passed through the space time continuum and arrived in the 70s as the cars arriving in the layby were like our Nortons of the older type. Braw day oot! 

Yellow pearl ready to go

Mk 3 ready to go

Maintenance on the hoof
Liz limbering up


David in deep thought

Ian's choice of weapon for the day

Have I arrived in the 70s?


Tuesday, 8 September 2020

A wee Euro jaunt

 This report is a bit late and will not have the usual amount of detail, the current Scottish government seem to be operating a draconian oppressive regime at the moment so I am reluctant to share much more than some of the memories of our recent trip in case the thought police arrest me for daring to enjoy myself. The trip down the west coast of France and then heading due East just north of La Rochelle entering Italy via the Alps and back across the Alps via France to the UK was excellent. The Covid situation seems to be taken more seriously in France despite their apparent high cases, we stayed mostly in the tent (unlike Scotland all campsites were open for business and welcomed tents, enhanced cleaning was evident at all sites). We were cooking for ourselves in the field with the occasional treat in a hotel (to avoid weather) Italy was its usual culinary delight and great to see our extended family and friends. The most unsafe we felt was in the North of England at a services where we witnessed crowds of people not giving a jot about social distancing or with no respect for anyone else, Pics to follow and hopefully sometime in the future I can resort to posting real time stories without fear of recrimination. The bikes by the way were excellent, Fionas ER6 behaving well and the Bonneville performing well also, 3200 miles, one chain adjustment for each bike and running out of fuel on the Bonnie just short of Cambridge services highlighted the lack of capacity in the tank (165 miles, 53 miles with the fuel light on)

6am, ready to leave

Gretna services, we were cold at this point

Further south, warmer

In France warmer still

Bike luggage explosion

Honfluer, worth a visit

Street entertainment

Le Manche

Pretty place and quite busy

Panoramic view

Gino view

Fiona view

Services view

Hotel to avoid a storm

Almost made it, cup of tea on the go


Still wet so another Hotel

Theiviers

Nice wee hoose

Waterproofs again

Nice countryside

Stopped here for a tea and pee break

The rain stayed off and we had great views

Drone time

Stunning valley

Le Puy St Mary

Hot again

Wonderful rural roads

High above the valley

Provence

Hot hot hot

AMet Mark and Mika, out for a meal and spotted this at a second hand shop, not for sale

This was for sale

Nice kit

Great couple of days with Marc and Mika but time to move on
Marc showed us the nice roads out of the area


Nice route

And lunch before goodbye

Fancy perfume factory I believe

very old houses

Camping at Les Moustiers

Church built into the mountain (I didn't walk up) 

The view of the village from the campsite
Went to the town for dinner, shit service, I'll no be back


Visit for provisions

Very hot
Preparing another culinary delight


Lac du Verdon

Braw

5 Star campground at Puget Therniers, brillant toilets and showers, short walk to the town (for shit service)

On the Route Napoleon, worth a stop

Enhanced boobies

Dinner by the tent

Heading to Italy

Crazy roads

Drone time

Hairpin city


Hill forts
Hill Bonneville


Just hills

Drone time

Yeees

The old home town looks the same

Perfect food

Spotted Brunos Morini on the way back to his house

Heading to Castello Vittorio for lunch the SP65, try it if you dare

Drone time

Altitude sickness

Preparing to leave Bruno's place

Lunch stop

Heading North
Mont Cenis pass, almost 7000 feet

It wiz cauld

These guys love the hill forts

Instant pizza machine, may invest in one.

Lac du lac

Chambery camping

Prc du Morvan, at over 2000 feet it got colder at night

Great campsite and at 4 Euro a bottle of wine a great place to stop

Trying to retain heat

Hotel again as it was Baltic last night, in Chalons sur Champagne

Nice square

ambience bien

Waitress took a crap photo

Hmmmmm

Chalons

From oor windae

Soaked waiting for the chunnel

On the train back to blighty and misery


These photos were taken with another camera and are out of sequence and i'm too lazy to sort that oot but here they are anyway
Classic camp scene


Chef 1

Chef 2

Alouette





We had a storm the night before, this is Marc sneaking up on the huge puddle in his awning, oor tent was fine!


Outside Bruno's place

Forest walk

Wsan't worth it, all eateries were closing

We had wine so we were fine.......

Last nights 50 mile south of Calais, nice town, HQ for general Haig during WW1








Fin