Monday 28th November 2022

A very cold scooter trip to Kyleakin (186 miles).

The forecast was for it to reach 10°C today. I am certain it didn’t. I wore a pile of clothes for this and used my USB electric gloves. I got very chilled.

Three weeks on Wednesday will be the Winter Solistice. On that day at our latitude (57.70546°) there will be 6h33m17s of daylight. Today there was 7h12m30s of daylight so only a 39m13s difference. Oh for the Spring.

I left home just after 9.10 and went down to Morrisons, as I so often do, for petrol. I went to Goodtread thinking I had been charged double for a brake disk. I hadn’t. The receipt was incorrect. However I have been using Goodtread for years and it was no problem dealing with this very amicably. I then went to the bank to deposit the church collection from yesterday. So I really started my journey at 9.35 when I left Alness. I headed to the A9 and once across the Cromarty Bridge turned right and came by Ferrintosh onto the old main road that crossed the Blackisle. Looking down to the Cromarty Firth towards Dingwall and Conon Bridge.

Looking back to the Cromarty Bridge. What a morning even though cold!

I headed across the Blackisle and through Beauly. I crossed Lovat Bridge and at Brockie’s Corner I headed to Drumnadrochit over the Culnakirk. This is Loch Ness just beyond Drumnadrochit.

A wee bit further on I stopped to eat by the Cobb memorial. I have mentioned it before in a previous post.

A bit further down Loch Ness.

At Invermoriston I headed down Glen Moriston on the road to Kyle of Lochaalsh. This is Loch Cluanie which has been formed or enlarged by the Cluanie Dam.

Looking to the Kintail Hills at the other end of Loch Cluanie.

I stopped in Glen Shiel.

Finally I reached the West Coast and this inlet called Loch Duich. Anne’s wee monster, sorry dog, was named after it.

And Eilean Donan Castle.

I reached Kyleakin at almost 12.15. I had been pushing the scooter as I had to be back for 4.40 in Alness for a PSA blood test. Also you have to race the daylight and the cold. I took a few photos and headed back. That is the Skye Bridge.

Kyle of Lochalsh across the water.

The old slipway at Kyleakin. When I was a boy, even as a young man, you had to get a ferry over to Skye.

Caesteal Maol.

Sorry about all the scabs om my nose. Among the many signs of old age I have actinic (or solar) keratosis. This is due to too much sunburn in my earlier days. The doctor has prescribed a diclofenac sodium gel and it has made the lesions far worse. He warned me that it would get a lot worse before it gets better. I have taken no photos with my helmet off. My forehead and temples look as if I have leprosy!

I came back over the bridge to Kyle of Lochalsh and then at Auchtertyre took the road to Lochcarron. I stopped just a little way up the hill to have my lunch. The roads were quiet. I was enjoying my company when a car parked right beside my scooter. A Japanese couple got out and wandered over my direction. They said ‘hello’ but I wasn’t feeling too sociable and desiring company. They spent about 10 minutes just below me. I just had to get on with my lunch. People! Sorry English people. I thought you didn’t know the boundaries in social interaction. The Japanese are something else! We Scots in a restaurant, in a cinema, even in a car park will be working out the maximised most distant point from everyone else. If I had seen a parking spot out in the wilds with someone in it I would look for somewhere else. I might stop for a minute to take a photo but than as far as I could be from the other people. But it is some view.

Now I have come over to above the loch – Loch Carron.

That is the village of Lochcarron across the water.

I went into Lochcarron to get petrol.

I then headed by Achnashellach, through Glen Carron, to Achnasheen. I stopped between Achnasheen and Lochluichart.

This is Loch Luichart.

I headed onto Garve and then Contin. Between Garve and Contin a gritter lorry came along. The roads had been clean until then even though wet. The scooter got coated in salt. I cam to Strathpeffer and then Dingwall. Here I took the Old Evanton Road to get home. This is looking to the Cromarty Bridge from the Old Evanton Road.

I arrived home pretty much at 3.00. I was frozen. That had a profound effect on my water-works. Many of these nice scenic stops were for another reason! I was home in good time for my PSA test (talking of water-works). As I was saying – the problems of old age. Did I say I have to have my hernia repaired? Saw a surgeon last Friday. Maybe at the end of all this I will be a new man!

Another lovely day out on the scooter in the Highlands of Scotland. A blessed man.