Friday, 30 August 2013


By Sanne

North to Scotland it was! We used to live there for a couple of years back in 2005 and did a lot of traveling around the Highlands in our car and occasionally on a rented motorbike. Now we were back and ready to do it on our own bikes! Buuut the sun was not smiling upon us. Our first night camped on the shores of Loch Lomond was very wet and from then on in until we left Scotland 5 days later the rain barely stopped. Although we did have wet weather pants and jackets, our boots were not water-proof so within minutes of riding in the rain there were puddles of water in our boots. We stopped at the Green Welly shop to get some plastic bags which we put our feet inside which helped a little, but our socks were still wet at the end of each day.

The highlands did not disappoint. Despite the terrible weather the scenery was as stunning as we remembered. Riding through amazing Glencoe it was very windy and very hard to keep the bike on a straight line with severe gusts blowing in from the side threatening to blow us in front of an oncoming car at any time. Guess it's a preview of what we can expect in Patagonia.

Our poor tent had gotten seriously wet in Loch Lomond so when we arrived in Fort William later that day on our way to Isle of Skye, Mark proposed that we bite the bullet and check in to a B&B. At first I was a little hesitant because of the money we would inevitably spend, but in the end I caved in as the thought of spending the night in a wet tent wasn't particularly inviting. We found a nice place at the top of the hill overlooking Fort Bill at 60 Pound a night. We made the most of it by drying the tent (the owner of the B&B was so nice to let us put it up in the garage) and dry our wet socks! We felt very lucky to have a warm bed for the night and cuddled up under the big doonas.

The next morning we left Fort William and headed for Isle of Skye. To get there you go through and area called Kyle of Lochalsh which is stunning and is where you will find Eilean Donan Castle which people will recognise as the castle from the Sean Connery movie "Highlander". We had been there many times before but it was still impressive, although it was the first time the weather had been this bad! When we set wheels on Isle of Skye the sun almost managed to peek through the clouds and we rode for a bit in the dry. We camped just outside Portree and went to a local drinking hole for a beer, which neither of us really enjoyed much. Seems like we both have gone off beer a bit lately.

Had the weather been better we would have circumnavigated the whole island and possibly gone to some of the other islands, like Mull, but with the weather as grey and wet as ever we just spent one night on Skye before going back to the mainland. We spent one night in Fort Bill, this time camping (still in the rain of course!) and then spent our last night in Scotland in Peebles. When we lived in Scotland years ago Mark and I used to be very into mountain-biking and on most weekends we would put our bikes into the back of our car and drive to Peebles to ride the 7Stanes trails in Glentress Forest. Back then it was really low-key and small; now it has grown so much and has been developed a lot.
That was to be the end of our Scotland trip. We crossed the border to England and headed for Leeds to crate the bikes...

 Stopped to say 'hello' to a Highland Cow on the way

Beautiful scene

Eilean Donan Castle

Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye

Waterfall, Isle of Skye

 Portree, Isle of Skye

 Isle of Skye

Another impressive Highland Cow

And a young one

Just chillin


The inhabitants of the local mental asylum were on a day pass that day

Another foot-in-plastic-bag change

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