Tuesday 16th March 2021

A scooter run to Loch Brora (112 miles).

I am a COVID19 Lockdown rebel! This is from the Scottish Government’s ADVICE AND GUIDANCE – To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible. By law, in a Level 4 area, you can only leave your home (or garden) for an essential purpose. I’m afraid I went for a longer run on my scooter out into the wilds where I met no one, talked to no one and was as isolated as you can get. It was wonderful to be out on the scooter again. We are in the middle of a pandemic but I believe that our Scottish Government’s First Minister is enjoying her dictatorship. I notice rules are now starting to relax. It is interesting that there is to be an election in May!

I left home about 11.30 and headed down to the Skiach Service Station to get petrol. I normally don’t go here as it is much more expensive than at Morrisons in Alness, but it is convenient. I then came back up the Struie Road and headed to Edderton. At Aultnamain there were major road works and vehicles were being taken through in convoy.

This is just after the turnoff to Edderton beyond Aultnamain. The day was mild for the time of year but the wind was ferocious. 

I crossed the Dornoch Firth and headed north up the A9. This is at Loch Fleet with Ben Bhraggie which is above Golspie ahead.

I then pushed on through Golspie and on to Brora where I turned left just beyond the clock-tower onto the Balnacoil road.

I stopped by Loch Brora for my picnic lunch.

I didn’t go into any shops to purchase a picnic but took one from home. Even though I am the COVID19 Lockdown rebel I didn’t want contact with people and put them or me at risk. I have had the first of the immunisations (the Oxford Astra Zenica vaccine) so should be OK. 

Just look at the water on Loch Brora. It was really wild. It was so windy that on the A9 I was getting blown about which was quite scary at times.

There was this sad ‘shrine’ where I stopped. The flowers were fresh. Maybe someone’s loved one drowned in Loch Brora.

The road often floods beyond Balnacoil. We once had to turn back in the car here. There had been some flooding but the scooter went through this easily. There had been heavy rain last night.

Sutherland is being ruined by wretched windfarms.

The old bridge at Dalreavoch

This is before Rogart at Rhilochan. Lochan in Gaelic is little loch.

I came down to Rogart and followed the road to Lairg. This is Loch Shin at Lairg.

The road between Lairg and Rosehall where I had the breakdown a year ago was still closed so I had to divert down to Invershin. I went onto the Lochinver road to take me to Rosehall.

And then came to another favourite road – the road from Rosehall to Culrain and Ardgay via Inveroykel. This is the old Bailey bridge crossing the Oykel River. I had to stop as it is a special place.

Further on this is the Kyle of Sutherland. Basically it is the Oykel river become a bit bigger.

Carbisdale Castle coming up.

Looking over to the railway bridge at Invershin.

And here is where I had my puncture back in December. I now have a new rear tyre and an MOT. I sorted that out just a couple of weeks ago. I have just bought a wee compressor and a kit for repairing tyres described on Ebay as – ‘Emergency Car Van Motorcycle Tubeless Tyre Puncture Repair Kit Tool with 5 Strip’. I hope this might work out better in future disasters. Really, I hope I have no more punctures but I have become wary.

I headed on to Ardgay and up over the Struie. Yet again I took some photos at the viewpoint, well it is a good view.

At the highest point on the Struie road between us and Aultnamain there was still snow.

I got home about 3.30 having had a lovely time. Tom Macbride at Spinningdale Motors who does my MOTs, once again was trying to tell me to sell the scooter and buy a big bike. He doesn’t remember he tried to sell me a Majesty two years ago! I told him I had found the ultimate machine which nearly gave him a stroke. So it was good to be out on the ultimate machine.