Author Topic: You take the High Road and I'll take the not so Low Road  (Read 1973 times)

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August 25, 2013, 04:53:08 PM on

Offline Sin_Tiger (OP)

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Belated write up of my West Highland run.

Usual, fastish route to the West Highlands.

A736 up to Paisley, a bit more entertaining than the A77, to join the M8 West taking the Erskine Bridge (no toll) to pick up the A82 West heading for Loch Lomond side. Petrol stop just before Dumbarton, gets pricey in the Trossachs! Toilet & bacon butty stop at Luss before heading on up the lochside via (right turn) Tarbert to follow A82 (protracted road works with lights) to Crianlarich (left turn) to carry on A82 past Tyndrum, not stopping at the Green Welly as it was jumping with power rangers and tatoo collectors, which have me a nice clear run up through Glen Coe.

Obligatory stop for some photos (1), too hot for the tourist entertaining piper in full regalia! Onwards once the potato potato procession had passed, taking the A82 North at Ballachulish (straight through the roundabout) towards Fort William. Petrol and P stop (not getting any younger) at Fort William, briefly toyed with idea of going to Mallaig for the ferry and stopping in Skye but couldn't change my B&B booking in time. Onwards North, staying with the A82 at Spean Bridge, with a quick stop at the Commando Memorial (2) to pay respects and say hello to a German couple on another Roadie and Striple. Onwards to Fort Augustus, cruised the last few miles behind some joker on a carboned up Gixer, decided not to pass after watching him try to do some opposite lane hedge trimming a couple of times.

After a brew and a sticky bun, found the night's lodgings and decided I still had time for an evening run and a bit of grub before turning in. Heading up Loch Ness side on the A82, not bad depending on traffic. Quick stop at Urquart Castle but already closed for the night. On up to Inverness for a top up, be warned, petrol stations are a bit hard to find in town. Heading into Inverness, go straight on to the B861 for the town centre, over the bridge, follow the road through the centre that will take you up the hill on Castle Street. At the lights, take the right fork marked B862 for Dores. As you come down the hill towards Dores you get a cracking view down the best part of Loch Ness, weather permitting. I can recommend the Dores Inn, on the right just before the road fork. Good food (3), good ale selection, great service and a craking view down the Loch as you relax by the waterside, plenty of parking for bikes within view, local bike hangout.

Carry on on the left fork on the B862, the B852 lochside route didn't look so interesting even if it was favoured by General Wade. This takes you up and over the moors and smaller Lochan's on a single track road that is in good condition and offers some lovely views in the setting sun and some interesting surprises along the way, sharp bends on some steep sections. This will eventually take you back into Fort Augustus in time for bed.

Next day, out North on the A82 again to turn left onto the A87/887 along Loch Cluanie, through Glen Sheil (4) and Loch Duich. Beautiful fast roads with long sweepers, just stop to enjoy the scenery as it can be truly breathtaking in the right weather. Right onto the A890 towards Loch Carron, stop after the long bend up the hill to get a spectacular view over Loch Alsh (5). On the South side of Loch Carron there are currently some road works on the single track section so some delays are possible. Over the railway at Strathcarron and left onto the A890 towards Loch Carron (6) village, here is a good stop to top up and get a brew. The local pertrol station / general store has a great selection of snacks and Free Tea (7), yes you read correctly, we Jocks are not as mean as is reputed, even if it is English Tea.

I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

August 25, 2013, 04:54:39 PMReply #1 on

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Carry on the A896 for another 6-7 miles before you come to a junction on the left, you can't miss it with the large red and blue warning notices, turn left to head up the "Beleach Na Ba" Pass of the Cattle towards Applecross, or carry on straight to take the longer route up around Wester Ross. I went left this time, the all single track road is generally well surfaced with good advance views (8) as it winds up past the Torrs and eventually through the hairpin turns (9) near the crest. watch out for muppets with huge estate cars and the like stopping suddenly to do three point turns on the bends. Applecross Inn (10) for lunch of course, renowned if not cheap, (11) I don't need to say more. The longer route around the coast of Wester Ross with ever changing views out to the Summer Isles, proably named that as it's the only time you can see them.

I came back down to Loch Alsh and took the A87 to Skye as a bit of a diversion, I knew I wouldn't have time to do much in the way of riding on Skye so I took the A851 South to Armadale, the last time I was there that road took over an hour and a half being all single track and having a lot of road repairs in progress. Now it's a pretty straight A road across that took me a little over 20 mins. Short hop on the ferry to Mallaig (12), just enough time for a brew and a bun. You might be lucky to catch the "Jacobit" Steam Train in Mallaig, or even better see it in full flight on the way to Fort William, the Jacobite monument is worth a stop if you have time and you can see the rail viaduct featured in the Harry Potter movie from there. Mallaig has some great resturants sesrving local seafood if you have the time for it but I didn't and pressed on. The Mallaig road is also now a good A road but still has a few tightening blind bends that can catch you out. A dollop of caution had a local handing me my arse on one such bend as he passed on the outside in a very quick Mondeo ST or similar.

The rest is history and I made home before the clock struck ear chewing time. A great couple of days but I wished I had longer to stop more often and take the coast road back through Oban. Another time, will we ever get weather like that again?

I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

August 25, 2013, 04:59:57 PMReply #2 on

Offline Bixxer Bob

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Excellent report Sin,  I nominate you to put together the route for next year's Scottish run  :XXsunsmile
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August 25, 2013, 11:42:43 PMReply #3 on

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August 26, 2013, 03:31:47 AMReply #4 on

Offline DavidR8

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Wow, that is some beautiful land you have there. We're you on a solo run?
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August 26, 2013, 03:40:05 AMReply #5 on

Offline DavidR8

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Belated write up of my West Highland run.

Usual, fastish route to the West Highlands.

A736 up to Paisley, a bit more entertaining than the A77, to join the M8 West taking the Erskine Bridge (no toll) to pick up the A82 West heading for Loch Lomond side. Petrol stop just before Dumbarton, gets pricey in the Trossachs! Toilet & bacon butty stop at Luss before heading on up the lochside via (right turn) Tarbert to follow A82 (protracted road works with lights) to Crianlarich (left turn) to carry on A82 past Tyndrum, not stopping at the Green Welly as it was jumping with power rangers and tatoo collectors, which have me a nice clear run up through Glen Coe.

Obligatory stop for some photos (1), too hot for the tourist entertaining piper in full regalia! Onwards once the potato potato procession had passed, taking the A82 North at Ballachulish (straight through the roundabout) towards Fort William. Petrol and P stop (not getting any younger) at Fort William, briefly toyed with idea of going to Mallaig for the ferry and stopping in Skye but couldn't change my B&B booking in time. Onwards North, staying with the A82 at Spean Bridge, with a quick stop at the Commando Memorial (2) to pay respects and say hello to a German couple on another Roadie and Striple. Onwards to Fort Augustus, cruised the last few miles behind some joker on a carboned up Gixer, decided not to pass after watching him try to do some opposite lane hedge trimming a couple of times.

After a brew and a sticky bun, found the night's lodgings and decided I still had time for an evening run and a bit of grub before turning in. Heading up Loch Ness side on the A82, not bad depending on traffic. Quick stop at Urquart Castle but already closed for the night. On up to Inverness for a top up, be warned, petrol stations are a bit hard to find in town. Heading into Inverness, go straight on to the B861 for the town centre, over the bridge, follow the road through the centre that will take you up the hill on Castle Street. At the lights, take the right fork marked B862 for Dores. As you come down the hill towards Dores you get a cracking view down the best part of Loch Ness, weather permitting. I can recommend the Dores Inn, on the right just before the road fork. Good food (3), good ale selection, great service and a craking view down the Loch as you relax by the waterside, plenty of parking for bikes within view, local bike hangout.

Carry on on the left fork on the B862, the B852 lochside route didn't look so interesting even if it was favoured by General Wade. This takes you up and over the moors and smaller Lochan's on a single track road that is in good condition and offers some lovely views in the setting sun and some interesting surprises along the way, sharp bends on some steep sections. This will eventually take you back into Fort Augustus in time for bed.

Next day, out North on the A82 again to turn left onto the A87/887 along Loch Cluanie, through Glen Sheil (4) and Loch Duich. Beautiful fast roads with long sweepers, just stop to enjoy the scenery as it can be truly breathtaking in the right weather. Right onto the A890 towards Loch Carron, stop after the long bend up the hill to get a spectacular view over Loch Alsh (5). On the South side of Loch Carron there are currently some road works on the single track section so some delays are possible. Over the railway at Strathcarron and left onto the A890 towards Loch Carron (6) village, here is a good stop to top up and get a brew. The local pertrol station / general store has a great selection of snacks and Free Tea (7), yes you read correctly, we Jocks are not as mean as is reputed, even if it is English Tea.

That is some right good looking nosh!
2006 Girly, stone stock!

August 26, 2013, 04:21:03 AMReply #6 on

Offline Sin_Tiger (OP)

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Yes, solo ride. Contrary to popular myth we have excellent local produce, if you discount the deep fried Mars Bars  :icon_eek:

That actually is true for all of the UK, perceptions are changing slowly thanks to all the TV Chefs. You should have seen the whale disguised as Cod they were serving at the Angel for the summer meet up  :bug_eye
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

August 26, 2013, 04:36:17 AMReply #7 on

Offline Sin_Tiger (OP)

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Excellent report Sin,  I nominate you to put together the route for next year's Scottish run  :XXsunsmile

I was sort of expecting that :icon_rolleyes:

Gents,  I would be happy to do that but for the fact my current job doesn't guarantee I will even be in the UK on whatever date we set,  let alone be there prior to the event to make arrangements. The thought of dissapointing anyone I can't begin to think about. I will be happy to support and help in any way I can.

If I wn the lottery in the meantime that will all change of course :icon_lol:
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

August 26, 2013, 07:30:49 AMReply #8 on

Offline Bixxer Bob

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No need to be there, just get some maps, photocopy them, scribble routes on the copies,  include notes, and post to me.  Simples!! :hat10
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August 29, 2013, 07:10:51 PMReply #9 on

Offline Sin_Tiger (OP)

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That I will do happily and even research some camping and BnB options. October is going to be a busy month.
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

August 30, 2013, 03:56:37 AMReply #10 on

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I don't want to achieve immortality through prayer, I want to achieve it through not dying...