A Tale of Two Ferries

25th July 2017

Scooter run to Skye – 264 miles




This has been my longest run this year. I’ll tell you its a big run on a 125cc scooter! The morning started off with drizzle. I waited until 9.30 for this to clear even if it put me behind for a long day. The drizzle stayed till onto the Black Isle. By the Ferrintosh Cemetery it had stopped. I went through the Black Isle to Beauly where I went into the COOP to purchase a Yorkie. I moved on to Brockies Corner and turned right to go over the Culnakirk to Drumnadrochit which I passed through and stopped by the Cobb Memorial for something to eat – my Yorkie and a can of Barrs American Ice Cream Soda (as its so cheap as well as being delicious).







At Invermoriston I turned right to take the road through to Kyle. I stopped just once to get a few pictures. 







Once West I took the left turn to Glenelg at Shiel Bridge to go over the Mam Ratagan. It is quite a spectacular pass.







What was brilliant was my timing. As I reached Glenelg they were loading the ferry. I was called on by the ferrymen to the front and put between two huge foreign bikes. Why people use such big bikes I don’t know. A wee 125 does it slowly, but it does it and uses just a sniff of petrol. This is the old Glenachulish ferry. From 1969 to 1975 the Glennachulish operated at Ballachulish. After the opening of the Ballachulish Bridge she was used elsewhere until 1982 where she has done this crossing since. I must have voyaged on her as a boy crossing at Ballachulish as we would travel north from Glasgow to my Granny and Granduncle (Alick) on the Blackisle. I’ve done this Glenelg/Kylrea crossing a few times on various motorbikes but this is the first time on a scooter.























Then it was over the Bealach Udal where I had my lunch on top before dropping down to Broadford.











I used my open face helmet today and suffered sunburn for it. Look at the cool ‘iridium’ goggles. My face has become like a deflated balloon with age. Notice how the goggles squash lumps of fat or flesh to the side and down!











There is just a couple of miles before Broadford proper where you turn left for Armadale for the other ferry to Mallaig.  This is a good fast road.





I had the time so I took the scenic diversion by Ord. This is just stunning countryside. This is at Loch Meadal looking over to the Cuillins.





And down to Ord. I stayed here a wee while and had a much needed rest in hot sun.

















A bit further on beyond Tokavaig, Loch Ghabhsgabhaigv and the Cuillins.





And Armadale. I made a wee navigation error here going left on reaching the main road but on reaching Sabhal Mor Ostaig I knew I’d made a mistake so turned back. Just a mile or so wrong. But Armadale is a tourist nightmare. I suppose technically I was one. I bought myself an icecream as it was so hot.

A nice young couple came beside me travelling on a Honda 125 two up. She had all their stuff in a rucksack on the back. The bike had a broken side stand and centre stand so he couldn’t get off the bike. She had to do all the ticket purchase etc, all with a jacket on and this huge rucksack. They were counting their money to get an icecream and didn’t have enough so I gave them a couple of pounds. I saw them later and they had jammed a stone under the remains of the side stand to get their bike across on the ferry.







The scooter secured for the crossing.



















When I got to Mallaig they were shunting the Jacobite.









I did stop at Morar station to see if the Jacobite would go through but couldn’t wait. I had to make distance as the ferry got in at 5.00pm so I just kept going to Caol before Fort William. I bought a Scotch pie and chips and had it in a layby just betond Fort William.











And then I did another big push to Fort Augustus. I went onto the Dores road. This is Loch Ness just beyond Fort Augustus.









And a bit further and a bit higher. The day was getting dull. Its amazing how the new camera compensates for the light.









And getting near Dores, Loch Ness comes into view.









I passed through Dores, then round Inverness and over the Kessock Bridge. I took the Drumsmittal road and the at Munlochy cut left over to Culbokie. This is just below Culbokie. Agaim amazed at the camera. I was driving with lights on by now.




And home. I got in at 9.50pm. I was tired, stiff, a bit sore and weary but what a day. The ultimate scooter Highland run.