Murcia, SPAIN to John O'Groats, SCOTLAND

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jugama, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Murcia, SPAIN
    First of all, as you English speakers will soon notice, English is not my mother tongue, so I’ll try to make my story understandable and as correct as possible, but I always have to check some words in a dictionary before posting, and even then some of my idioms are not what they should be.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    So I am going to tell my story when I can, writing first and posting then and choosing the pics among the 2000+ that I took during the trip.<o:p></o:p>
    So if you are interested, this thread will continue&#8230;
    <o:p></o:p>
    I knew about ADVR from a post in a Forum where I&#8217;ve been a member since I have my bike, three years ago. I&#8217;ve been lurking in here from time to time, and I did like both the stories and the pics.
    <o:p></o:p>
    My bike is a 2003 Suzuki Volusia, not suitable for the kind of rides I&#8217;ve been reading of here, and even less for off road riding.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Anyway, after coming home from a trip to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on">Great Britain</st1:country-region>, I&#8217;ve posted some pics on the other site, and then browsing in ADVR, I saw the story of BadWHooper&#8217;s trip to <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Scotland</st1:place></st1:country-region>, recognising some of the places I had seen in my trip.<o:p></o:p>
    Even more, the kind of trip was quite similar.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I must say I like camping, and most of my trip nights in my thirties and forties were under a tent, but due to the age and the pains that threaten some of us after our fifteenth birthday, we decided to travel by bike but stay in hotels.<o:p></o:p>
    Riding 2up with luggage, there is no room for the stuff needed, but even more, how can you set a tent in a country where your chances to have rain are so high?
    <o:p></o:p>
    Back to the trip, a member on the Spanish Forum for the Suzuki Intruder did a similar one two years ago, and I began thinking of it. But finally last summer I told my wife and I could see right then that she was not totally against, even more, she kind of agreed.
    <o:p></o:p>
    I started to plan it just after the summer, almost one year before. I must say we go for <st1:metricconverter w:st="on" ProductID="300 km">300 km</st1:metricconverter> day rides frequently, and some weekend rides, plus a two-week summer trip when possible. Our longest trip so far was the year we bought this bike from home in <st1:country-region w:st="on">Murcia</st1:country-region> to <st1:country-region w:st="on">Galicia</st1:country-region>, the Northwest end of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Spain</st1:country-region></st1:place>, <st1:metricconverter w:st="on" ProductID="3300 km">3300 km</st1:metricconverter> in 11 days.<o:p></o:p>
    Planning the trip involved three main parts for me:<o:p></o:p>
    The bike,<o:p></o:p>
    The gear and <o:p></o:p>
    The trip itself: what to see, where to stay, the legs to divide it in.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The third of them interferes with the others, because long riding days means a more comfortable riding condition needed.
    <o:p></o:p>
    First decision was ride from <st1:country-region w:st="on">Murcia</st1:country-region> to the North of France then to <st1:country-region w:st="on">Britain</st1:country-region>, or ride to <st1:City w:st="on">Santander</st1:City> then take a ferry to <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>.<o:p></o:p>
    Surfing the net, I finally decided to go to <st1:City w:st="on">Santander</st1:City> and take the ferry to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Plymouth</st1:place></st1:City>, the only route available from there. The other route was from <st1:City w:st="on">Bilbao</st1:City> to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Portsmouth</st1:City></st1:place>, that was longer, and more expensive.<o:p></o:p>
    The ferry was more expensive than the motorway you have to pay for in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">France</st1:place></st1:country-region>, but you need at least two more days, with the corresponding meals, hotel nights and gas, so we decided the ferry.<o:p></o:p>
    Then the end the trip: we decided John O&#8217;Groats, the Northeast end of <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Great Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>. <o:p></o:p>
    I also wanted to visit some places I knew from a previous journey 23 years ago: Chorley, where I stayed, <st1:City w:st="on">Chester</st1:City>, <st1:City w:st="on">York</st1:City> and the <st1:place w:st="on">Lake</st1:place> district, and include the isle of Skye.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Thinking of all this, by Christmas the trip planning was more or less what we finally did.<o:p></o:p>
    Start from <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Murcia</st1:country-region></st1:place>.<o:p></o:p>
    Ride to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Santander</st1:place></st1:City> in one day (800+ km)<o:p></o:p>
    Take the ferry to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Plymouth</st1:place></st1:City> (only on Thursdays)<o:p></o:p>
    Ride to John O&#8217;Groats Staying one night each at <st1:City w:st="on">Chester</st1:City>, Carlisle and <st1:place w:st="on">Inverness</st1:place>.<o:p></o:p>
    Visit the Loch <st1:place w:st="on">Ness</st1:place> and the Isle of Sky. <o:p></o:p>
    And coming <st1:place w:st="on">South Edinbugh</st1:place>, York and Stonehenenge.<o:p></o:p>
    Then <st1:City w:st="on">Plymouth</st1:City> for the ferry to <st1:City w:st="on">Santander</st1:City> (only on Sundays) and back to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Murcia</st1:country-region></st1:place> in two legs this time, cause the ferry arrives at 4.00 PM.<o:p></o:p>
    That could roughly be around <st1:metricconverter w:st="on" ProductID="5000 km">5000 km</st1:metricconverter> in 13 days
    <o:p></o:p>
    The bike has 30k miles on it and runs great, so the only thing is replacing the tyres. For such a long trip the rear one is too worn and I better replace both at the same time.<o:p></o:p>
    For comfort, I was thinking of purchasing a Mustang seat, suitable for long rides, according to guys who already have it, so for Christmas, after comparing prices, I ordered it from a guy here in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Spain</st1:place></st1:country-region> who had an interesting offer.<o:p></o:p>
    My left leg usually gets tired and hurts before the rest of my body, but after stopping and walking for a short while, I can ride again for another <st1:metricconverter w:st="on" ProductID="100 km">100 km</st1:metricconverter>. This is why I added a pair of pegs to my highway bars, in order to rest my leg from time to time and be able to ride for longer before having a rest.<o:p></o:p>
    As for the passenger, my wife complained of having her feet too high, so I mounted footpeg extensions to the passenger floorboards, and she feels better now.<o:p></o:p>
    I already had waterproof hard saddlebags and a tank bag here I usually wear my camera and my small stuff: sunglasses, keys&#8230;<o:p></o:p>
    I ordered from a local shop a better bag then the ones we had before, that fits perfect on the luggage rack I mounted on my rear trunk, with a rain cover. We still remember having almost everything wet in our big bag on our trip to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Galicia</st1:country-region></st1:place> after riding under a heavy rain for a pair of hours.<o:p></o:p>
    I&#8217;ve got a cheap and a bit old gps that I use both in my car an bike, but not waterproof, so after comparing models I order a waterproof case that fits my Mio C250, and can be mounted in the centre of the handlebars. I know paper maps can be more romantic, but stopping on a road in a country you don&#8217;t know, where it probably rains to see what to do at the next crossroad can be annoying when there&#8217;s a roundabout every few kms. Of course I downloaded the latest version of the maps for my navigator.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Quite before Easter I had booked the ferry for the 15th July and back the 25<SUP>th</SUP>, including a cabin to rest, because it takes about 19 hours and the trip is not finish for us. I also &#8230;. a travel insurance because we can&#8217;t be sure months before that we can do the trip due to any of the circumstances that could affect us.<o:p></o:p>
    We already had two sets of riding gear; we decided to take the one we wear in winter here in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Spain</st1:place></st1:country-region> and take our rain gear as well. I bought a pair of waterproof winter gloves each, but we decided to wear our summer gloves here in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Spain</st1:country-region></st1:place> cause it&#8217;s really hot in July here, and we can afford carrying an extra pair of gloves.<o:p></o:p>
    The day before we left I changed the oil, quite before I should, but I didn&#8217;t want to have it changed during the trip, so I just would check the level from time to time and add a bit when needed. Both my oil and air filters were changed not log before, as well as the spark plugs, so I thought the bike was Ok.
    Day 1 the bike fully loaded
    <o:p>Passenger floorboards </o:p><o:p>extensions</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Highway pegs</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Day one: <st1:country-region w:st="on">Murcia</st1:country-region> &#8211; <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Santander</st1:place></st1:City>: <st1:metricconverter w:st="on" ProductID="966 km">966 km</st1:metricconverter><o:p></o:p>
    I tend to be optimistic when I&#8217;m in a road trip, and think that I&#8217;m doing what I like the way I like, but some days I must admit that for more than a few seconds I wonder if I took the right decision. And this as one of these days.<o:p></o:p>
    We had packed our things the day before, and went to bed early because of the length of the ride we had. So we got up, loaded the last bag and at 7.00 Am we were heading North on the Motorway. <o:p></o:p>
    I noticed soon that the bike was not running as it should. At first it was a little loss of power when undertaking a lorry or a car, but after <st1:metricconverter w:st="on" ProductID="40 km">40 km</st1:metricconverter>, the loss was neat and clear: we couldn&#8217;t do our trip with the bike as it was running. I tried to think of what could cause this but I couldn&#8217;t: the plugs where new, and at idle it ran ok, so no one seemed to be wrong. I thought of some kind of dirt in the carburettor, but I never had this problem on this bike. My big problem was the ferry we had booked, and I couldn&#8217;t see a way of postponing the trip because of my wife&#8217;s work. <o:p></o:p>
    I decided to go back and bring the bike to a mechanic&#8217;s and see if he could do something in the short time we had left. On the way back I was even thinking of swapping the bike for the car, but it would have been another trip.<o:p></o:p>
    After waiting almost an hour for the shop to open, and five minutes of checking both sides of the bike, the cause of the loss of power was finally the air filter cover. I found it broken around one of the bolt holes a long time ago, and I fixed it with one of these two-component glues. I worked ok until then, but the cover was now open on its front side enough to let the air flow free into the filter. As a result, the mixture was too lean and the engine had a very high loss of power. The quick solution was stick the cover to the box with black duct tape and wait to the end of the trip for a permanent fix.<o:p></o:p>
    On the road again at 9.40, the bike runs as she usually did. No problem at any speed I usually ride. It was THAT simple. Finally 2.30 h and 90 extra km later on the same road, but no extra expenses, and all going right again.<o:p></o:p>
    We first needed gas in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Albacete</st1:place></st1:City> and we had a coffee as well just to have a rest. Coming back to the bike I remembered that I had checked the pressure on both tyres when changing the oil and I found no one matched the book indicated level. I hadn&#8217;t checked the air pressure after replacing the tyres and I had found the rear to be quite low. From my experience with cars, after fixing a tyre, the pressure can be either high or low depending on I don&#8217;t know what, but being right at its level is very uncommon. And there it was! Low again. We went on the road again, but now I was sure to have a puncture. Well, the plan was try to get to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Santander</st1:place></st1:City> in the evening and get it fixed in the morning, before taking the ferry. We tried to fix it with a tyre spay, but no way&#8230; We finally reached <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Santander</st1:place></st1:City> by 9.00 PM, but wrong again, we tried to find a hotel and forgot the tyre. When we finally got it, there was a gas station opposite, but &#8230; closed. The last <st1:metricconverter w:st="on" ProductID="50 metres">50 metres</st1:metricconverter>, the tyre was completely flat and out of the rim.<o:p></o:p>
    The owner of the small hotel was a rider (Honda Pan-European currently) and tried to inflate with a small compressor. No way. He knew a few dealers that could fix it in the morning so we went to bed.<o:p></o:p>

    The hotel in Santander
    [​IMG]

    The bike parked at the hotel (See the tyre)
    [​IMG]

    My rear tyre after 900 km riding on it. Only the last 5 were deadly to it!
    [​IMG]

    Well, see you in my next post. The trip arrives in Great Britain.
    </o:p>
    #1
  2. Mullet

    Mullet Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    Im in.
    #2
  3. Icarus

    Icarus Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    119
    Location:
    The Beehive State
    Gracias por el reportaje, seguiré leyéndolo. Estuve en tu tierra con una moto de alquiler hace tan solo un par de días de ruta. :ricky

    saludos!
    #3
  4. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Murcia, SPAIN
    Day Two: <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on">Santander</st1:City> &#8211; <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Plymouth</st1:place></st1:City><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    After talking to the Suzuki dealer, and not being clear about fixing it on time, I was sent to a Ktm dealer, just two blocks away from the hotel. They picked the bike in a van and an hour later I a had a phone call: the tyre was broken and they had found only one that fit the bike. The decision was clear, do it right now. The bike was ok by 1.30 Pm and we loaded our bags and left quickly for the ferry terminal.<o:p></o:p>
    Fortunately, all our problems with the bike happened this day and still in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Spain</st1:country-region></st1:place>.<o:p></o:p>
    We checked for the ferry as the last bike in a long queue, but the ferry was late and we still had to wait for more than an hour. By the way, our bike was the only registered in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Spain</st1:place></st1:country-region>. There were bikes of all kinds, but all with yellow British plates. And very few Spanish cars as well.<o:p></o:p>
    We finally got on board at 4.00 Pm, took off our riding gear, had a shower and came up to the top deck to see <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Santander</st1:City></st1:place> from the Harbour. Nice town if you don&#8217;t know it yet.
    Not much riding today, but good to relax after 900 km yesterday :1drink

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Queuing for the ferry</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>5 star hotel and crowded beach. Santander</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Sailing by "El Palacio de la Magdalena", Santander</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Upper decks, ferry "Pont Aven"</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Sunrise from the Pont Aven</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Sailing at 27 knots</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Waiting to go out.</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,190
    Quite the ride on quite the bike.. :thumb

    Please switch to white font, as black font is hard to read :gerg

    :lurk
    #5
  6. Horton

    Horton Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    491
    >
    >Please switch to white font, as black font is hard to read
    >

    Interessting report, but white letters will be a very good idea. . .
    #6
  7. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Murcia, SPAIN
    Oops, Sorry.
    Done
    #7
  8. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Murcia, SPAIN
    Day 3: <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on">Plymouth</st1:City> – <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Chester</st1:place></st1:City><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    We got out of the ferry by 11.00 Am, and we hit road right then. We just stopped at a gas station to buy a bottle of water, and headed North. <o:p></o:p>
    British Ferries had sent me an email telling about road works in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Plymouth</st1:place></st1:City> and giving advice about an alternative route that I loaded on my Gps, so I had no problem in joining the motorway and going my way.<o:p></o:p>
    Riding on the left was not as difficult as I had thought. Just the first roundabouts kept me very concentrate on what I was doing, but in a couple of hours, I didn’t think about it. <o:p></o:p>
    I have to say that everything is important in planning a trip, but one of the things I could hardly do without is the Gps. In a country that I don’t know, riding on the left, and with a high possibility of rain, I’d had to stop very often to open a map, and there’s not always a safe place to stop whenever you need it! I think it’s been my first tool.<o:p></o:p>
    The ride today was <st1:metricconverter w:st="on" ProductID="443 km">443 km</st1:metricconverter>, so we lost little time in visiting any place before finding a place to stay at <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Chester</st1:place></st1:City>.<o:p></o:p>
    We had lunch at a motorway services near Bristol on our way north, then went on the road again, and after spending more time than planned in some traffic queues due to road works, we finally reached Chester in the evening, late enough to find our first choice hotel fully booked, but they sent us just opposite the road to Comfort Inn, and the we stayed. It was quite near the city centre, but after having a shower, I took the bike again and we parked right in the centre, only a mile or so from the inn, but we were in a hurry to have something for dinner and we didn’t go on foot.<o:p></o:p>
    We had time yet to walk the lonely streets in the old City and take some pics before going to bed.

    The Cross, the very centre of Chester
    [​IMG]

    The Town Hall
    [​IMG]

    This shop used to be a Barclays Bank branch the first time I visited Chester.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>An old building in the centre.</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    #8
  9. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Murcia, SPAIN
    Day 4: <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on">Chester</st1:City> – <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Gretna</st1:City></st1:place> Green.- <st1:metricconverter w:st="on" ProductID="320 km">320 km</st1:metricconverter><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    We got up early and after breakfast we went again to city centre, to have a walk at daylight, and it started raining slightly.<o:p></o:p>
    Being both my wife and me fond of photography, we purchased before the trip Rainsleeve, a kind of open plastic bag that allows you operate your camera under the rain, and we went for a walk in the same streets we had been in the evening.

    Rainy morning at The Cross, First rhino.
    [​IMG]

    2nd Rhino in Northgate Street
    [​IMG]

    Al Fresco. full English. Sounds like Spanish to me.
    [​IMG]

    Chez Jules
    [​IMG]

    Another Rhino in front of the Town Hall. There was plenty of them around the city.
    [​IMG]

    Then, at about 11.00 Am, we came back to the Comfort Inn, picked up our things and left <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Chester</st1:place></st1:City>. We put our rain gear on and the rain became harder as we went on the road between <st1:City w:st="on">Manchester</st1:City> and <st1:place w:st="on">Liverpool</st1:place>. <o:p></o:p>
    Next stop was Chorley, a quiet little town in Lancashire where I stayed in July 1988 to improve my English at the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Lancashire</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">College</st1:placeType></st1:place>.<o:p></o:p>
    Fortunately the rain stopped before we left the motorway, because walking and taking pics under the rain is not my favourite way of touring a place.


    At the gas station. Chorley
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>St Georse's Street, Chorley</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>St Lawrence, old Norman Church, Chorley</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Award winning Pub, Chorley. Used to be the Swan with two Knecks</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>The Town Hall</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    After Chorley we had lunch on the road and left the motorway again to ride the <st1:place w:st="on">Lake District</st1:place>. We had showers again, but they didn’t bother us too much.<o:p></o:p>
    What I missed more especially here but in the whole trip was a good road shoulder to stop and take a photo from the motorbike, as I usually do. No way! High grass or even bushes or trees all the way, hard shoulders only on motorways. So sometimes there’s no pic, to avoid loosing more time than suitable.<o:p></o:p>
    The scenery in the <st1:place w:st="on">Lake District</st1:place> is fantastic. We stopped three or four times but it’s one of these places you never get tired of visiting.<o:p></o:p>
    Our route through the Lake district was <st1:placeName w:st="on">Newby</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Bridge</st1:placeType>, Bowness, Grasmere, Keswick and Bothel, then we headed for <st1:place w:st="on">Carlisle</st1:place> to take the Motorway Northbound again.

    Lake Windermere at Bowness
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>The rain just stopped for a while. we kept our rain gear, yet. Bowness</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Grasmere</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Heding for Keswick</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Our plan was staying near Carlisle for the night, but it was not too late, so we passed the Scottish-English border and stopped at <st1:place w:st="on">Gretna Green</st1:place>.
    Next Day, Scotland.
    #9
  10. lefteris

    lefteris fat daddy

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    284
    Location:
    Athens, Hellas (Greece)
    Great start! Keep it up!

    Lefteris
    #10
  11. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Murcia, SPAIN
    Day 5: Gretna Green – Inverness
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    We left the hotel soon and had our breakfast on the road. The first stop was at Stirling to take a snap of the Castle and the Wallace Monument (Remember Braveheart) <o:p></o:p>
    No more motorway after Perth, but a good two lane road, that becomes what they call a dual carriageway road every ten km or so, and allows you to overtake all the slow vehicles.

    Stirling. The Castle
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Stirling. The Wallace Monument</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Broom of Dalreoch</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Broom of Dalreoch</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Atholl Palace Hotel. Pitlochry. I thought it was a Castle!</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Carr Bridge</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>The new bridge at Carrbridge</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Local Fuels</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Aproching Inverness. By the way, who's that Guy?</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Inverness. The Castle.</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>A Spanish Restaurant opposite the Castle. What a name for a restaurant!</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Inverness seen from the Castle.</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    #11
  12. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Murcia, SPAIN
    Day 6: <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Inverness</st1:place> - John O’Groats – Thurso – Drumnadrochit<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    The most important day so far. The trip to <st1:place w:st="on">Inverness</st1:place> was a road trip to come to an end. The landscape was interesting, and so were the chosen cities we visited, but where I really wanted to go was the Highlands, the Coast and the <st1:place w:st="on">Isle of Skye</st1:place>. Then we had to go there and come back home. This is what we did.
    John O'Groats was a symbol to me since it was the furthest place from home we were going to be in our trip. The road leading there was different, because both of the road itself and the surrounding landscape. We started from Inverness, were we stayed at “the Rose Lodge”, a Bed and Breakfast accommodation ruled M. Stevenson, who welcomed us in his transitional Scottish clothes, and was a very good guest to us.

    Self protrait at the Rose Lodge
    [​IMG]

    Brekfast at The Rose Lodge
    [​IMG]

    Leaving The rose Lodge
    [​IMG]

    The Moray firth and Inverness
    [​IMG]

    Cromarty Bridge
    [​IMG]

    After leaving Inverness crossing the Moray Firth, then the Cromarty bridge, and the Dornoch Firth, we came along the North-East coast of the <st1:place w:st="on">Highlands</st1:place>. <o:p></o:p>
    There was not as much traffic as the days before and every mile deserved a stop to take a snap, but we had to chose the places we liked the best, not willing to stay there for longer than we had planned, and this is what we got. <o:p></o:p>
    Berriedale Beach
    [​IMG]

    Keiss Castle and Sinclair Bay
    [​IMG]

    John O'Groats is the small town with such a small habour and a few shops and cafés where you take the ferry for the <st1:place w:st="on">Orkney Islands</st1:place>, but the real North-East end of the road is Duncansby Head, just a little 2 miles East from there.<o:p></o:p>
    And the place is worth the ride.
    <o:p></o:p>
    End of the road: Duncansby Head Lighthouse
    [​IMG]

    The Stacks. Duncansby Head
    [​IMG]

    The cliffs at Duncansby Head
    [​IMG]

    Myself taking some pics. I'm 1.78 m. tall, so calculate the height.
    [​IMG]

    John O'Groats
    [​IMG]

    Far, far from Home...
    [​IMG]

    John O'Groats. The harbour, the Pentland Firth and the Okney Islands
    [​IMG]


    The Orkney Ferry at John O'Groats
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>


    Entering Thurso
    [​IMG]

    Dunbeath Castle
    [​IMG]

    Traffic sign are quite clear, Aren't they?
    [​IMG]

    A good place to stop and snap a pic, easier on backroads than on main ones[​IMG]



    The Loch Ness at dusk. Best time to spot the Monster...
    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. BusyWeb

    BusyWeb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    99
    :clap
    #13
  14. Navel

    Navel Omphaloskeptical

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    169
    Location:
    Galicia, Spain.
    Nice report and pics :clap , this brings back nice old memories when I rode with my mountainbike around the highlands. Keep it coming.

    Rafagassss :freaky
    #14
  15. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Murcia, SPAIN
    Day 7: Drumnadrochit – Kyle of Lochalsh – Staffin – Ratagan
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    The sun shined brightly this morning, which wouldn’t been a news in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Spain</st1:country-region></st1:place>, but here, it was the first time it shined like that. It made our pics of the Loch Ness look different from what we did the previous days. We went for a walk in Drumnadrochit, where every shop, pub or café has a name related to either the Loch Ness or the Monster.

    Dumnadrochit
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>All roads lead to Rome</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Never read silly signs!</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>The Loch Ness Centre</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Nessie at broad daylight!</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Nessie posing with me</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>A view of the Loch Ness. Less mystery in the morning :(</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    We then stopped at <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Urquhart</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Castle</st1:placeType></st1:place> that had a fantastic view of it from the road, as well as the Loch Ness.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p><o:p>Shiel Bridge and Ratagan in the Background. We´ll come back in the evening</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Then we headed for Dornie and <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Eilean</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Donen</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Castle</st1:placeType></st1:place></o:p>
    <o:p><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">[​IMG]</st1:placeType></st1:place></o:p>
    <o:p><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on"></st1:placeType></st1:place></o:p>
    <o:p><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">[​IMG]</st1:placeType></st1:place></o:p>
    <o:p><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on"></st1:placeType></st1:place></o:p>
    </o:p>
    Then we had lunch at Kyle of Lochalsh, before crossing the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Skye</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Bridge</st1:placeType></st1:place>.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The <st1:place w:st="on">Isle of Skye</st1:place> deserves a good photograph at every step, so we had to decide where to stop.
    Eas a'Bhradain, Loch Ainort
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Loch Sligachan.</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p><o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Portree</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>The road to Staffin. Only a bit was that good. Old Man of Storr in the background</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Loch Fada and the Old Man Of Storr</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>The bike at Valtos, Isle of Skye</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Kilt Rock</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Communication, back in the last Century</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Hills and sheep, near Staffin</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Ferry leaving Uig</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>The Cuillins, Isle of Skye</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Sunset at the Isle of Skye</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    When we crossed back the bridge, it started to rain, just at the worst time of the day, when looking for accommodation. We started at Dornie, then along the road to ShielBridge. Every B&B showed the No Vacancies sign, and I rang at one that didn’t show the sign, but the lady told me that she had people even in her living room. As she saw my wet suit and helmet and I presume my face, she told me to wait while she did a few telephone calls and finally gave me the directions to get to a friend’s of hers who ruled a B&B at Ratagan, on the other side of the water. It was completely dark by then, and still raining. I managed to find the house, and there was a man waiting for us in front of it, as soon as he heard the bike in the street.
    #15
  16. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Murcia, SPAIN
    Day 8: Ratagan – Glenfinnan - <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Edinburgh</st1:place></st1:City><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    It’s the day when we took less pics, because of the weather. It started raining when we left <st1:placeName w:st="on">Shiel</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Bridge</st1:placeType> and it rained almost all the way to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Edinburgh</st1:City></st1:place>.

    The bike at the B&B
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Loch Duich opposite the B&B</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Glenfinnan Monument. We ha to use our Rainsleeves again.</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Glenfinnan Viaduct</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Whe had luch at Laggan, and we were quite wet when we came in. Fortunately, they had a gas stove on and we sat close to it.

    A dripping wet bike
    [​IMG]


    A view of Edinburgh from the window of our room
    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Murcia, SPAIN
    Day 9: Edinburgh – <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">York</st1:City></st1:place><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    We headed South to come back to <st1:City w:st="on">Plymouth</st1:City> an take the ferry, but we still had to tour <st1:City w:st="on">York</st1:City> and <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Salisbury</st1:City></st1:place>. <o:p></o:p>
    But first we went for a walk to the centre of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Edinburgh</st1:place></st1:City>.
    Edinburgh Castle from Waverley Bridge
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Edinburgh Castle</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>The Royal Mile, Edinburgh</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Deacon Brodie's Tavern, Edinbugh</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Carlton Hill, Edinburgh</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Palace of Hollyroodhouse, Edinburgh</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Leederfoot Viaduct</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Sctottish-English Border</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    #17
  18. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Murcia, SPAIN
    Day 10: <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on">York</st1:City> – Stonehenge – <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Salisbury</st1:City></st1:place><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    We went for a walk in <st1:City w:st="on">York</st1:City>, then to the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">National</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName w:st="on">railway</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Museum</st1:placeType></st1:place>, and hit the road south again.

    Fishing in the River Ouse. York
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Clifford's Tower
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Newgate Market, York
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Natinal Railway Museum
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We arrived to <st1:place w:st="on">Stonehenge</st1:place> late enough to wait for the sunset.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The bike at Stonehenge
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Then we went to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Salisbury</st1:place></st1:City> to find accommodation for the night. It was the worst day. It was late, and every B&B was fully booked, and some even didn’t answer. Finally we found a room in a tavern, near the station, but hard again to find some food for dinner, the restaurants didn’t serve after 10.30 Pm. Finally we found a Chinese takeaway and we had rice and mini spring rolls on a bench, right in the City Centre. (Sorry, no pics)<o:p></o:p>
    #18
  19. IÑAKI_

    IÑAKI_ Always moving

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    76
    Location:
    A Coruña, Spain
    Nice trip :clap and nice thread

    Salu2
    #19
  20. Mullet

    Mullet Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    Very cool.
    #20