Dual Tenere's Through the Scottish Highlands

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BackInNam2018, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. BackInNam2018

    BackInNam2018 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA
    Two riders. Two Tenere 660's. Two jobs left. One dream.

    We left Seattle on August 14, 2019 after months of plan and prep to start off on a dream that was seeded in Vietnam in Spring of 2018. We decided we wanted to do something bigger. Enter: Europe.

    First leg of the journey was to split up from Manchester Airport and retrieve our bikes purchased through folks we'd met on Facebook. Then, meet in Edinburgh, Scotland. We didn't plan to stay long, but Scotland begged our attention. "Go to the West Highlands" they said. "Aye, lad, perhaps".

    We did.

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    A 3 or 4 day plan turned into 8 days. We set the Sat Nav to "avoid motorways" and "find curvy roads". This little trick on a Garmin Zumo - or perhaps even Google Maps - will take you through extraordinary single track roads in Scotland that will take you to scenes like this:

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    For the life of me I can't remember where this is...

    The trick is you need to get North. We didn't quite go to John O'Groats, but we camped on Oldshoremore Beach and headed south.

    If you're in Unapool near Oldshoremore, there's a single track road that takes you through a gorgeous, quaint town of Drumbeg, the beaches of Clachtoll and Achmelvich, and in between a view of Suilven, seen in the background of this photo:

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    The views through the road north of this scene are just stunning as well!

    Just before Unapool, following signs of the West Highlands Highway to John O'Groats, you'll gasp at other views as well:

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    Last, but not least for this ride report, you can NOT avoid going to Applecross through the pass/viewpoint of Bealach na Ba. Just ensure you bring an extra change of underwear...

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    I regrettably don't have a fantastic photo of the real bits of the pass as it's simply too windy, and on this day, too foggy to pull over safely on the single track road and snap a photo. Much of that lives on our GoPro's now. As I said, bring an extra pair of underwear, and be prepared for high winds with nothing to catch you on either side at some points, fog so thick you can't see your riding mate 10 meters ahead, rain, hairpin turns and locals with 4 wheels riding your tails to get around you.

    The town of Applecross is quaint and proud and it's beautiful. The ride itself is the real attraction, for me, but you'll appreciate the town as well.

    Before I forget, one of the most helpful aspects of Scotland is that you can wild camp just about anywhere there isn't a sign saying you can't. Bring your camping gear, there's no need to book a reservation for the night, unless of course you're not a wet weather camper or need a night to shower and clean your clothes. There are plenty of pay-to-pitch campsites with a shower and laundry facility, and sometimes a pub nearby if you're lucky! That's a good compromise that will set you back around 10-15 quid per pitch.

    Scotland as a whole is now atop my list of riding/travelling experiences. Seriously. There's something about the place. Maybe it's the single track roads that are everywhere if you know where to find them. Maybe it's that the people are so nice and accommodating. Maybe it's the wild camping. Maybe it's the beauty. Maybe because it's the land of my ancestors. Maybe... you'll just need to go there and stare in awe for yourself.

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    By the way, can someone show me a good way to track our route and that way I can post a GPS image of where we've been through Scotland?

    All for now.
    #1
  2. ROYMACNIC

    ROYMACNIC Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    113
    Location:
    Scotland
    Glad you enjoyed Bonnie Scotland, and found some of our best roads :thumbup
    #2
  3. zhousir19820815

    zhousir19820815 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    26
    good trips
    #3
    BackInNam2018 likes this.
  4. Samanjo

    Samanjo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    Oddometer:
    544
    Location:
    South Africa
    Beautiful place
    Which bike's front-end is fitted to the blue Tenere?
    #4
  5. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,652
    Location:
    FLAT Lander
    I use the free GAIA app which has a tracking feature.
    #5
  6. BackInNam2018

    BackInNam2018 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA
    Lol. A bit of a Frankenstein front end. A KTM fender (or whatever you call that) that is literally held on by zip ties on one end and the forks are a WR450 USD conversion. This is how I bought the bike (thats the one I ride). The logistics of buying a bike 5000 miles away without being able to see or ride it in person meant what I saw on paper was great, but in reality the forks are not made for this bike and the weight. The reality of this trip is I had to put my trust in this being a secent bike ans overall it is.

    However, the front suspension makes the handle bars quite wobbly at slow speed, and its a bit bouncy at speed. The suspension dives when breaking and makes it tough on trails but its getting the job done. Ive already had one fork seal go south but its held up the last 3 weeks.
    #6
  7. BackInNam2018

    BackInNam2018 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA
    Perfect! Thank you.
    #7
    Ginger Beard likes this.
  8. BackInNam2018

    BackInNam2018 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA
    It's either number 1 or 1.A in my list of favorite places to ride. Its just indescribably beautiful, and the fact that my ancestry largely comes from Scotland made that connection even greater. What a place.
    #8
    ROYMACNIC likes this.