Friday 24th July 2020

A post Covid 19 lockdown (phase 3) scooter journey over the Lecht (199 miles).

This is the first big trip of the year. The scooter needs a front tyre and the rear shocks replaced. The right side is weeping oil.

However I had to get away and the forecast was good. It turned out a lovely day.

I left home maybe 9.20 or so and headed by Evanton and Foulis Station to avoid the A9.

After crossing the Cromarty Firth Bridge I headed over the Blackisle by Culbokie and Munlochy. This is my old primary school at Drumsmittal, now a private house and recording studio!

Once over the Kessock Bridge I went to Tesco at the retail park for provisions for the day. Here I discovered my GPS wasn’t working! Oh dear. So I had to do the rest of the trip by memory and missed a few turns. The first I missed, stupidly, was the back road to Nairn by Ardersier.

But I did find my way onto the back roads between Nairn and Forres. I stopped beyond Kingsteps and had something to eat. I now carry a much fuller toolkit and stripped down the front to get at the USB charging plug but apart from not working the connections seemed fine. I did find it was poor connections the next day when I stripped it down in the garage and checked with a multimeter. I have ordered a new tyre from Good tread and some second hand shocks from Ebay.

This is at Brodie.

I picked up petrol in Forres.

And headed to Dallas, Archiestown, Craigellachie, Dufftown and then onto the Cabrach.

This picture is just beyond where I stopped for lunch. A rotten car was parked in my usual spot but this was a very nice place.

A pork pie and Pepsi Max. One of the world’s best meals.

I went on to Mossat and seeing that the antique shop was open went in and purchased two scent bottles for Anne and Mairi. I also bought a hippo for Mairi.

I went by Strathdon to Cockbridge and stopped by a good thick wood to answer the loud call of nature. I was then checking my helmet camera when who should stop but my brother, Billy. He was heading to Aberdeen to collect his daughter Fiona. We had a long blether.

I left Billy and headed up over the Lecht.

I went on through Tomintoul and passed through Grantown on Spey. I stopped before Duthil at Mackrach Castle and had more to eat.

I pushed on to Carrbridge and took the back road to Slochd. This is going under the A9. You have to go onto the busy A9 but are only on the A9 for a couple of miles.

As you hit the dual carriageway you go left and onto the amazing road that takes you to Farr. At Findhorn Bridge you go left. At Woodend you go right.

I so love this road. I found the rubber foot for my tripod stand I lost here last year! I have thrown out that tripod, though, and purchased a new one.

Eventually you come out at Loch Farr.

I then followed the signs to Inverness and just took the A9 to get home. It is great having a scooter that can do this. I got home just after 5.00.

What a great day. It is amazing to be free again. This old scooter is fantastic. No aches or pains after almost 200 miles. It is ugly but it is practical.