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Veggie Brekkie, Bikes And A Blast

By Rev. Mick!

Day 8

I photographed my breakfast next morning. My girls seem to snap every meal, I really can’t get that excited about breakfast. This was a really good breakfast. We noticed that the B&Bs of Scotland had really upped their game when it came to breakfast and have definitely embraced the veggie option. This one even had homemade baked beans and they were brilliant. Veggie haggis, fried potatoes and mushrooms.

And egg, potatoes, a vegetable haggis and more vegetables

So we had a nice start to our day, with bellies full and tea therapy applied we wandered out the back to load our noble steeds.

We followed the A830 out of Mallaig on a perfect small motorbike riding day. We passed the Arisaig and Ardnish peninsulas on roads where we saw very few cars. We then turned down the A861 through Moidart passing Loch Moidart then over the pass and round the end of Loch Sheil then down to the side of Loch Sunart.

The 2 small motorcycles by a stunning loch in the Highlands

A blast along the side of the loch to Strontian, whizz through Glen Tarbert, down to Loch Linnhe at Inversands. Turning north now we made fast progress up to the ferry at Corran Narrows.

Another stunning view of a calm and majestic Loch near The Corran Ferry.
The small Corran Ferry on very calm waters of Loch Linnhe

Now things did start to get a bit busier. We had to turn south to cross the bridge at Ballachulish to get to the bottom of Glen Coe with all the traffic from Fort William. 

Over many years of climbing, sailing, and paddling in Scotland I have never really taken to Fort William and in the last fourty odd years it has now managed to morph itself into a stag and hen venue. To be honest I am not overly taken by Aviemore for similar reasons. So with increasing traffic volumes we felt it was time for a lunch break in that famous climber’s pub The Clachy (more properly The Clachaig Inn). We had a very nice lunch in one of the many bars now in this Inn. Like The Kinggy (The Kingshouse) further up the valley they have changed beyond all recognition in recent years. There are bunkhouses and pods, bars, merchandising etc. However I did notice an advert for a craft Ale named after my eldest daughter.

Mick's friend stands in his bike gear outside the door of The Clachaig inn
A sign informs us of the Roisin beer inside a pub

The next bit of the journey was no less spectacular as Glen Coe truly is that, however with a long line of traffic it no longer feels quite as remote and wilderness than it once did.

Down to Bridge of Orchy, turn onto the B8074 and through Glen Orchy. At the bottom we pick up the A85 for a short hop. To turn onto the A819 through and indeed over Glen Aray to bring us down to the Hostel at Inveraray on Loch Fyne. It just stayed a perfect day and we had a blast.

As it was to be our final night before the breaking of the fellowship we had hoped for a nice B&B or Hotel. This was not to be, yet the hostel however did a very good job. We discovered later in the evening there was a big wedding in the village so accommodation was at a premium. There were a fair few other bikers staying at the hostel, many of whom seemed a bit incredulous that we had done such a long trip on our small bikes. It amused me slightly to tell each of these slightly incredulous questioners to have a look at my registration plates. They were even more surprised to see the Innova had come all the way from the West coast of Ireland.

We enjoyed a nice farewell dinner in a lovely pub restaurant as recommended to us by the hostel manager. We talked of this trip, of trips past and then as the beers took effect we started looking to the future and adventures that both of us have been musing about. I felt that Orkney Isles and Shetland must now be ridden, I had heard that there is a midsummer motorcycle rally up in Shetland. For me I thought we could time a trip for The Shetland Folk Festival. So with these heady ideas and a few beers on board we wandered back to the hostel.

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Holy Water On Departure It's Rev. Mick!'s day of departure, in spite of his wife's misgivings. He's crossing Ireland and he's already lost in his own country.
Countryside, Culture And Carlingford Lough Rev. Mick! is finding a ferry and fascinating sights as he makes his way northbound towards Belfast. A good day all in all but there may be just one small hiccup ahead.
Police, Passages, Pals, and Pints Rev. Mick! is escorted by the police, hangs out with Scooter types and catches TWO ferries. It seems he can't have an "ordinary" day.
Ferries And Fun But No Food It's all ferries and frolics for Rev. Mick! as he gets deep into The Highlands and islands. The riding and crossings are good but there's a problem with acquiring sustenance.
Motorcycle Meditation In The Wild And Wet Rev. Mick! is having one hell of a day. The Hebridean weather is throwing it's worst at them as they make their way northbound to their raison d'etre.
Lovely Lewis And Chilled Chums Rev. Mick! finds today to be much calmer and enjoyable rather than endurable. A tour of the northern half of Lewis and some good company sees Mick swinging and snoring.
A Laid Back, Easy Day On Lewis While their hosts are working Rev. Mick! and Drew enjoy and easy mooch around. There's just that one place Rev. Mick! still hasn't managed to reach.
Homeward Bound From Lewis To Mallaig It's way too early for Rev. Mick! this morning but needs must. Sadly it's time to head homeward but that won't spoil a good day looking around Skye.
Veggie Brekkie, Bikes And A Blast Rev. Mick!'s enjoying a day through some classic Highland scenery then pondering the past, present and a future yet to come.
The End of the Fellowship With the parting of the pals comes a tinge of remorse yet Rev. Mick! still has many more miles to cover before his heroic return to home. Did anyone notice he'd even left?

Reader's Comments

Upt'North ¹ said :-
Moidart and Sunart, gotta love it.
But....veggie breakfast.....no. A step toooo far.
Last time I passed the Kingshouse I didn't recognise it. I last stayed there when I walked the WHW in 2008 and again with Er'Indoors two weeks later.
22/03/2023 14:40:12 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Scotland is tugging on my heartstrings as ever, then Rev. Mick! reminds me of how lovely it is. What I find helps ease my pain is to remember 2 things. 1 - what it's like in the middle of deepest darkest winter (I'll add a link to the winter trip). 2 - midges. That's better. Dagnammit I still want to go.
23/03/2023 08:21:59 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
The midges are out already Ed, well they are in North Northumberland. I was planting my spuds on Monday and came in looking like I'd got measles.

23/03/2023 09:09:35 UTC
Rev. Mick! said :-
Scotland is always good you just have to adapt to various of it’s realities.
In dark mid winter use the daylight to reach a remote bothy with a load of fire wood and whiskey. A couple of days hunkered down in the dark round a fire telling old tales. Kind’a what the Vikings did in their long houses over winter. The City of Edinburgh has to be one of the UK’s most magical winter cities it looks great in the dark.
Midges. A hat and head net is really good. Full on DEET. Always camp in an exposed spot, you want to minimise shelter, they can’t fly in any sort of breeze. You could try not breathing as they are attracted to CO2 when we exhale. Avoid Scotland from June to end of August as this is midge season. Scotland at this time is also jam packed with tourists and expensive.
23/03/2023 09:16:22 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
That looks suspiciosly like a poached egg on that "veggie" breakfast... Whatever it is I'm with Upt' on this one. Full Scottish with bacon, sausage, black pudding, haggis and fried eggs for me please.
Posted Image
23/03/2023 15:45:29 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
The whole "midge season" is in my experience a myth! I've been eaten alive at all times of the year. As long as the air is still and damp they'll be out in their droves, no matter the season.

I have a head net Rev. Mick! and while a little awkward to wear it helps greatly.

Regarding repellents - it's complicated. For myself I've enjoyed fair success (a few bites as opposed to eaten alive) with Smidge - but others don't rate it. I know there is a PARTICULAR VERSION of Avon's skin-so-soft that some swear by (including the UK army) but for me it did little. I've also heard both good and bad regarding DEET. I suppose each person will need to find what works for them best.

Also keep away from sheltered areas, still water (ponds) and damp areas (boggy bits). I find keeping close to the sea helps with the sea breeze.

Regarding breakfast. I admire the vegetarian breakfast and I eat considerably less meat these days than I once did. However - yeah, full English/Scottish/Welsh for me although you can keep the 'shrooms and black pudding. Yuk.
23/03/2023 16:42:42 UTC
Rev. Mick! said :-
I am not myself “vegetable” we have canine teeth for a reason. Having said that I eat meat once in a very blue moon. I find as I have not eaten it for a long time it is so bloody heavy and uncomfortable when I do. Not how I enjoy riding first thing.
We’d best not go beyond this in our musings on these issues.
India plans developing a pace, we are just putting in for the inner line permits. Yes more forms, passport photos and arrangement fees. It is true The Raj left India with bureaucracy but they have honed and polished it.
Would anyone know of an EU insurer who will insure international motorcycle travel. UK firms will not insure people with an Irish address?
24/03/2023 09:23:54 UTC

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