After such a heady previous day on the bike, we woke up to a textbook scene in Scotland; fine, drizzly rain, a heavy mist under thick cloud and more midgies than you could shake a shitty stick at! Go figure – we packed up in record time and buzzed off to the nearest breezy spot where I gently removed two dead midgies from Jason’s right eyeball.
We casually took the circuit around the north of Skye taking the roads along the mountain passes, high up wherever possible to get the best vantage point. The landscape was atmospheric and moody. We left Skye via the bridge to the mainland, which was a thrilling three minutes because the convex shape made it feel as though we were riding up towards the sky. A mental note made to find the rock pools next time.
We snaffled fish and chips in Portree, down a steep road by the waterfront. There we met Matt and his dad Steve Watkin on their heavily laden Honda C90s. They had travelled a long way already practically covered the length and breadth of Scotland at that point. Impressive trip. Nice guys.
Back on the mainland, we continued along the passes and wound our way through to Applecross. The pass leading to Applecross was spectacular. Especially as we were all getting a taste for the long sweeping bends at that point, and the odd hairpin thrown in for good measure was a thrill. At times, I felt like I was riding on a kid’s Scaletrix track. Superb fun. However, Applecross did see one mini-drama when Ian and I decided to follow Chris and Jase in turning our bikes around, through a ditch and up a steep grassy bank back onto the road. The three of us managed the manoeuvre successfully; unfortunately, Ian got caught out in his line back up and he and Daisy went down. One of his panniers took a beating although Ian was fine, albeit frustrated at himself. These things happen.
Pulling up to our desired spot, we got chatting to a group from Malawi, which was very unexpected to be greeted by such wonderful people from another continent. Fanny was ‘high-fiving’ me within seconds of clocking me. Later that evening, our biker group were treated to a song and dance from the Malawians whilst they were bringing their canoes back up the beach. Amazing to witness and be privvy to such warming sights.
We sipped red wine in between telling stories of our adventures and cultures over a roaring log fire on the beach. There was a peace and quiet that I hadn’t experienced in a long while – a settling calm was all around us. Despite the wretched midgies…