Saturday 10th September 2016

I have been going a bit stir-crazy with work, too many jobs at home, too much preparation for lessons, too much stuff for the church.  Anne was visiting a friend and I decided to get away on the scooter. It is fast becoming my favourite form of transport. I checked the forecast – don’t go west, rain coming, even north there might be rain so its east. This is my third time going this run this year! I love it. I did it on the old XS on the 25th March. I did it on the scooter on the 10th of August but the rain came and I got drenched and gave up taking photos and recording the journey.

Here we are on the garage slope ready for another adventure.

I left home about 9.20 am and went over the Black Isle by the back routes to avoid slowing the traffic. 45 mph is a struggle! I went to see my mum arriving at Drummond road about 10.00 am. She was going out to a communion service so I just stayed till 10.25 am. I went to the large Tesco at the Inverness Shopping Park. This is what is needed for a man for a day. The pens were to note my mileage when I got petrol. I got it at Tesco as well. Then headed off at 10.55 am.

I headed out to Ardersier and before I got there stopped just behind the airport to eat something – a packet of crisps, a Crunchie all washed down with a can of Irn Bru. Hit the spot. I saw two planes take off – a jet and a wee crop duster.

I kept by the back roads till near Nairn, went through Nairn and then branched off again to the left coming out to the Inverness-Aberdeen road near Brodie. I cut off from Forres into the hills and just before Dallas took these pictures of a ruin and a bridge.

A bit further on I took this one of Ben Rinnes.

And my working fuel guage. I’m very proud of it.

I went on to Craigellachie and stopped at the bridge. Another Telford bridge. There was a minibus of tourists there who mobbed the place.

I left Craigellachie about 12.55 pm and headed to Dufftown, getting there about 1.00 pm. This is Dufftown.

The next part of the journey is fantastic. It goes first on the Rhynie road but you branch off onto the wild Cabrach road. This old ruined place is before the turn off. I think its called Bridgend. It is very sad. There are a lot of ruins on this road.

I stopped to get a picture of this strange object. Not quite a well.

“Erected from surplus funds of a bazaar used to pay off the debt on six bridges built between Dufftown and Cabrach” – now you know!

This is the turn off at Elrich.

And at last stopped for lunch at 1.30 pm, a lot later than usual. This was just a lovely spot, incredibly quiet. Maybe one car went past. I even had a lie down for a wee while. A very treasured moment. I moved off just before 1.55 pm.

And went on to the lovely antique shop at Mossat. I had a rumage and got a tiny tea pot and cup for Anne and a wee green bottle for myself. I love antique shops.

It has always been a woman who has been there but a guy came up in a car, maybe my own age, but what a head of white hair. He was terribly nice. Wanted to know about the wee scooter.

And then moved down to Ballater. This is a new extra bit for me. I normally head up Strathdon and over the Lecht. I actually didn’t go into Ballater but went through the Pass of Ballater and stopped for a wee rest.

Definitely autumn coming.

This is the bridge over the River Gairn and Gairnshiel Lodge.

Just a wee bit further up the road was this ruin.

I had to stop to take more photos.

And back onto familiar ground the bridge at Cockbridge.

This is Corgarff Castle before going over the Lecht.

And up on the Lecht. I stopped for more to eat! A KitKat and can of Coke.

I went over the Lecht and on to Tomintoul. A wee bit further I stopped for natural reasons.

Its quite sensational scenery going on to Grantown on Spey.

Just before 5.00 pm I reached Grantown. I stopped and had a look at a few shops including the antique shop! I filled the scooters tank up with the spare can I carry.

I got a carton of mango juice at the newsagent. The woman who served me knew me! She had been in the school and I had also taught her son. I feel so bad as I couldn’t remember either. I got Chicken Fried Rice at a Chinese takeaway. Then went down towards the Spey to eat it. Chicken Fried Rice is usually quite a dry dish, this was a bit slushy. It was OK.

Here’s some photo.

Then pushed on to Cawdor, the back of Croy, Culloden Moor and Inverness. This is before branching at Dava. It could be Loch Mhic Leoid. The moor is beautiful. I wish I had photographed it but you pass a rock on the left with ‘Jesus Saves’ painted on it.

I got to Inverness and was so sore I had to stop at North Kessock.  My dad was minister in Knockbain. He used to take me to the evening service held in a wee tin hut here. Donny the Broom was prescentor then. These were different days. Better days. Kessock was just a wee place. You had to get a ferry to Inverness. Now its really a suburb of Inverness. 

I then pushed on over the lovely Black Isle. This is Munlochy Bay.

And up near Mount Eagle.

I got home after 7.00 pm. My back is giving me a lot of trouble just now so I was very sore and stiff. But what a great day. 225 miles.