Travelling: Scotland, the land of whiskey and kilts (Part 1)

Submitted by Koen on Thu, 05/31/2012 - 15:42
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2 years after I bought my first "big" motorcycle, it was time to take it for some travelling.

I wanted to visit Scotland for a few years already, so this was my best opportunity.
The idea was to ride the shores of Scotland and do it all by camping.

 

Taking all that luggage and getting it attached to the CB Sevenfifty was a bit of a challenge.
For this journey I bought 2 GIVI side cases to help out. 

Day 1: 

My travelling companion and I agreed to meet up at my place.
Exchanging some lugage to make sure both bikes were still able to have a fun ride.

At that moment I also realized.... I lost my second key for the bike and the idea was to exchange spare keys just in case of emergency. 
A quick trip to the nearby locksmith solved that pickle. 

After a quick meal we left for the port of Zee Brugge (Belgium) to get to the ferry that woult take us across the channel. 
Securing the bike on the ferry (for the first time) was a bit tense, nobody the check how/what we did.
Leaving the bike behind in the belly of the ferry also felt a bit akward at that time. 

Once all was loaded a last drink in the bar and off to bed! 

The nice part about the ferry? While we were sleeping and after a while waking up, we arrived in Hull.

The bad part about Scotland? On our arrival it was raining... a lot...

Riding through the lake District we set our goal to the first camp site.
It was crazy windy, my tent was struggling to stay up right, that doesn't look promising for the night.

 

As we still had some spare sunlight we did some rain-riding through the vally.
It's not really showing on the image, but it was raining and my rain proof gear? It proved not to be that rain proof..... 

Day 2:

Today we will be going from the Lake District to Glen/Ben Nevis.
The difference between Glen vs Ben is the Vally vs the mountain.

Again we were blessed with a lot of rain and wind.
The upside? It get's you free coffee in every gas station that you get to.

The downside? Well, one lady told us that we were travelling in the coldest/wettest month of may since they start keeping track of the weather.
Doesn't that make you feel special? 

Day 3:

From Glen Nevis we target Isle of Sky as our next destination.

The Island of Skye is connected to the main land with a bridge.
On the isle of Sky we met a few other Belgian Bikers, always good for a laugh and talk session.

Certainly when you meet them in a bar. 

Day 4:

From the Isle of Sky we ride towards Ullapool (or we try to reach Ullapool) passing the Applecross.

Applecross is a rather known road in Scotland, and it's not for the faint of heart appearantly.
At the bottom of the road there is a warning sign, not for beginners or wide load. 
Not sure with all that luggage of the Sevenfifty isn't a wide load ;-)

At the top there is some parking space, and (if it's not so cloudy) a nice view.
We on the other hand got some snow. 

Riding all day in cold and wet weather we decide to quit a bit early and setup our camping stuff at the seaside in Glairloch.

 

Day 5: 

From Glairloch we travel towards Ullapool. We would like to visit the Smoo Caves but for some reason, we must have missed every sign to get there.

The surroundings where we are riding look very rough. A very rocky landscape and you really get that "in the middle of nowhere" feeling.
The road's are great but there is a lot af gravel in the turns which reminds us to keep calm (and to keep the rubby down).

Again we move go to a campside to setup our tents in a rainy situation.

 

Day 6:

Today we go as much as possible to the north of Scotland, John O Groats.
Looking in the distance we see the Orkney Islands and if you look very closely (or just have a glance at google maps) behinds that you'll find Shetland Islands.