Thursday 29th Sepember 2022

A scooter journey to Kinloch Hourne (177 miles).

I have not been out on the scooter or motorbike for a proper run for some time. I have not been down this road since 30th April 1983 when I went up Sgurr a’ Mhaoraich (3,369 ft) with my youngest brother, Roddy. I don’t have much memory of the day other than that I ran over a lamb which came running towards the car. I was driving very slowly, honest! It was severely injured and we had to finish it off with rocks. That spoiled the whole day. I reported it to the Fort Augustus police who gave me the phone number of the farmer. I contacted him when I got home and he was terribly nice about it. We never went as far as Kinloch Hourne. I believe the climb started not far after the bridge over Loch Quoich. So it was pretty much a new destination for me.

I left the house at 10.30 going behind Blythswood Deephaven to get onto the A9. I crossed the Black Isle by Culbokie, Knockbain, Munlochy and Drumsmittal. I saw a huge flock of swallows as I climbed up beyond Culbokie. That will probably be the last for the year.

I went through Inverness to Glen Urquhart Road and at the canal took the new ringroad to get to Tesco at Ness Side. Here I took on petrol and also bought crisps, a Curry Pot Noodle and some chocolate. I had been taking it very canny on the scooter as it was almost out of petrol! But look at the price of a litre in these chaotic times – it is now down to 154.0 p/litre. That is good.

From here I followed the road to Dores where I took these pictures. The first is of Loch Ness.

This is from a little higher up above Dores. I took the top road to get out to Fort Augustus.

And above the other end of Loch Ness looking down to Fort Augustus.

I followed the Great Glen road to Invergarry where I branched off on the road to Kyle. A few miles on as you reach Loch Garry you turn left onto a single track road marked Tomdoun and Kinloch Hourne. This is of Loch Garry. Look how calm it is.

I stopped just a few miles up by Loch Garry and ‘cooked’ my Pot Noodle on a wee stove Hugh gave me at his wedding. A Soto Windmaster. I was most impressed by it. It took just two minutes to boil my water. I also made some coffee.

After my lunch just a few miles on I came to Tomdoun. This is the church.

It is great that services are still held here. It’s also amazing to see a male minister. That is Scriptural.

I pushed on to the end of Loch Quoich. The water was very low, not much behind the dam. Yet a sluice was open letting a lot of water out. I suppose the river would dry out otherwise.

Here is the bridge over Loch Quoich. So I must have been this far with Roddy nearly 40 years ago!

Further on was this ancient ruin. What was its story?

On the way down to Kinloch Hourne.

And finally over to the West, to the sea, at Kinloch Hourne. The scenery all around was fantastic but Kinloch Hourne itself wasn’t much. Mainly a cafe and B&B.

I just turned and came back. I was making a video of the ‘new’ part of the journey so stopped here to get a shot of the scooter on the move.

There were no sheep, so no lambs. That is very different. There were a lot of Highland Cattle though. I much prefer cattle to sheep.

I came back to the Quoich Dam. I got off the scooter and crossed the dam on foot. I had a wee picnic on the other side.

I could hear but couldn’t see rutting stags as I was eating. I did meet a young one on the way down. It took three hours to get up and down this little road. The scenery was stunning but that is a long time to cover 44 miles!

I went back to Invergarry and followed the Great Glen road north to Drumnadrochit. I took the route home over the Coulnakirk to Beauly, across the Black Isle dropping to the Cromarty Bridge by Ferrintosh. I was late so I came up the A9 and then home.

Just great to be out on my wee scooter. It has amazing carrying capacity that I can easily take cooking equipment with me. I also carry a very comprehensive tool kit which includes a socket set as well as a tyre pump and puncture repair kit!