Thursday 26th August 2021
A scooter run doing the North Coast 300 (207 miles) – a chopped down version of the NC500.
A beautiful two wheeled run with brother Billy along the North Coast of Scotland.
I went to Morrisons for petrol for the scooter and LIDL for fuel for myself. The satnav took me a weird way to Bonar Bridge going onto the A9 and then at Kildary onto the Scotsburn Road to Tain and then the old low road by Edderton to Ardgay. I gave up using the satnav. We know all these roads so well, anyway. I was supposed to meet Billy at 9.30 at Bonar Bridge. I’m afraid it was 9.32.
Here is us meeting up in Bonar.
The morning was dull and I went through some drizzle but by the time we got to Lairg the day was getting nice. Bill took on petrol in Lairg.
We headed North taking the stunning road to Laxford Bridge. We stopped far up Loch Shin to eat something. The water in the loch is low after our lovely dry summer. You see a mass of mud or peat and sand round the edges. The day was really improving.
Bill assured me this was Ben More Assynt and he is usually right.
This is at the head of Loch More at a place called Kinloch.
I’m not sure but think the hill ahead is Ben Stack. Billy is on my bike. We kept swapping bikes. It does relieve the aches and pains that can set in after a 300 mile run. You can make out the new extended windscreen he has fitted to his bike.
This is Arkle.
Loch Stack with Arkle showing.
I love this wee cottage at the North end of Loch Stack. I have taken a photo of it often. Sorry to bore with yet another picture but every day is different.
And here is Laxford Bridge.
At Laxford Bridge you come onto the A838 which is mostly single track until beyond Loch Eriboll. This is now on the official NC500 and takes you North. It was very busy until beyond Durness. I hate white campervans. You can see why people come here, though. The countryside is stunning.
Finally we hit the sea on the North West – the Kyle of Durness.
Here is the road to Cape Wrath the most North Westerly point of mainland Scotland, and the UK for that matter! You have to get a ferry and then either walk or take the minibus to the cape.
This is us on the North Coast just beyond Durness. I picked up petrol in Durness at a strange self help pump. You put your card in a machine in a wee hut and then help yourself to fuel. We had our lunch picnic here.
We then moved along the North. The road turns South to get round Loch Eriboll.
This is on the Eriboll side of Loch Eriboll.
Here is what I have been on about on a previous post – the abuse of the Highlands. This is rubbish just left at this lovely spot. Please, please if you read this and you are doing this – take your rubbish to a bin. We also saw toilet paper and human excreta. Needless to say I didn’t photograph that.
Then we got back onto the North Coast.
Ben Hope and Loch Hope.
We stopped at Moine House. What a view of Ben Loyal.
Then we stopped on the Tongue Causeway.
We headed along the North to Bettyhill where we stopped for our afternoon picnic. We went down onto the beach to eat it. Here was the wonderful thing, despite the North Coast being so busy Bettyhill Beach was almost deserted.
We then made a longer stretch before stopping so this is at Dunnet and Dunnet Sands.
I decided to stop at Huna. We stayed at Huna often in Uncle Hector and Auntie Anna’s caravan. It is gone now. The caravan site, Stroma View, has no wee shop now and is almost deserted.
The island showing is Stroma, now deserted. The late Robert Dundas who had Stroma View Caravan Site was born and brought up on Stroma.
Then it was a quick stop at John O’Groats. You don’t want long here. It is so commercialised and full of people. I remember as a boy when there was just the Last House and the hotel. This is the last house, now a shop.
We then turned South and went to Wick. We bought ‘fish & chip’ suppers and went out to the Trinkie to eat them. It was really cold and I didn’t finish my supper as the chips got too cold to enjoy. The Trinkie is an old Lido. You would have to be made of hardy stuff to swim there.
You can just make out the Old Castle of Wickon the horizon.
We then did a big stretch as the day was moving on. It was after 7.00 when we left Wick. We stopped to stretch legs and swap bikes at Helmsdale Harbour. The light is really going out of the day.
It was then another big stretch South down to our usual parting place the Beinn Tharsuinn and Coire na Cloiche windfarms entrance. I was going to part with Billy at the FP church near Dornoch so he could get back home. He slyly overtook me on my bike and led all the way to near Aultnamain. Here you can see there is not much light.
It was here I realised that my bike has so much going for it. It may be old and ugly. It may be rusty. I was near crippled when I got off Billy’s bike. My knees could hardly straighten. My Majesty allows you to stretch your legs out a bit and when I got back on it for the last wee bit home it was bliss.
This was another great day. I got home about 9.20 so that was almost 13 hours for today’s trip.