Monday 25th October 2021

A scooter trip with Billy as far as Tomintoul (194 miles).

The year is moving on and the days are short. This will probably be our joint last trip together for 2021. It was a terribly cold day.

On Saturday the forecast for today looked great so I texted Billy to see if he wanted to go for a trip. He was up for it. The weather was mostly bright but we came through a couple of showers and it was COLD.

Billy came over about 9.30 and we first went down to Alness so I could bank yesterday’s church collection. We then just kept to the main A9 to get to Inverness. We collected supplies and petrol at ASDA and then followed the ring road round to the roundabout with the signs for Essich.

It is a disgrace that petrol is now 140.7 pence per litre. Life is becoming unaffordable.

We came through quite a sharp shower as we passed Loch Ashie.

This is Loch Duntelchaig. The water was wild but the rain had passed. We had something to eat here but didn’t hang about too long.

We headed to Dunlichity and then Brin. We came down to Farr and then took that spectacular track to Glenkyllachy.

Here was today’s disaster. Poor Bill didn’t get his side stand down properly and the bike came over on top of him. He hurt his side and the bike hurt it’s paint. Such a shame as it was immaculate. That’s life! What is most noticeable is when we lifted it back up how heavy the Kawasaki is compared to my Yamaha.

Showers were around and also rainbows.

We came to Findhorn Bridge and had a wee stop and also swapped bikes.

We came up to Slochd and after a couple of miles on the A9 branched onto the old road coming through Slochd itself. We went on to Carrbridge, Dulnain Bridge and Grantown-on-Spey. Then we headed on the road to Tomintoul. We stopped along this road at the junction to Dorback and Nethy Bridge and have our lunch. This was the view out to the Cairngorms.

We could see a shower heading our way but it never came. In fact it got sunny!

We stopped a little further on to respond to nature’s call. That is Ben Rinnes showing ahead.

From Tomintoul (the highest village in the Highlands) we headed to Dufftown and then Craigellachie. We had to stop at the bridge and have a wee walk. Autumn colours are beautiful.

Looking ahead from the car park is the other side of Ben Rinnes which we have come round.

We pushed on to Dallas via Archiestown, then to Forres and then onto the A96. I would rather avoid it but we had to make time. As we neared Nairn we could see the rain coming. I quickly had something to eat. Billy put on waterproofs. The shower didn’t last too long but came on and off till we were over the Black Isle.

By the time we were on the other side of the Black Isle it was dry and bright. Looking down to the Cromarty Bridge.

Ben Wyvis in cloud.

Another rainbow, well part of one.

I drove Bill’s bike out to near Kildary where we parted ways. I headed back by the Scotsburn Road, Inchindown and Ardross Crossroads to get home at maybe 5.30. This is where we parted. You can make out oil rigs above the fields which are in the Cromarty Firth. Billy went back to Dornoch.

It is good to get out, especially later in the year. On Saturday the clocks change and there will be a lot less light by 5.30 so this trip would be more awkward. Another lovely scooter trip.

I am going to have to get softer shock absorbers for next year. These new ones are just about solid. It wrecks your body and it used to be such a comfortable bike!