+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: Hebridean Island Hopping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    16.12.2005
    Location
    Penrith, Cumbria
    Ducati models
    none
    Other bikes
    none
    Posts
    6,135

    Default Hebridean Island Hopping

    Our annual pilgrimage to the northern roads took us a bit further than usual this year. After watching the BBC Coast TV programe i got the urge to visit the Outer Hebrides so we duly booked hotels and ferries and headed north last Tuesday.

    As we left Penrith and made our way up the M6 to Gretna I thought it was a bit chilly but roads were dry and sun out, we joined the B7606 at Gretna and meanered our way up past Lckerbie, Beattock and towards Abington, as we climbed into Abington I realised i couldn't feel my hands or feet, a glance at the Guzzi's display and i knew why 6 deg C at 10.30 in morning eek stopped at services,to try and warm up and then on up to Ducati Glasgow where Martin, Martin's mum and Kerry fed us tea and cakes and we eventually warmed up thanks to Martins electric heater maxxed in his office. As soon as we left the rain started, gradually increasing so we pulled in to Inverurie ( nice cafe opposite hydro station) to grab another coffee and a panini. Onwards to Crianlarich and then Tyndrum stying on the A82 and the rain increased again

    top of Rannoch Moor



    Into Ft Bill with Linzi soaked through, me mostly dry thanks to the new Rukka kit which I came to love in the following days and the Norge's huge screen

    We'd arranged to meet Paul so started walking into town only to get caught in another downpour and turned up at Grog and Gruel soaked again, even after 3 hours in there sweatshirts and jeans were still wet

    Wedenesday saw us starting in the damp, headed out on the A82 then on to Invergarry and Loch Clunie



    A quick stop at Eilan Donan and on to Loch Carron, turning right at Strathcarron and up towards Achnasheen. As we got through the tree section I stopped to take a photo, a car was in the layby and someone dressed in wet suit/dry suit top asked where we were going and could he have a lift ?? He'd already decided his kayak helmet was road legal so he hopped on the back and we took him up to the top where his canoeing mates were waiting, weird but wish i'd taken a photo

    Lunch at the craft shop in Achnasheen, missed porridge again, must try and get there earlier. Decided to do Wester Ross Coastal and am glad we did



    No traffic and we quickly made our way to Ullapool and the Ceilidh Place where preperations for Loopallu were starting. Another day of rain and wind but good views and roads kept us going.

    (roads A82, A87,A890,A832, A835)

    On Thursday we had decided to leave panniers behind and do some of the smaller single track roads, heading out towards the Summer Isles (Achtilburie)



    and then on to Lochinver. I wouldn't have wanted to do this on a sportbike, narrow roads, blind tight corners, loose gravel, wet steep hills all made for tricky riding Linzi's F650 was the perfect bike to ride them on. Spots of rain had started and the wind had increased, sea was whitetopping and forecast was for storm force winds that night.

    After Lochinver we took the B road around the coast towards Kylesku, we dropped down onto a sandy beach at achmelvich where the rain started again, well, i thought it was rain but when we got off the bikes it was sleeting , wind was now howling and the waves crashing onto beach were 5 metres high.

    A soggy wind swept ride to Kylesku and lunch and the sun made an appearance on th final bit. Not for long though as soon as we were back on bikes the rain started again. It didn't spoil a nice blast back to Ullapool though



    roads A835, unclassified to Achtilburie, Lochinver, B869, A894, A835

    Friday saw us on the morning ferry to Stornoway, wind was stil blowing and at froce 8-9 the sea was rough, I'm used to being in dinghies in a blow and am never seasick but I was glad to see Stornoway and get into the lee of Lewis.

    Ullapool getting ready for Loopallu



    Stornoway was busy but it only took a few minutes and we were heading south on the A859 with no traffic, the rain and wind continued but we hardly noticed it because of the views, as we crossed onto Harris we climbed up a mountain, as we rounded the top the Norge got blown sideways, 250kg of bike plus fully loaded and it was hard to stop it leaving the road



    Down to Tarbert to see if my mate got off the Skye ferry but he'd missed it. Whlst we'd had coffee the sun had finally come out so it looked like we might have a dry run down to Rodal. Climbed on the bikes and within a mile we got hit by a downpour of rain and hail Visibility dropped so we didn't realise we were heading towards the beaches that overlook Taransay until we were on them, golden sand, huge atlantic breakers creating white foam in a blue green sea

    the photos don't do this justice



    we slowly road the single track road, stopping to look at every view point, its probably the lost stunning bit of coastline I'd seen. On towards Scarista and we looked back for one last time



    Our stop was at the tip of Harris at the Rodal Hotel, a nice location overlooking a small harbour and the end of the A859. in between the rain and sun we sat outside and watched an otter catching his evening meal, first time either of us had seen one in the wild.

    View from our hotel



    Saturday was an early start with a ferry to catch from Leverbugh over to Berneray, with 3 cars and 3 bikes it wasn't exactly busy but it is worth booking.

    Berneray is joined to North Uist by a small causeway, complete with "caution- otters crossing" sign



    Our ferry to Oban left Lochboisedale at 13.50 so we had about 3 hours to cover as much as we could before that. We headed south then west onto the A865 deciding to do the more remote west side in preference to Lochmaddy and its ferry port. This bit of road was my favourite of the whole trip with stunning views from every corner



    we left North Uist and onto Benbecula, its the most populated bit of the Uists with its military base and airport and with it flat featureless landscape I didn't like it, no problem though as it only takes a few minutes to get around and then another causeway onto South Uist. The landscape here is weird, peat bogs interspersed with grey beaches, small lochs and rivers, maybe it would be different in better weather but it wasn't what i expected. The rain had started again so we didn't get to see the beaches on the west of South Uist and we headed into Lochboisdale to catch our ferry to Oban.



    As we left the Oban ferry terminal we almost knocked Scott over as he jumped out from a bar on the Esplanade, quickly headed out to the Wide Mouthed Frog, showered and changed and back to meet Scott, Davie, Steve, Dell and Ranald at the Piazza Italian restaurant. A great night with good company rounded out a fantastic trip.

    A late start Sunday ( for us anyway) and a pootle back via Lochawe, Inveraray and then Ducati Glasgow and home via the old A74.

    If you've made it this far you can find more piccies here

    We used Calmac Ferries Island Hopscottch Rover 9 ferry ticket to get around, Hotels on the islands are rare and expensive b and b's cheaper and easier to find. fuel wasn't a problem, we filled up in Ullapool and did about 130 miles on the Hebrides.

    Hotels - Rodel Hotel, Rodel, Harris http://www.rodelhotel.co.uk/
    Wide Mouthed Frog , Oban http://www.widemouthedfrog.co.uk/
    Royal Hotel, Ullapool http://www.royalhotel-ullapool.com/

    not recommended Nevis Bank Hotel, Ft William

    total mileage only 850 miles
    The truth about life - is it found in the beginning, middle or end?

    Interested in Sport Classic's? Clicky here

  2. #2
    Join Date
    20.12.2005
    Location
    Cheshire
    Ducati models
    1098s, GSXR750
    Posts
    1,499
    sounds fantastic Michael, even with the weather

    surprised it was only 850 miles, didn't we do more than that last year in five days??

    Really want to make it up there again next year but as you have suggested I think an investment in some rukka gear before we do!!
    Lil

  3. #3
    Join Date
    19.12.2005
    Location
    Cheshire
    Ducati models
    D16RR
    Other bikes
    Multistroodle 1200ST Katoom 450EXC
    Posts
    3,654
    Michael looks great (as ever) but wet... too wet
    2010 - lets make this a good one

  4. #4
    Join Date
    16.12.2005
    Location
    Penrith, Cumbria
    Ducati models
    none
    Other bikes
    none
    Posts
    6,135
    Quote Originally Posted by Lily View Post
    sounds fantastic Michael, even with the weather

    surprised it was only 850 miles, didn't we do more than that last year in five days??

    Really want to make it up there again next year but as you have suggested I think an investment in some rukka gear before we do!!
    the weather didn't bother us Claire, we both just accepted it but the Rukka kit makes it a lot, lot easier. I know its more expensive than other stuff but its worth every penny. next one is daytona boots for me and a decent pair of gloves.

    mileage was down because we spent a lot of time on singletrack roads around Ullapool, we also did one 3 hour and one almost 6 hour ferry crossing which knocks riding hours and saved us riding back from ullapool to oban, we only did 60 miles each day on Friday and Saturday all singletrack and rarely over 50mph
    The truth about life - is it found in the beginning, middle or end?

    Interested in Sport Classic's? Clicky here

  5. #5
    Join Date
    16.12.2005
    Location
    Penrith, Cumbria
    Ducati models
    none
    Other bikes
    none
    Posts
    6,135
    Quote Originally Posted by Freak View Post
    Michael looks great (as ever) but wet... too wet
    its a state of mind thing Jon, we were both positive about it and I ended up laughing every time the rain came back, the wind was a lot more annoying, wet roads i can cope with sudden 40 -50 mph gusts on a big bike aren't much fun. my neck is still stiff from always leaning one way.
    The truth about life - is it found in the beginning, middle or end?

    Interested in Sport Classic's? Clicky here

  6. #6
    Join Date
    20.12.2005
    Location
    Cheshire
    Ducati models
    1098s, GSXR750
    Posts
    1,499
    nice one

    I fancy some of the rukka gear. My dainese stuff is good for up to a few hours in heavy weather, but prolonged journeys means it does start to get damp in certain places. Boots are fine but def need some better gloves, probably more of the gauntlet style i think.

    Unlikely I will do as much through winter as its not easy with the new job, but still hoping to use the bike when i can
    Lil

  7. #7
    Join Date
    30.12.2005
    Location
    Gateshead
    Ducati models
    S4 Monsta / 900 SS
    Posts
    2,008
    suprised linzy didn't mug you for your waterproofs
    I have the tools, I have the talent, I can break anything

  8. #8
    Join Date
    05.07.2006
    Location
    Way Upnorth
    Ducati models
    Old and older.....
    Posts
    6,679
    Excellent write up/photos and glad you enjoyed it.
    Nevis Bank Hotel changed hands recently and I was in it just a couple of weeks ago. It has been the meeting place of the Ben Nevis hill race committee for the last few years but it seems to have gone downhill drastically.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    16.12.2005
    Location
    The Fife Riviera
    Ducati models
    D16RR, 1299S
    Posts
    8,063
    Great write up and pictures Mikey!

    Bloody good to see you and Linzi

    Oulton seems like an age ago!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    17.12.2005
    Location
    Auld Reekie
    Ducati models
    749s Classic
    Posts
    7,830
    Quote Originally Posted by Freak View Post
    Michael looks great (as ever) but wet... too wet


    Pooooooooooooooosssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!
    Well you know what they say......A cuckoo in May.......OOO ARR OOO ARRAY

  11. #11
    Join Date
    31.12.2005
    Location
    harrogate
    Ducati models
    1098, Kona SS, Pace RC303
    Posts
    6,866
    Quote Originally Posted by 239desmo View Post
    It has been the meeting place of the Ben Nevis hill race committee for the last few years but it seems to have gone downhill drastically.
    "Gone downhill" - love it!

    Good write up Mike, photos are quite evocative. As you say, the weather is dealt with best as a state of mind thing, and you do "get into it" in a weird sort of way. When I did my recent 750 mile round trip to Scotland to meet up with Borderduc, the 6am start was at ambient temp of 10 degrees, and we had rain most of the way round. Finished with a lovely evening sun run through the borders, that's the bit you remember.
    MAD AS A FISH! TOO OLD TO CARE!
    www.psychlosport.co.uk

  12. #12
    Join Date
    23.12.2005
    Location
    At home
    Ducati models
    1200 Multi & XR650R
    Posts
    1,027
    Glad you had a great time and the weather didn't put you off.

    Lovely piccies, makes me want to go back, haven't been North of the Border this year

  13. #13
    Join Date
    08.08.2007
    Location
    London
    Ducati models
    750ss ie
    Posts
    21
    Nice pictures, it looks like you did a very good trip. However, I got to say, I prefer the sunny + dry + warm state of mind.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    31.12.2005
    Location
    harrogate
    Ducati models
    1098, Kona SS, Pace RC303
    Posts
    6,866
    Quote Originally Posted by Francesco View Post
    Nice pictures, it looks like you did a very good trip. However, I got to say, I prefer the sunny + dry + warm state of mind.
    that's only because you're foreign! to us it's natural.

    ps i'm away to Sardinia on Thursday so I'll try some of that sun stuff. Probably won't enjoy it though!
    MAD AS A FISH! TOO OLD TO CARE!
    www.psychlosport.co.uk

  15. #15
    Join Date
    08.08.2007
    Location
    London
    Ducati models
    750ss ie
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by rockjock620 View Post
    that's only because you're foreign! to us it's natural.

    ps i'm away to Sardinia on Thursday so I'll try some of that sun stuff. Probably won't enjoy it though!
    Really! Where about are you going? Just for a rest or to do something?

    FYI Apart from nice beaches and sea, in Sardinia there are amazing roads as well, highlands, canyons, etc.

    After the Midgie Masher I went to a place called Villasimius, South-East nearby Cagliari.

    Now Sardinia should be around 25-30 degrees... ie too cold for Italians to go on the beach!

  16. #16
    ProjectImola004 Guest
    Looks like you guys had fun riding around the most beautiful part of the world (bar none). I'm sorry I didn't make it to Ullapool on Weds, work commitments got in the way I'm afraid. Its was frustrating knowing you were so close to us. The weather up here has been pretty crap of late and you obviously got caught up in it. I'm liking your new bike though.
    The road to Achiltilburie is nuts huh, past Stac Pollaidh - 15 miles of single track nuts road. We viewed a property there when looking for stuff up here. Gives remote a new meaning!!

    great pics also.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    25.07.2006
    Location
    County Durham
    Ducati models
    999
    Other bikes
    Hayabusa, VFR 400, Westfield Sport.
    Posts
    666
    Nice pics and write up.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    31.12.2005
    Location
    harrogate
    Ducati models
    1098, Kona SS, Pace RC303
    Posts
    6,866
    Francesco - myself, my best mate, his wife and my son are going on a climbing holiday. We are basing ourselves in Cala Gonone which we went to last year. There are very many fantastic cliffs around there, most notably the Cala Goloritze, a free standing 250m limestone pinnacle. We tried it last time and failed so............ The route we shall be attempting is Sole Incantatore, quite hard. We fly in to Alghero then drive across the island. The mountains of the centre, Il Sopramonte, look stunning and, as you say the roads are to die for! I love the place and I've only been once.

    My son and I might try to hire some dirt bikes for one day. Do you know of anywhere who might do them? Or a HyperMotard?

    We leave Wednesday evening, it can't be soon enough after all the rain this week here!
    MAD AS A FISH! TOO OLD TO CARE!
    www.psychlosport.co.uk

  19. #19
    Join Date
    31.12.2005
    Location
    harrogate
    Ducati models
    1098, Kona SS, Pace RC303
    Posts
    6,866
    I also want to do the descent of the Gola di Gorroppu gorge there, very famous, quite long and a bit tough. The deepest in Europe apparently. Do you know anything about it?
    Last edited by rockjock620; 25.09.2007 at 07:50 AM.
    MAD AS A FISH! TOO OLD TO CARE!
    www.psychlosport.co.uk

  20. #20
    Join Date
    04.06.2006
    Location
    Lanarkshire
    Ducati models
    M900
    Other bikes
    Trumpet 800
    Posts
    3,839
    """Scotty :- suprised linzy didn't mug you for your waterproofs """

    some fantastic photies in there and glad you both had a great time - despite the rain and wind. Linzi you should have mugged Michael for his rukka stuff and let him get soaked through instead
    Old enough to know better.... young enough to not give a s**t

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts