After leaving skies of soaring golden eagles above the buzzards, and red deer within the wilderness, I wondered if Skye would live up to Mull. It did. Faced with neck-craning mountains, Skye hit us in more dramatic ways than one.
The excitement started when we were deep in campervan traffic, trailors and SUVs, all plodding around the bends at a steady speed. I watched Ivan take a clean gap and overtake so I bode my time until safely following suit became possible.
My timing wasn’t what you’d exactly call impeccable; I just about managed to squeeze past the mobile home before an oncoming car was zooming towards me. Restricted bike or no restricted bike, I wasn’t quite in the ‘power band’ so was left feeling a little wreckless and annoyed with myself. I guess it’s these poignant wake up calls from dipping more than just your big toe in, which have to be experienced so as to really learn from a close call.
Within the same morning, I found myself playing catch up to the group. This brought me within a hair’s breath to an orange coloured car, which was speeding ridiculously fast around the single track roads. The car almost took me out along with Pearl. Needless to say, I had just about enough drama that I could stomach for one day, that is, until Ivan pulled up on the side of the road. With a glint in his eye, he gestured to swop bikes. Oh well, when in Scotland! I had full access to take his Yamaha TDM 900 for a little spin on the straight. What the heck! She was smooth and purred like a pussy cat, despite an aggressive and impatient van driver towing a trailor on my tail.
I cruised on the TDM from 0-60mph in my own sweet time. No sooner had I mounted Ivan’s bike, he pulled over on Pearl and indicated for me to do the same. I laughed and carried on, knowing I hadn’t got a proper feel for her at that point. After five minutes, I had soon got my ‘fix’, pulled over and beamed at Ivan. Inside I felt a spike of adrenaline, which quickly turned into relief that I hadn’t dropped or damaged Ivan’s pride and joy. The group fell into hysterics at my ignoring Ivan, who was pretty incredulous that I’d decided to continue at pace. What fun!
By the time we reached the campsite, I couldn’t wait to set up camp, wash away the trials and tribulations of the day under a scolding hot shower and reflect on the most eventful day of the trip so far. Still on a steep learning curve but then hasn’t every rider felt like this? Adds layers to the trip, that’s for sure although grateful to tell the tale at the end of each day.