17th November 2018
An amazing scooter run to Skye (206 miles)
The latest and the longest. It is now over half way through November. Four weeks Friday will be the shortest day. Really it’s winter. Anne and Mairi had the day planned so I decided to have a very selfish day. The forecast for the day was great for the West with the temperature again to reach 10°C. This has to be the last big scooter trip of the year. Mind you, I thought that, last Saturday!
I did a repair to the scooter, first thing, by getting it’s side stand refitted. It fell off on the day I went over the Bealach na Ba (6th October). It needs a special bolt. Instead, I bought a stainless bolt, heavy stainless washer and a sintered bronze bush on Ebay. I opened the fitting holes with a bur fixed to my drill. This was on the stand and the frame so the bush fitted tightly, and then sanded it down to fit almost flush. It works brilliantly, far better than the original bolt! There is no play and the scooter now sits firmly on it’s stand.
I left the house before 9.30.
It was very cold. There had been a frost first thing but it was sunny and the frost had lifted by the time I left. I could see problems ahead just as I got just outside Evanton at the road down to the old Kiltearn church.
Banks of fog were rolling in. Near the Cromarty Bridge, it was disappearing into the fog.
And looking back down the Firth.
As I drove over the bridge I hit the fog and it started condensing on everything. I had to wipe it off my visor every 30 seconds or so. It was freezing cold. But I climbed above it as I went over the Black Isle by Culbokie and Munlochy. I would have asked my brother Bill to join me today, but his eldest son Alex and wife Steph were moving into their new house in Munlochy. If I was a semi-decent brother I would have offered to help. But no, I like being selfish!
I went back down into the fog’s embrace as I came towards Munlochy. I came over the Kessock Bridge to Inverness and made my way to ASDA for petrol as it is far cheaper there – 119.7p per litre. At Morrisons over with us it is 129.9p per litre. How do ASDA do it? But great. Just look at the fog.
I stopped by Loch Ness side a little beyond Dores on the Foyers road. I needed a break and I needed something to eat and drink.
Loch Ness had virtually vanished so there was no chance of monster spotting today.
Just a little bit further along the fog lifted and then went away for most of the day.
I think this is Boleskin Burial Ground between Inverfarigaig and Foyers.
Just a little further on is Foyers. The road climbs up then and this is looking down to it showing through the trees.
I had to stop at the viewpoint at Suidhe. I always do!
And above Fort Augustus.
I continued down the Great Glen past Loch Oich and the turned off at Invergarry onto a new road for me. This is the church at Invergarry.
And Loch Garry.
What an amazing day. I was starting to dry out and not feel so cold.
I think this is Loch Loynne.
I then joined the Invermoriston/Kyle road and turned right passing Loch Cluainie.
And finally reached the West. I stopped at the Clachan Durch Burial Ground before Inverinate for my lunch. I met a pleasant American man from Florida, maybe my own age, and we had a wee blether. The day was comfortable in all my clothes.
A bit further on is the amazing and iconic Eilean Donan Castle.
And reached Kyle of Lochalsh. I crossed the bridge and motored to Broadford.
I did stop to take this photo of the Skye hills. Marsco nearer and the Red Hills further away. Showing between is part of the Cuillin Ridge.
At Broadford I just took a few photos before heading back. There is so little light and when it goes it gets so cold. I had meant to get petrol here but they were rebuilding the garage.
On the way back I stopped on the Skye Bridge to take some photos. Difficult in a car, easy on a scooter.
And then stopped in Kyle for very expensive petrol (138.9 per litre). I only bought £5 worth, enough to get me home.
I then just pushed for home. I didn’t even stop to eat and drink. That’s sad. Half the joy of a scooter day is eating. At Auchtertyre is the turn off for the shorter run home. I stopped just a wee bit up and took some photos.
The hills of Kintail.
The Satnav took me by Achmore. Probably a shorter distance but longer time wise. But I’d never been here before.
Looking to Lochcarron from the viewpoint above Stromeferry. Something happened a wee bit further on. On a tight bend the scooter’s rear wheel slipped and I went into a wobble. Thankfully I stayed up. I don’t know was it cold enough for a little ice. It was definitely much colder inland.
A bit further on.
I think this is Loch Dughaill from beyond Achnashellach. The daylight is going so pictures come out of lower quality.
I had to stop at ‘my’ ruin beyond Achnasheen. It was Baltic by now and I was shivering. The sun was just setting giving the amazing light.
I kept going on, through Garve and at Contin came into the fog again just for a short time. Again it started condensing. It was very difficult to keep the visor clear. But before Strathpeffer I came out of it. Looking back to the fog I had come through.
I came to Dingwall and went on to the Old Evanton Road. I had to get a picture of the Cromarty Bridge, Mounteagele TV mast and the moon. No fog on the bridge now.
I got home at about 4.45 almost in the dark and very, very cold. But what an amazing day. This day will make the ‘scooter winter’ that bit shorter. I just love the scooter. Each journey is an adventure. An amazing day!