hello again. It seems a long time since I wrote the last blog in kendal. Since then I have changed countries, riding north from Kendal and achieving a long time desire to visit Scotland. When i rolled in on the M6 it was plain but green, then thropugh Glasgow on the motorway but I could still see some of the Georgian architecture amongst all the bustle. i'm not really a city boy though, sop kept on rolling until I arrived at Balloch, the beginning of Loch Lomond. Another song I learnt many years ago makes some (not much!) sense now.
I had joind a camping club in Kendal so went to their site at Luss, right on the 'bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond', as the song went. i was late in as usual and didn'[t take much notice of the midgees, but they sure noticed me! there are clouds of them all over the west coast of Scotland, wherever you get out of the wind. Gives me a new level of respect for those blokes in their kilts!
I tried the Haggis that night - OK but not really spectacular. In the morning i set out for Glencoe and Fort William, armed with a new map and much info from the local information centre. I had seen a road marked Glen Douglas on my map so I rode along it. A nice place, wild hilly farmland. Check out the pic's.
Then along the bank of yet another loch and up into the mountains to Glencoe. It seems to be just one more mountain but the whole highlands area is beautiful. Not a tree for miles, just wide open rocky mountains. The roads are open sweeping corners joined by short straights and a pleasure to ride albeit bumpy in places. There are a few other tourists around and a lot of bikes.
I went to the Isle of Skye partly because it's there and partly due to the obvious link with my daughter. When I arrived though it took my breath away. Rocky mountains plunging into rocky coastlines, little lochs & beaches everywhere, mountains inland, not bad roads either. The check out chick in the co-op store gave me directions to Elgor, so away I went. That's when i saw the pen of rams and a couple of amature shearers at work. Of course I called and introduced myself. They had penned the rams in a portable yard against the road fence and were shearing them on the spot with blades! A bloke called Duncan was introduced as the champion shearer of the area, but the farmer himself was shearing these. After giving them a few desperately needed tips I took off down the single track road again. Stopped for a coffee (when it comes to coffee the English make a good cup of tea. This however as my only cup of coffee in Scotland, was great - I dodn't think I'll have another one just in case) at a little cafe that reminded me strongly of one we stopped at in New Zealand, near the glacier.
My arrival at Elgor was marked by a slip on the loose metal dust of the bridge and followed by riding into a small mob of highland cattle - in amongst the cars and tourists on the wharf! I was a bit confused as i hopped off the bike, reading a sign about a boat trip, when a lady said 'it's leaving now you can go too - pay when you get back! I didn't have time to think, so jumped on the boat. Thus ensued a very serene relaxing evening trip accross the bay (loch) and a bit of a bush (rock) walk at the other end.
i could have stayed on the boat for a week in this weather and surroundings - but for £12.50 I only got there and back. So back on the bike and looking for a campsite. The word was that Glenbrittle was the go - apparently scenic and remote - so that's where I went - riding into the setting sun for a while then south to the camp - a great spot and windy so no midgees!