Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Scotland Bike Trip

I've dug out some photos from our Scotland trip last August and found the diary of events which I've placed in the comments section to keep the main page less cluttered.

▲ Caledonian Canal - Fort Augustus

More of the same place ▼ Does anyone reckon Loz could pass as the son of Greengrass?

It could only have happened to Gaz. That's the entire contents of our bottle of cooking oil dribbling out the bottom of his rucksack.

▲ The private beach at the campsite in Luss, Loch Lomand ▼

That'll be Gaz drunk again then!

Posted by Mike


JangleJangle said...

The Diary

Friday 12th August - Loz, Gareth and myself set off from Lichfield at around lunch and headed up the M6 to Keswick. The original plan was for Matt to come with us. We were supposed to be stopping in Keswick until Sunday morning and then continue up to Scotland with Matt heading back home. Unfortunately on the Friday morning Matt looked at a weather forecast that said it was going to rain so decided not to go. Anyway we stuck to our plan and stopped over for the weekend. The campsite we stopped at was The Keswick Camping & Caravanning Club Site and it was within easy walking distance to the town centre. The site is located on the shore of Derwent Water, has good showers, handy shop and nice views. We ate out at the Golden Hills Chinese restaurant on the high street and at an Indian opposite. Both of which were top notch.

Sunday 14th August - We continued up north stopping only for fuel until we got past Glasgow and half way up Loch Lomand. Here we stopped at another Camping and Caravanning Club Site in Luss. From our tents we had our own private beach and an awesome view across the lake. It helped having great weather too. If you like your early morning shower then expect delays as I only found 2 of them and one wasn't working when we were there. For Ale and food Luss is only a 5 minute walk away where you'll find a pub/hotel on the right hand site. The homemade steak and kidney pie was very good, however the haggis neeps and tats were suspect. The beer was ok and the prices reasonable. There was also a half decent little shop in the village selling most things you'd be needing including some camping equipment.

Monday 15th August - Gareth was struggling to get his lazy ass out of bed. By the time he surfaced, Loz and myself were packed up ready to go with two cheese and ham toasties in our stomachs. We headed west on the A83 in pouring rain for about 45 miles until we came to a nice little town called Lochgilpead. The A83 would have been an awesome road to ride in nice weather and one to remember for if we're ever up in Scotland again. We managed to locate a campsite on the western end of the town, pitched our tents and headed to this incredibly small pub called The Comm. From there we headed up the high street to a pub that was a bit more like it. Can't remember the name but it's the only one there. Once we'd managed several pints it was off for a curry at the Taj Mahal and what a top curry it was.

Tuesday 16th August - The weather had brightened up today and after the little progress of Monday we decided to put some miles under our belts. We had a fast blast from Lochgilpead to Oban to Fort William and up past Fort Augustus to Inverness. The A816 up to Oban is one of the nicest roads I've ever riden, superb fast bends, no speed cameras and fantastic views. Oban itself is quite a nice seaside resort with plenty of bars and restaurants. From Oban it was onto the A828/A82 to our next rest stop, the Ben Nevis Range Visitors Centre at Fort William. I can definately recommend the cheese, ham and pineapple toasties from the cafe. Once refuelled we continued up the A82 to Fort Augustus on what was more fantastic roads. Fort Augustus is home to the Caledonian Canal which links into the southern end of loch Ness. It's well worth a stop off here for a refresher from The Loch Inn and watch the boats travelling through the lochs. From Fort Augustus we followed the A82 along the side of Loch Ness. This stretch of road is wide with big fast sweeping bends, it's seriously good fun. We'd been on the road for most of the day now and were starting to look out for a campsite. Now, if ever you happen to need to put your tent somewhere at the north end of Loch Ness for gods sake don't stop at the first campsite you come across. If you're unsure which site that is it's the municiple one on the right just before you get into Inverness. I'm not saying any more about it apart from if you're desperate for a stop try sleeping rough instead. Once we'd pitched our tents and took as many valuables with us as we could we followed the footpath signs indicating a riverside walk into town. The riverside walk was, I have to admit very pleasent if you had an hour to spare and didn't mind being targeted by under age drunk and drugged up kids asking you to go buy bottles of vodka for them. Once into town we tackled a couple of pubs in what I think they class as the West End. It was all quite smart with a lot of very nice looking restaurants.

Wednesday 17th August - This was probably the earliest start we had had, probably because we couldn't wait to get off the campsite. We headed south east on the A9 and turned off west onto the fantastic A822 down to Crieff. According to the map there should have been a campsite in Crieff but it's closed down so we ended up stopping about 4 miles out of town on the A85 towards Comrie. I can't remember what the campsite was called but it's on the right and you can't miss it. The site itself was small, clean and very pleasant. There was also the added bonus of a bus stop right outside the campsite to take us back into Crieff to sample it's nightlife. We sampled three different pubs and found everyone to be incredibly friendly. Once in a suitable stupor we headed in the direction of a local curry house. I'm not even sure where abouts it was now but I know it wasn't the big posh one on the corner somewhere in the high street. Anyway, it was good food.

Thursday 18th August - Today was a fast blast straight back down to Keswick for an over night stop at the Keswick Camping and Caravanning Club Site and a meet up with Matt who had decided to get his bike out after all. After huge quantities of beer it was time for another curry at the restaurant opposite the Golden Hills Chinese on the high street followed by more cans back at the tent and in bed for about 2.30 Friday morning.

Friday 19th August - It was a late morning start and we decided to do a small tour of the Lake District before heading back down the M6. If ever you get to Bowness-on-Windermere, whatever you do don't order yourself a cheeseburger with fried onions from the large outdoor takaway hut by the main carpark.

And so ends the boring dribble of our weeks events. Want a cup of coffee to wake yourself back up?

Anonymous said...

Great write up, makes me want to get on my bike and head north.