Well … trip done, just shy of 1500 miles and everyone, except for the motorway slogs, a joy.
The weather Gods were mostly kind
Paul Davies and I stopped for coffee at Charnock Richard before making our way to the Kirkstone Pass Inn in the Lakes for lunch for a spot of soup
then on upwards to Moffat for afternoon coffee and cake
bugged by wasps wherever we stopped which was irritating, I began to believe it was the same (fast) wasp
rather than go back onto the motorway we used the road that paralleled the motorway for a while from Moffat which broke the journey nicely
then onto the usual 1st night stop of the Erskine Bridge Hotel
despite the diet, caution was thrown for hols so a pint was in order after a splash in the pool
Day 2 was to head north east towards Aberfeldy and the awesome Dukes Pass ….. but was foiled … to find the Pass had been retarmaced and chipped … didn't stop at Killin as we would usually but went on to Kenmore for coffee for a change, pretty little village.
Then on via Pitlochry up to Glenshee for more soup for lunch, stunning piece of tarmac that invites much naughtiness
After lunch at Glenshee ski centre (more soup) … it was on towards Balmoral, Liz declined to offer us tea which was a tad rude but hey ho
We had some time to kill before going to the hotel in Tomintoul (the Richmond Hotel) so we carried on towards Aberdeen for a while before getting the sat nav to take us to the hotel. Again it convinces me that as far as Scotland goes wherever you go the roads are often stunning
The hotel was very pleasant, we had dinner that night at the Clockhouse restaurant across the road. As a footnote I'm not sure what the catering industry is going to do after Brexit as everywhere seems to have Eastern European staff!
Next day after a fine breakfast in the Richmond we went up the A9 to Lybster Harbour for coffee (and cake)
Then up to John o Groats for the obligatory pics
From there on to the nights stop at the hotel that proclaims itself as the mainlands most remote hotel, The Garvault Hotel..... it is very very remote, took ages to get to and a 400 yard gravel track (off roading on an RT ….. wooo hooo
lovely location, lovely eccentric owners, Adrian and Eva, no mains water, no mains electric, no phone, no tv.... wonderful!
Dinner that evening was with the owners and was a great way of spending an evening chatting and drinking and swapping tales. Adrian was ex RAF pilot and Eva was Austrian.
The battery lighting only extending to half of the hotel so navigating back to the room was via torch
….. the room itself did have lighting
Next morning was on the small B road on towards Altnaharra (which took ages) then onto Tongue and picking up the North Coast road and onto to coffee (and treacle tart) at the little café there. Have stopped there before, the owner, from Yorkshire moved up years ago and fell in love with the are and stayed, diving for scallops for a while before setting up the café.
Only moan was the amount of camper vans everywhere, and despite signage saying to allow traffic to overtake at passing places they'd trundle along blocking everyone else's progress.
Stopped for more lunchtime soup (Cullen skink this time) at the Pie Shop in Lochinver before rejoining the NC500 near Kylesku for Ullapool
There was a Harley event in the Highlands that week so there were a few of them in Ullapool, we stopped at the Ferryboat in for coffee and a chat with locals
From Ullapool we continued on to the stop for the third night, the Poolewe Hotel. The hotels rooms are in an annexe behind the hotel and are very pleasant.
after a lovely dinner I was "forced" to have a treble Ardberg 10 years old (it seemed a generous treble)
After breakfast in high winds and rain we set off towards Aplecross for the mornings coffee stop and the ride over the pass (stunning as always) …. stunned to find the pass is now covered by 4G so could post pictures as soon as taking them!
Then on to Eileen Donan for lunch …. guess what …. soup ….
afterwards riding over via Kinlochleven and Glencoe to the Green Welly
before riding down passed Loch Lomond to the Erskine Bridge again
Travelling home was on the bank holiday Saturday so traffic was a bit heavier. We did 1500 miles, the trip went all too quickly.