Every ride starts with an idea, and this one was quite basic. My friend Darren, whom I have known since childhood (in fact our fathers were friends before they met our respective mothers), is studying in St. Andrews Scotland. While I was mulling over visiting Darren and his family I had obvious insperation....I should rent a bike over there. Thanks to some of the inmates here, I found Cupar Motorcycles in, of all places Cupar. It was only 10 miles from St Andrews. Perfect. Gordon and his staff treated me wonderfully and very much reinforced the hospitality of the Scots. I rented a wee strom, and it came with a top box. Perfect. Having never ridden on the left side of the road I was a touch nervous, but in short order I adjusted. I headed north, and after getting a bit turned around in Dundee, a quick bite in Montrose, I continued toward Stonehaven for a visit to Dunottar Castle. After traversing the steep approach (both up and down 100 or so feet), gaining the main gate covered by scatter shot and cannon loops, turning a 90 degree bend in the entry you are met by more shot holes. The backside of the castle is even more formidable, being naturally protected by cliffs and pounding surf. This naturally protected location or Dunottar lead the Scots to hide the Honours here during one of Cromwell's campaigns to subdue the Scots. There are lots of really old (by North American standards) thingd to see in Scotland. Some other views of Dunottar. The Chapel; The Warden's Quarters The Stores Even the washroom has an especially nice veiw... From Stonehaven, I headed northwest to visit the Caringorms and follow the Spey. Some views along the way. approaching Lecht Pass The heather was just finishing in mid September, but some could still be found Cutting the corner to the A95 that follows the Spey I finished the day at a B&B in Elgin. I was very cold. Thought the pass I rode though sleet, and it had been raining on and off all day. Between Dufftown and Elgin it snowed and poured in a thunderstorm. Luckily the smart lads at Cupar Motorcycles had fitted heated grips...a life saver!