27th April 2019

A scooter trip to Tarbat Ness Lighthouse (84 miles)

I had hoped to go to Skye today to look at a scooter advertised on Gumtree but the seller never got back to me. It was very cold so instead of doing a long trip I just did a shortish one. I haven’t really been scooting much. I’ve had a lot of work to do in my daughter’s house. I’m also just recovering from a sinus infection. I was kind of desperate to get out.

I went over the Struie road to near Ardgay and then followed the low road back to Tain. The day was cold with a bit of drizzle on the top here. This is at the Coire na Cloiche Wind Farm entrance. I always called it the Beinn Tharsuinn wind farm.

This is the railway causeway by the Dornoch Firth.

I stopped at Old Edderton Church to take a few pictures.

This is a reconstruction of the pulpits used by the old Highland ministers when preaching in the open air. The poor congregation just got wet. There is lovely blossom everywhere. I love April and May.

I went to Homebargains in Tain to get a wee picnic. 

The picnic was the bargain of the year. I got 4 pork pies for 69 pence. The whole picnic didn’t even come to £2. There should be more Homebargains around. Below, there is lovely blossom, even outside Homebargains.

I headed out to Portmahomack and went to the harbour to take some photos.

And then headed to Tarbat Ness. The bluebells were just amazing. I saw swallows (it could have been martins or swifts, I’m no ornithologist) feeding over the fields. I just love when they come back.

I walked out to beyond the lighthouse and had my picnic looking out to sea.

This is the what a Homebargains picnic looks like. The pork pies weren’t bad at all. Tesco has had worse. So here is my advice. Buy your picnics in Homebargains. Stobart’s pork pies are highly recommended. I ate two of them. I think my ‘little’ brother would have eaten the four.

Some close ups of the flowers.

Out at Tarbat Ness is the most amazing walled fields.

I then went on to Rockfield. Rockfield should be bonny but the houses have been too modernised.

I then headed towards home and went by the seaboard villages to see the Shandwick Stone. There are a lot of Pictish stones round about here. This one is in a glass enclosure to protect it.

This was taken from near the stone using the zoom lens. Another lovely ruined Highland building.

It was then on to Nigg Old Parish Church to see another Pictish stone. This is a smashing old church. There is a lovely walk beside it called the Bishop’s Way but I didn’t do it today.

I went to Nigg itself to the ferry pier. The ferry runs from June to October. It would have made a nice wee addition to my tour and come back by the Black Isle. Nigg is so industrial now. When I was a boy it was just a lovely deserted beach. There are a lot of oil rigs in at the moment.

I made a back track to see Fearn Abbey. Sadly the church was closed.

I stopped at Kilmuir Easter church to take the photo above.

And again I stopped at Saltburn just outside Invergordon where I teach. This is only for one more year. I’m getting a bit excited at the thought of retirement. The pier below was built for the smelter. It was used to transport bauxite and alumina from ships. When I came to Invergordon it was covered. Sadly the smelter shut 38 years ago to the huge disadvantage of the local economy.

It is great to be scooting again. It is a lovely way to pass a few hours. As I said at the start I am thinking of another scooter. A bit bigger and a bit more comfortable. But maybe I will lose the sense of adventure. This wee scooter has no power. 45 mph is a challenge! It is very uncomfortable. Why do I love it? It does 130 mpg!