Author Topic: Scotland  (Read 1440 times)

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August 07, 2013, 10:22:18 AM on

Offline Bixxer Bob (OP)

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Well we had a good trip despite needing to do a major re-plan owing to the weather.  I rode from Norfolk to Durham on Thursday, a nice 230  miles, overnighted at my mate's house and then we struck out for Newtonmore in Scotland the following day.  The sun shone all day and we were nearly there when I saw a sign for the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge so we made a 70 mile detour to visit.  It was a good decision because the A 86 past Loch Laggan is a fantastic road. Read here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commando_Memorial

The Balavil Hotel at Newtonmore was basic, but you can't expect much for £35 per head for B&B.  On the up side, the staff were very friendly and helpful and the food was good.  On Saturday the sun shone again and due to the appalling  weather forecast for the West side we decided to head north and east.  We were planning to go to Inverness first, but the hotel receptionist advised heading for Forres via Carrbridge so that's what we did.  It was a good tip;  the B9007 is a narrow, twisty road with mainly good tarmac that winds it's way up and over the mountain with spectacular views.

From Forres we dropped down the A96 to Huntly; this was just a main road thrash to get to the next bit which was the A97 down to Mossat then picking up the A944 to Cockbridge and the A939 to Tomintoul.  UK Listeners to Radio 2 traffic reports will know that the Cockbridge - Tomintoul road can be blocked with snow even in early summer.  Fortunately, it was fine sunny and clear for us.  The steep climb up to Lecht ski centre was again noteable for the views, but the run from there down to Tomintoul was unexpectedly different.  A bit like riding a roller coaster.  You know how when you go over a blind crest, as you reach the summit, you start to see the road pan out ahead?  Nah,,, not on this one,  like a rollercoaster, it steepens after the crest so you feel like you're dropping of the edge and plummeting down the next bit, then it all happens again; brilliant fun!

At Tomintoul we diverted to the Glenlivet Distillery for some shopping, again a nice loop, round the B9008 and back down again.  Finally we hooked back up to the B road back to Newtonmore.

On Sunday it started damp, but after about half an hour the sun came out and we had a good run down to Edinburgh via Jedburgh.  I overnighted at Chris's again then road home in torrential rain for the first 130 motorway miles before finishing the cross country part in sunshine. By the time I got home I'd more or less blow dry.  All in all, 1250 miles give or take a couple.

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August 12, 2013, 02:15:40 PMReply #1 on

Offline spartanbaz

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Sounds great, I was thinking of doing something similar for a few days in the next month or so. 
Did you try any wild camping at all?  I heard that it's a great area for that sort of thing
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August 13, 2013, 05:41:14 PMReply #2 on

Offline Bixxer Bob (OP)

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wanted to but my mate wasn't keen.  Kuzzin Kenny is the Scotland wild camping guru.  He's been AWOL for a while due to problems at home but we'll be hearing from him soon I hope as he's just had his password reset.  You could PM him though  :thumbsup
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August 14, 2013, 03:55:31 PMReply #3 on

Offline threepot

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Good trip. I would have taken that detour as well, to see the Commando memorial. :thumbsup
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August 23, 2013, 08:21:35 AMReply #4 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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My apologies for not warning you about the big dipper, from our phone conversation I got the impression you were familiar with that road.  Still you won't forget it in a hurry :icon_mrgreen:
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