Sunday 27 July 2014

Gravel Roads

Since we got back from the All Roads lead to the Moon tour we've tried to find some gravel roads to keep up our "off road" skills. In Scotland though its almost impossible, the hand full of people who own Scotland want to keep it to themselves which is in one way understandable but morally wrong when I think its less than 400 people own most of the land and as always usually for the benefit of their rich friends. Anyway rant over, we had a great day yesterday with a stunning (and very hot) ride through the borders and a ride across the Kielder forest in the North of England managing about 12 miles on gravel before heading to Jedburgh camping for the night where we were joined by Bert and Laurenne for the evening which was great crack. Plenty drink taken and stories told. Entertainment came from the locals, a group were out on what I assume was a stag do, it was very bizarre, some aufy sichts as my maw would have said!
The weather has been stunning this past week so the rain today on the run home was small price to pay for the South American style heat we've had, only downside is it seems to make the car drivers even more erratic than normal!
Filling up, the great thing about these bikes is they use hardly any petrol, I reckon this weekend saw us getting 75+ MPG
Great scenery, quiet roads
A short border raid
Fi quickly back into the groove
I eat her dirt for a change
Back to Bonnie Scotland
The old Jail in Jedburgh
Jedburgh Abbey, founded in 1154 by Augustine monks though to have come from France, Its pretty impressive for such an old building
Adding the alcoholic feel to the Abbey, Laurenne, Bert & Fi
The locals providing entertainment! Very bizarre
Cant remember what this was about but I do remeber some of the ladies seemed to have forgotten most of their clothes!

Sunday 20 July 2014

Rain then Sun

A weekend spent doing bike stuff which was great, a very damp Saturday down at East Fortune in the car. Derek Allan had offered us some ER6 bit which may be handy in the future so we took the opportunity to have a day out at East Fortune at the motorcycle races where he was helping a couple of guys. A great day out despite the dampness and good to catch up with some of the guys from a previous life where I actually went faster than the speed limit!
Sunday we had a Norton meeting at Loch Katrine, Fi, Alex David and myself made up the early crowd with a grand total of 2 Nortons between us, then joined by Sandy & Rab so another Norton, finally Hector appeared making it four Nortons, we had a quorum! great crack and great weather, we stopped for dinner at South Queensferry just to stay out in the sun for a while.

Getting it well over despite the wet!
Derek "Now where did I put that screwdriver"
I'll hold it, you nod. then he can hit it!
Our young friend impressed in only his third race
A pre race pep talk
Nortons in the sun
More Nortons
Hector's Norton, not seen for a while
Alex and I posing in front of the iconic Forth rail bridge

Monday 7 July 2014

SamyeLing Bhuddist Temple

Now we've known about this place for a while and never got around to visiting it but Sunday seemed ideal, heavy showers and thunder and lightning forecast so a run on the bikes down to the borders seemed like a great idea. We had a nice run down mainly deserted roads, deserted apart from the hordes of suicidal sheep that is, we met George Martin in Peebles and stopped for a quick chat, he offered us a cup of tea but didn't have chocolate biscuits so we politely declined, these Triumph owners can be a bit tight with the chocolate biscuits you know.
As we approached the monastery which is near Eskadalemuir I spotted the golden temple roof, not quite what you expect to see in Dumfries & Galloway, in Tibet maybe but not in the Scottish borders.
We rode in and parked the bikes in the heavy rain, Bhudda wasn't doing his best for us at this point, not sure what we expected but we both agreed to a little disappointment, nobody seemed overly friendly and the monks seemed a bit crabbit. I think I expected monks to be wandering around looking serene, full of enlightenment and projecting inner peace, the one I spoke to to ask if we could park our bikes at the cafe was pleasant enough but I wasn't ready for the Scottish accent, I suppose I wasn't ready for the concept of Scottish Tibetan Monks.
Worth a stop though as the cafe is good, the beans on toast was just what I needed!
To be fair Bhudda was kind to us on the way home as we managed to dodge all the downpours on the way back up the road.

The entrance gate, not what you expect to see at the side of the road here
Bikes resting in the rain
The Temple, you see the roof as you get near, makes a change from slates!
Fi asking why its raining
And then meditating in an effort to chase the rain away, it worked!
The godess of something or other (obviously a temptress as snakes usually mean evil?)
Not sure what this building was, the BBQ? the chimnea? or a giant teapot