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Alba


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So, Last Monday I headed on up North. I packed up the pony with all the luggage, I thought I would use this trip as a tester for next year. So at 07:50 I set off for Gretna Green.

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2hrs later I arrived at the toll bar cafe, only to find it was closed 😂

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No point hanging around here so I set off to Arrochar, now Arrochar is just NW of Loch Lomond. I decided to avoid the Erskine bridge and head for the ferry at Gourock.

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I cant remember what time I arrived at Gourock, but I was just in time for a ferry. Straight on, £5 for me and £5 for the bike. The ferry is a short 20min sailing to Dunoon. From Dunoon it is a great ride into Arrochar where I was staying the night. Plenty of bikes arrived that evening. It was steak n ale pie & chips and a pint for tea (supper or Dinner for those down south) and I was ready to call it a night. The weather all day was a mixture of mist and rain.

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The Following Morning I perform ones ablutions and then head off for the Green Welly Stop for breakfast, stopping off for a photo along Loch Lomond. 

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When I arrived at the Green Welly I noted the cafe was closed but were serving takeaways, a bacon barm and a coffee later I hit the road again. 

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Making my way up to Glencoe, the weather made it quite eerie.

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Its always worth a stop off at the commando memorial, several bikers pulled over but didn't bother to stay. On a clear day you can see Ben Nevis and see for miles however it wasn't to be today, still misty rain. 

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1 hour ago, Bender said:

Never been on the ferry, I don't mind the bridge,  I need to go north, looks great, I even prefer it when it's  dreich

The ferry is a good alternative if heading up through Dumfries and Galloway,, its a nice road from Dunoon although there were plenty of road works. I will add day 2 part two next. When the sun starts to shine 

Edited by Pie man
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Whilst travelling to the ferry I stopped for a butty in Farlie, I called into Michelles takeaway, there is ample parking there, a local delivery driver came over for a chat, he was saying he was looking forward to getting away for a week on his bike soon, he mentioned about heading south. I couldn't understand that one 😂I was also chatting to a fella and his wife at the Commando memorial, they were just having a ride out in the car for the day, they said they usually tour Europe on their bike. Anyhow I set off and headed up to Fort Augustus, stopping to watch the boats go through the locks on the Caledonian. Bike park for free, cars get half an hour free before having to pay. 

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8 minutes ago, Pie man said:

I can see why, its quite an attractive unusual place, very picturesque.  

People are mostly great too, spent many a week there, the gates failed years ago and only the last set held firm, canal would have been very dry had they failed 

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After I visited the tourist shops, bought the obligatory fridge magnet and some fudge, I set off North yet again. I headed up the east coast, supprisingly the A9 was quiet. I wish I had stopped at Urquhart Castle, sadly I didn't. I carried on up through Inverness and I rode through Helmsdale (enough said). The east coast has some fantastic views of the sea

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When I got to Latheron I followed the A9 to Thurso. I headed straight to my accommodation, off loaded all my luggage and then headed off to JOG. This was the view from my digs. 

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1 minute ago, Pie man said:

After I visited the tourist shops, bought the obligatory fridge magnet and some fudge, I set off North yet again. I headed up the east coast, supprisingly the A9 was quiet. I wish I had stopped at Urquhart Castle, sadly I didn't. I carried on up through Inverness and I rode through Helmsdale (enough said). The east coast has some fantastic views of the sea

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When I got to Latheron I followed the A9 to Thurso. I headed straight to my accommodation, off loaded all my luggage and then headed off to JOG. This was the view from my digs. 

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Your in the boring bit now 😂 

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I took to top road to JOG. I arrived around 6pm, not much there, this was just a box ticking exercise. 22.thumb.jpg.eb5c4e5e6f424ebcb3afe7030248d729.jpg

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From there I headed to Dunnett Head - Plenty of midges too. 

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I noticed a MOD station between JOG and Dunnet Head. You can just see the golf ball above my tank bag. Must be a big employer in the region. The coast starts to get interesting from there onwards. 

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I headed back to my accommodation, a few more bikes had arrived. I got talking to the Africa Twin owner for a while, nice fellow from the Blackpool area, they were heading south. It was time for food, I had the pollo funghi and two pints of Tennents finest and then off to bed. 

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to be continued 

Edited by Pie man
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Just now, Bender said:

Don't miss smoo cave 😁 

Smoo Cave. When I was last there in 2019 I had the place to myself, this year you couldn't  get on any of the carparks for motorhomes. 

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7 minutes ago, Pie man said:

Smoo Cave. When I was last there in 2019 I had the place to myself, this year you couldn't  get on any of the carparks for motorhomes. 

I had a motor home attempt to remove my mirror off last time I was on that road, most can't drive cars never mind a van with big mirrors. 

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After breakfast I went for a short walk and could see the Stromness-Scrabster ferry just docking, lovely blue sky this morning, I walk back and gather all my belongings and head off along the coastal road.  

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I wondered if you could still get fuel from those pumps. (Ullapool & Moffat peterol stations still had E5) all the Gleaner ones where E10)

 

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I headed off following the coast to the Kyle of Tongue crossing, there is a couple of parking lay-bys on the crossing, I stop to take a picture and ended up talking to a old retired Scotsman (reminded me of uncle albert from Only Fools) he was staying on the crossing in his motorhome and had been there for two weeks. not surprising really as the views are spectacular. 

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I wish him well and set off for the Kylesku Bridge. Taking a couple of scenic snaps along the way.

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I have crossed this bridge at least half a dozen times and never bothered to stop. 

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After leaving the bridge I head off towards Ullapool however I take a right turn and head for Lochinver. 

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The place was rammed with tourists 😂 In Lochinver there is a pie shop. so without hesitation I joined the very long queue for a Pie. (Two Pies and a can of coke £14.) I dined on the carpark where I ended up talking to a nice fella and his wife who were on an organised tour, I had followed them for some miles but we had taken different routes to the Loch. We chatted for a while, an old local stopped and joined in, I have met some nice and friendly people on this trip. 

I only ate one pie and saved the other for later 😂

 

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I pass through Ullapool, only stopping to fuel up, having been so many times before I sometimes don't see the point in stopping there. I fuel up with E5 and head of for Marybank. I take a few snaps on the road out of ullapool.

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The Following morning I head off out through Inverness, didn't bother to stop anywhere. I made my way to the Cairngorms. Passing through Grantown-on-Spay, Tomintoul, Braemar etc, a fantastic route I have travelled several times before however today it was a pea-souper. 

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I didn't see that many motorhomes or bikers heading over the Cairngorms. I fuelled up at Braemar - the petrol station attendant was friendly enough, we chatted for a while, I had a coffee and we were talking about where I was heading, a truck driver called in and said if you're heading towards Perth its pishing it down. Oddly enough it stayed dry for me all the way until I reached Moffat. On my way to Moffat my Sat-nav had a wobbler and I ended up in some right glamourous places Not 😂

I did manage to take a snap of the Kelpies 

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I continued through the concrete jungle until I was out on the roads to Moffat and enjoyed a leisurely ride to my overnight stop.

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The following morning I packed up and headed south taking the A&B roads over Shap until I hit Lancaster then it was motorway all the way home. Until the next one..................... 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Pie man said:

Mileage for the trip 

Day 1. 290

Day 2. 278

Day 3. 203

Day 4. 241

Day 5. 210

 

Total mileage 1222

I went to fort Augustus for chips once, then turned round and drove home 😂 

 

They were nice chips and the lass in the chippy was hot. 

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