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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

So What's Next?

After being back a few weeks now, and having time to reflect on my recent trip I have come to the conclusion that more of the same is required!

Before I set off I really had no idea if riding a bike long distances everyday would suit me, so I kept an open mind.

However, I think it only fair to say that I am hooked!

"Lucille" is still in Cornwall, which I really need to do something about, but recent events in my personal life have kept me rather busy!

So what is next?

I've a week spare in July, so my rough plan is to strap all my gear on as before and head for Wales, maybe stay in one place and tour around, or maybe not? But as a destination, definitely Wales.

I have also been toying with the idea of a 24 hour endurance ride, I would find it a challenge to see how far you can actually get on a Honda C90 in 24hrs. As I live on the South Coast, it would be so simple just to head North, and after 24 hrs see where I end up!

Stopping only for fuel and the loo, I reckon I could get a good way up country! I also thought that I could use it to raise a bit more money for charity, by getting people to guess how many miles I would do in the allotted time. Say donate £5.00 of which half goes to the charity and the other half to the person who guesses the closest mileage.

I may combine the two in July, and then slowly work my way back down South.

Either way a mini trip is on for the end of July!

I've also been looking at bikes on ebay and bit more than I should! I really am undecided about what to do regarding bikes.

There are so many unique factors about the Honda C90 when it comes to using it as an adventure bike.

To name just a few, reliability and the ease of repair and parts availability. But one which was brought home to me was how light the bike is.

When I came off in Glencoe, if I had been on a bigger bike I would of required hospital treatment. I'm convinced that my knee would of been shattered with the weight of the bike twisting it around!

These things are important when considering a bike. Do I need to go through the expense of passing my test and buying a bigger bike?

Or do I stick with the solidly built work horse that is the Honda C90?

I read a cracking article the other day at adventuremotorcyle.com it really did highlight all the positive's of travelling on a small, low cc motorbike. 

Both Ed and Nathan who are featured in the article are well documented for travelling huge distances on Honda's.

Nathan Millward and his book "A Long Ride Home" is a very entertaining read, telling his story of how he set off from Australia on a Honda "Postie" bike and travelled back to the UK.
The Long Ride 'Home'

Ed March has just released his DVD on his travels from Malaysia back to the UK on his beloved Honda C90 a must watch. Due to the fact that Ed really is not right in the head!
malaysia to uk - dvd

Click on the links above to see how you can get your hands on a copy of Ed's DVD and Nathan's book.

The journey continues..............

Monday, May 19, 2014

Honda C90 Lands End - John O'Groats - Lands End - Final Trip Review

I've been back a good few weeks now, but the memories of my trip will stay with me for a long time.

When I got back to Lymington I really was not ready for how totally knackered I was! It really does take it out of you, especially pushing as hard as I did.

To do the trip justice it really should of taken twice as long. I would dearly love to spend more time in Scotland as that is where the real scenery is. One day!

Those who have ridden long distances on motorbikes for more than just a couple of days all say that you change slightly.

I think this is true. I was humbled by the help and support that I got during this trip. Complete strangers stopping and asking if I'm ok, Wendy at Hawick at the garage who sorted out Lucille and would not take any payment! So many times these things happened as I ventured around over a two week period. I know I will never go by a motorcyclist who looks like he is broken down without offering help again!

Not forgetting all the support I got before I even set off!

At work a map was pinned to the wall, and as I was giving location updates via Facebook several times a day, stickers were placed on the map to show my location!


But my biggest supporter and the one person who I kept in constant contact with was Kiera. Without fail, I would get little messages of encouragement everyday. I can happily say that we have been going from strength to strength since my return.



I think she looks the part on "Lucille"!

However, I must say the biggest thank you goes to "Lucille" For her age she did not miss a beat all the way around. Never once letting me down.

She used less than a litre of oil the whole trip and was consistently returning 60 to 80 mpg depending on the terrain.

The cheap Chinese tyre I put on a Hawick doesn't look as if it's been used!

I changed the chain at Hawick as well.

The basket that "Ghosty" and myself bolted on the front, never came loose. The panniers worked a treat. The leg shields I put on made out of Corolux Roofing Flashing kept my feet dry. 

Everything went like clockwork. It was only rider error and bad weather that made me come off.

If anyone is thinking of adventure motorbiking, but wanting to do it on a budget, then I can assure you that the Honda C90 is the bike for you.

It's cheap to run, insure and repair, the parts are so cheap it's ridiculous and they are virtually indestructible. She coped with 20 stone of fat bloke and all his kit as if she had nothing on!
  
Super easy to ride, and I can confirm very comfortable over a long distance.

So Ladies and Gentlemen, If you would all give a big hand to "Lucille" She is the true star of this little adventure, she did everything that was asked of her and more!












So what's next? The honest answer is I really don't know. I've got some time off in July and I do fancy a trip into Wales.

I also fancy a 24hr endurance ride just to see how many miles in 24hrs I can do!

I'm afraid that this has wetted my appetite for more adventure. But one thing is for sure, this was not a one off!

The journey continues...................

Day 14 Lands End - John O'Groats - Lands End On A Honda C90

I woke up in a comfy bed after a fantastic nights sleep a very happy man!

There was no rush as we had arranged with another of my best friends Mr Gulliver to be at Lands End for 1300hrs. His parents who happened to be in their motor home would also be there!

So I packed "Lucille", and set off for the final few miles of my epic journey around the UK.

The last few miles felt like it took ages, all sorts of thoughts were going through my head. I had really done it! But it still did not feel real!

I approached the Lands End car park and was waved through free of charge, I spotted Mr Gulliver and Little Thomas up on a bank videoing me as I came in and I drove down to the archway where I parked up.

Shortly joined by everyone else. It was at this point stood with Kiera next to me having our pictures taken that it all started to sink in. 

I had completed a journey of 2700 miles on a 27 year old Honda C90 in 14 days, and that was with having two full days off! Amazing.

We then went down to the front where the sign post was and paid £10.00 to have our pictures taken!




And that as they say is that!

I can now claim to be a double end to ender back to back but not only that but all four corners as well.

It was harder than I thought, much harder, I had injured myself, lost hours of sleep and suffered from mild hypothermia. Would I do it again? Yes, and with no hesitations at all!

So the journey continues.....................

Day 13 - Lands End - John O'Groats - Lands End On A Honda C90

Bath to Breage Cornwall

Friday morning and after having only 10 minutes of broken sleep I was on my way at 0530hrs.

Bath was sleepy quiet and I soon slipped through and was heading out on towards Weston Super Mare where I would pick up the A38 once more.

Bridgwater, Taunton and Wellington were soon behind me - I was on a mission!

At this stage all I wanted to do was get the job/trip done. I also knew that various friends would be waiting for me along with a comfy bed, good food, a pint but best of all Kiera was driving down and would be waiting for me!

I stopped in Exeter for fuel, food and a wee, checked my map and off again. On my way down I went through Dartmoor. This time I was taking a direct route.

The A38 through Plymouth, the sun was shining once more and there was little wind, so riding was a joy and as I crossed the Tamar bridge, I knew I was nearly there.

On approaching Liskeard I did have a feeling of over whelming tiredness. I have fallen asleep at the wheel of a car before, only for a second but it's enough to scare the life out of you. But falling asleep on a motorbike is a completely different feeling and one which I instantly decided I did not want to repeat.

As luck would have it I saw a sign for services in a villiage, so pulled off the dual carriageway, and as I came off the slip road there was a closed down Little Chef, boarded up and with concrete across the entrance. That didn't stop us as I could see a nice empty car park with my name on it. I parked up, took off my helmet and gloves, rested my head on my gloves and within seconds I was out for the count! Yep, flat out on tarmac, I was that tired I slept for over an hour!

Refreshed, refuelled and packed and off we went.

Liskeard, St Austell and Truro came and went, my mind totally fixed on getting to Breage, so close now!

I had all ready decided that I would not go to Lands End today. But relax and go on Saturday at an easy pace.

One final fuel stop and I pulled up at Breage at my good friends Sharon and Thomas's house. Kiera was there all ready, and it was with much relief that I had made it!

I was shattered, after a few cups of tea and tales of my journey I unloaded "Lucille" and sorted myself out.

Still on a high, but not able to relax as I still had not officially completed the trip.

That night we all went for a few beers and a bite to eat at Praa Sands. I must admit that I had to slope off early, my eyes would not stay open.

Tomorrow would be my last day and the journey complete - surely nothing would stop me from finishing the trip?

The journey continues..............

Day 12 Lands End - John O'Groats - Lands End On A Honda C90

Heswall to Bath

A late start due to over consumption of cider!

But once on the road, the weather being dry and sunny I was soon eating up the miles.

Heading straight through Chester and onto the A41 to Whitchurch just past here I headed for Telford on the A442 which carried on past Bridgnorth and Kidderminster.

Then dual carriage way on the A449 finally picking up the A38 to Gloucester. It was a long ride with a couple of fuel stops, but sat in Mcdonalds at Gloucester I had to make a decision as to what I was to do next.

Today was Thursday, it had been an uneventful day, the scenery to be honest was boring. I wanted to be in Helston for Friday evening, which did mean a mammoth drive the next day!

I decided to push on, it was my last night, who cares if I get no sleep, I can sleep once I'm at Cornwall.

So I pushed on, it was getting late and the light was fading fast, I was also feeling tired, so I changed my mind and decided to try and find somewhere to stop for the night, I tried a couple of Bed and Breakfast's but fully booked. No camp sites near by so I kept on going.

Through Stroud and headed for Bath where I knew I would be able to find a travel lodge for the night. However, riding in the dark with the amount of pot holes, even with my lights was getting dodgy, and being so close to completing the trip decided that a night in the layby would have to do.

I knew that there was a large car park just before the M4 junction heading towards Bath and this is where I decided to stay for the night.

Now, to say it all goes on here is an understatement! To start with I could not for the life of me fathom out what was going on. A bloke would pull up in his car. Get out and walk into the woods, followed by another bloke. Then you would hear what I thought to begin with was the sound of breaking branches.

I thought, they need to take a torch, someone's going to trip in a minute or loose and eye. However, the sound of cracking branches is by no means a regular sound. This was! It suddenly dawned on me they were going into the woods for a good spanking!

This went on and off for a good few hours. I was parked up on a grassy picnic area and could see the cars coming and going. I did laugh!

That night was bloody cold, I managed 10 minutes of kip led on a picnic bench. By 0530hrs and after brewing up all night I was packed and away. 

The journey continues...............


Day 11 Lands End - John O'Groats - Lands End On A Honda C90

New Cumnock to Heswall

Waking early, I was hoping to be away for 0700hrs. When checking in last night I had to pay a deposit for a key to the shower block due to feral kids.

I was assured that at 0700hrs there would be someone around to hand the key in, but by 0745hrs with no one around I decided to cut my loses and head off.

Slightly annoyed that I had been tucked up, would it not of been simpler to make sure the feral kids were under control by having a word with the parents!

This site is the only one in New Cumnock so I would avoid it like the plague.

Tonight's destination - The Wirral!

Back on the A76 and after an hour was starving, so I pulled into a lay-by with a burger van, my story told once more and after a fine breakfast which I paid peanuts for, was then given a big handful of chocolate bars and cans of drink!



Off I head once more, all the way down to Dumfries, straight on to Gretna Green where I stopped briefly.

It wasn't long before I was across the border, which I must say was very disappointing, blink and you will miss it! It should have lions, flags and state trumpeters as you cross, I've seen bigger bus stop signs!

Into Carlisle, and fuel and a wee was required rather urgently.

Now one thing on this trip that has become very evident is the amount of garages selling fuel and have a shop, and announce that they class themselves as service stations, but fail to have one important element. A bloody toilet! That in my opinion fails to service my own needs!

For those of you not familiar with biking gear, to get to a stage where you can have a conversation with someone does take a few minutes of gear removal.

1. Get off bike, stand down, switch off bike.
2. Undo lower arm velcro straps and unzip cuff.
3. Undo velcro straps around gloves and remove.
4. Take off glasses.
5. Undo helmet strap and remove.
6. Remove balaclava.
7. Undo neck of jacket velcro strap and unzip jacket.

Once all that is done you are safe to enter the shop without fear of them thinking you are about to rob them.

"Have you a toilet"? - No, sorry. Aaarrrrrgggghhhhhhh!

Repeat process in reverse.

Now at Carlisle the first garage you come to I found to my dismay had no toilet.

The conversation went like this.

 Me - "Have you a toilet"?
Cashier - "No, you will have to go back up the road to Mcdonalds"
Me - "I've just taken all my gear off, I can't wait that long - can I use your staff toilet"?
Cashier - "No - against company policy"
Me - "Do you have a mop"?
Cashier - Looking bemused - "Why"
Me - "Because unless I use your staff toilet I'm going to stand here and piss myself"

A 10 second silence between us as they looked at me, I just smiled or maybe it was just a manic grin.

Cashier, "I'll let you in"!
Me "Wise move my friend"

On the road again and heading down to old A6 towards Penrith.

Here I decided to go through the lake district, so I eventually found the A592 and followed the shore of Ullswater. This is one hell of a twisty road!

Now when I decided to take this road, I failed to realise that this took me up and over the Kirkstone Pass. 

This is not a road for the faint hearted, in fact it has a gradient of 1 in 4 and is the highest pass in the Lake Districk at over 1400 feet.

From the start of the pass you can see it wind up to the top and it was with much trepidation that I set off fully loaded.

I was in 1st gear fairly soon, but "Lucille" just ploughed on, not missing a beat, I would almost go as far as saying she enjoyed the challenge and there was plenty left in her by the time I got to the inn at the top.

Much to the amusement of a group of bikers who could obviously hear me coming as I got a cheer as I came over the brow, followed by a whole line of cars who were stuck behind me! I don't think they were cheering!



Going down was much easier! On towards Windemere where I then headed inland to pick up the A6 once more.

Stopping for fuel always seemed to draw an attraction. There would always be someone who would come over and chat. This time a guy who lived up the road from the garage I was at, offered to make me a cuppa, but I still had a way to go so had to decline his lovely gesture.

I followed the A6 South all the way, past Lancaster and Preston till I picked up the A59 which would lead me to the heart of Liverpool and the Mersey Tunnel.

Stopping again at Ormskirk I spoke with my mate Mark who had arranged a Police escort for me through the Mersey tunnel.

As I went through Liverpool it became very evident I had picked a busy night to go through the city. Everton were playing at home!

But no problems and I soon found myself at the entrance to the tunnel and the police station which is located just off the road. As I pulled in a copper came up to me and asked if I was ok, I think a little bemused by what he saw in front of him!

As I was explaining things, his mate came out who said he was expecting me and he would escort me through the tunnel when ever I was ready.

Off we went, and to be honest the tunnel is a lot longer than I expected it even has some bends in it! At least with a Police car behind me everyone kept to the speed limits and I was able to dodge the massive sunken man hole covers which seemed to be dotted about.

Out the other side and I should of turned immediately left, instead I went straight on, a quick blast of the two tones alerted me to this fact and yes I did turn around and go the wrong way back up the slip road towards Birkenhead Police Station! Woops!

At the Police station I parked up just down the road, waiting for Mark to turn up. Within a minute an officer came up and asked me to come up and park outside the door and a brew was being made for me.

However, I was asked where I was parked by another police officer and was told to swiftly move it as leaving it outside the main doors of the Police Station would more than likely see it being stolen!!!!!!

So I pushed it round the back and through the barriers and razor wire to park up in a secure area!

Mark came to collect me and after a 15 minute ride was back at his house.

Greeted by Kate and the kids to the sounds of "Jerusalem" and a pint of cider it was a tad emotional!

"Lucille" was parked up, unloaded and wheeled into the garage. I grabbed a needed shower as I was stinking, all I could smell was home made beef and ale pile cooking downstairs.





The pie came out and you can just make it out if you look hard, on the pie in pastry is a bike and above it is "H4H" how cool".

Old stories were told once more of our Army days, so many happy memories.

Plenty of Aspinal's cider was consumed that night with a few of "Badgers" finest. No wonder I woke a little groggy and it was late morning before I felt well enough or safe enough to set off!

The journey continues..........................................

Day 10 Lands End - John O'Groats - Lands End On A Honda C90

With a heavy frost from the night before, I packed up slowly, more due to my right knee hurting and got myself ready for a bit of a long ride.

The tent went away still wet, but I wasn't worried about this now. All my kit on the bike had it's on place to be stowed and packing up was now a well oiled routine.

I did have one repair to do though, when I came off my bike in Glen Coe I managed to bend my right hand mirror, and as a result it it came loose. I managed to get it tightened back up but unfortunately the metal must of been weak and it snapped off.

So with the aid of "black nasty" tape and a clamp or two I managed to get it back on the windshield. It take take a further couple of days to get it just in the right place, but eventually I managed it.

I had also worked out that by pegging my socks to the front of my basket they dried out quickly!



With just a brew inside me, I set off on the A835 and heading for the Muir of Ord. I stopped for breakfast on the way at a road side cafe. You could tell they cater for tourists as it was over priced and crap!

I does annoy me when cafe's use the very cheapest sausages they can purchase and hope to get away with it.

As I sat and ate my breakfast, it was amusing to watch people walk by my bike, stop and start scratching their heads. A couple did come over to me and ask if it was mine and as motorcyclists themselves they still appeared in awe of what I was doing. They were on fat boy Harleys!

Fortified with a dodgy breakfast, it was time to get some miles done. My journey plan for this next stretch had changed many times, I finally decided to miss out Glasgow and head for Oban, turning off just before it and got to Dunoon where I would catch the ferry across to Gourock.

Retracing my steps down through Beauly on the A862, it felt really steep on the way up as I was down into 1st gear, but going down it, well, my brakes did get a bit warm, and even dropping into 2nd to help slow me down it was a bit hairy!

On past Loch Ness and I stopped once more at Fort Augustus, as there was fuel, a decent shop and loo's all in one place.

This is where I saw a couple of Chinese women walk by me with surgical face masks on! Now I could understand it if they were on the London Underground, but here we were on the banks of Loch Ness with some of the cleanest air in Europe! I dearly wanted to go up to them pull the face mask back and let it ping into their faces! Bloody tourists!

Onwards down the A82 with the page numbers on my map tumbling, back through Fort William, not stopping and following the coast on the A828.

Absolutely spectacular scenery, mind blowing in fact! 

I was going up a hill with mountains either side of me, the sun was shining brightly with not a cloud in the sky, when all of a sudden a massive shadow loomed up and over took me quickly followed by a blast of air and an almighty roar! For a split second it felt as if the horses of the Apocalypse were chasing me and I did actually duck my head!

Seconds later I was counting the rivets on the fuselage of a Hercules plane as the pilot was practising his low level flying skills by frighting the life out of me! I had just about steadied myself up and regained my composure when I was buzzed by another one! Bastards!

Oh how much fun they had in that cockpit, I know lets scare the fat bloke on the moped! A good story to tell over tea and muffins back at the mess! Flyboys, they are special!

I was due a fuel stop but I was spoilt for choice as to where to stop, the scenery in this part of Scotland is just so good, but as I was coming down a mountain, far in the distance I spotted a lay-by, which looked down across a valley so decided to pull in.

Now my comedy backfire was in particularly fine fettle today, and I could almost time the exact moment when it would "pop". Sometimes it would be more of a "bang" and sometimes a "crack" you never knew which it would be.

As I approached the lay by, there were a number of cars, with their passengers all stood on the bank  looking towards the same spot with their binoculars.

As I pulled into the layby, eased off the throttle, counted to 6 right on cue and with a rather impressive "BANG" backfired!

Now I'm not exactly sure what they were looking at, but an educated guess would have them probably looking at some birds. The people all in unison turned and looked at me in disgust and without a word or even a nod of the head all got in their cars and drove off!

This then gave me the chance of the best bit of the lay-by, with the better views.


Fuelled up and off again, but stopping often for some more pictures.



Just before Oban I turned right onto the A85 which took me upto Loch Awe and more wonderful scenery. Then onto the A819 and towards Inveraray. Hugging the shore of Loch Fyne on the A83 until Glen Kinglas where I turned right once more onto the A815 which eventually led me to Dunoon.

As I pulled into the ferry terminal, I was in luck, straight onto the ferry which takes me over to Gourock.

On the ferry were a couple of bikers on sports bikes, who I had a chat with. The crossing only took 20 minutes, so it wasn't long before I was saddled up and ready to go again.

 



These last few pictures felt as if I was now leaving Scotland behind me. No more massive mountains, views which go on for miles with no signs of life other than yourself. Back now to reality, traffic and lunatics!

Off the ferry, turn right, head south. Simples!

The A78, the plan simple, just keep going till you find somewhere to camp. Through Largs, Ardrossan and on to Kilmarnock. Once the other side a quick fuel stop and once more I feel the humbling experience from another biker.

There I was refuelling with my kit around my bike in a lay-by. A biker travelling in the other direction, goes past, waves, I wave. He carries on up the road, turns around and comes back. Asking is everything ok? 

Now if you saw a car in the layby, with luggage everywhere, do you stop? I bet you don't.

After a brief chat he tells me there is a camp site not too far away in New Cumnock.

I make a phone call to the campsite, and after some directions set off.

I finally find the place, which is not at all like the directions I was given, I pull into what I can only describe as one step away from a pikey camp! Nothing against pikey's at all, but I would not want to holiday in such a place.

I'm shown to a rough patch of grass between a couple of caravans, and I go through my routine.

I had to pay £5.00 deposit for a key to the shower block, as he said some of the kids on site were feral so they had to keep it locked.

Within seconds of getting off of my bike I was surrounded by them, and there they stood watching me set up. Some of them were even "Ginger"!

What made it worse was this was the first time on my trip I had no signal on my phone. Every night without fail since I had set off I would speak to Kiera, who I updated on my location and I in return was nagged about my knee. I missed not speaking to her that night. I also realised that night exactly how much she actually meant to me!

I was asleep for 2100hrs which was good after dining on a pot noodle "Bombay Bad Boy", my knee was still very sore, but I had a good nights rest. The next day was going to be long.

The journey continues...............

Monday, May 5, 2014

Day 9 Lands End - John O'Groats - Lands End On A Honda C90

A better night's sleep which was probably more down to my own personal chemist, cheers "Tizzy" those tablets worked well!

I felt better in myself but my leg was still very sore, and I did wonder how I would cope with gear changes and my knee being bent for most of the day.

I managed to get all my gear down stairs slowly and loaded up "Lucille". Today was the day that I hit John O'Groats!

I eventually managed to get away and it felt good to be back on "Lucille" and what made the day even better was the wind had died down considerably and the sun was shining.

I had arranged to leave my luggage panniers at the hostel, so with just my tool panniers and spare fuel/tyres I set out to hit my target corner.

The roads and scenery was spectacular until I hit Thurso, from then on in the roads and views were fairly non descript.

One thing I should mention was the state of the roads in the Highlands. They were perfect, very rarely did I see a pot hole and some of the roads were billiard table smooth which meant riding a bike was a joy. Nothing worse than having to dodge pot holes with a heavy bike.

Through Thurso and on towards John O'Groats. I thought I would of been more excited than I felt, but with a long way to go this was really only half way!

I reached John O'Groats around 0930hrs. Nothing much happening and to be honest not a lot there either.


The sign post was in place, so I grabbed a photo opportunity with the help of a man whose son was just about to attempt an End to End challenge on a push bike, but not only was he doing it on a push bike but it was being done in just 3 days! Now that is mental!

I then hit the only tourist shop that was open and bought a couple of souvenirs and a sticker for "Lucille".

I was slightly relieved to have managed to get this far, and now even if I did have a problem with the bike at least I can say I have completed a Lands End to John O'Groats. I am an End to Ender!

I then had to get my verification paper work stamped which I found out was back up at the hotel I had passed on the way in. Here I stopped for a coffee and a quick break before I retraced my steps back towards Tongue and the hostel.

The sun was lovely and it was a joy to ride, my knee wasn't giving me too many problems, all though a couple of times I had some fairly serious twinges which did make me utter a few choice words!





I stopped in Tongue to refuel at the local shop, this done it was a 2 minute trip to the hostel to collect my panniers.

Once loaded it was across the Kyle of Tongue on the bridge which was very picturesque and on to my next check point of Durness.

This was the part of the journey that I was looking forward to the most. Amazing scenery, with mountains to my left and a rugged coastline to my right.

I could of stopped so many times for photographs, but with a dead line of being back in Cornwall for the Friday night. It was now a race against time!

Durness does not have a lot happening in it. In fact it is very hard to work out where it starts and finishes, so I sort of cruised through taking the odd picture but not really stopping. The views were amazing. 

Every corner you went around a new vista came into view, many long sweeping bends then tight hair pins kept you well and truly on your toes!

The roads out this far were in most places single track with passing places. Being early April the tourist season had not kicked in so for the most part the roads were clear.

Every now and again I would see a biker all loaded up like myself, a nod of the head or a wave was always given and returned.

With another corner ticked off, it was now down hill and South all the way!

Heading South on the A894 through Scourie and some breath taking scenery. On past Unapool and then towards Ullapool.

As I approached Ullapool I spotted a campsite which over looked Loch Broom. It did look very picturesque but it was a bit early to stop, however I was starving and with the trawlers all tied up and the catch in for the day, the fish and chips shopped seemed like an obvious choice.

The haddock was amazing, I've no idea if it was caught locally or not, but it was some of the best fish and chips I have ever had.

Sat outside in the evening sun looking out over the quay. Here I was approached by a guy who had a BMW GS and was a little surprised at how I was managing to do the ride on my little Honda C90. 

It seems it never ceases to amaze people how well it actually copes as an adventure bike!

The Honda C90 is truly an exceptional bike. So far it had performed and done exactly as it was meant to. Yes it's slow but who want's to go fast with the sort of scenery I was surrounded by. Fuel consumption was between 60 to 80mpg and what with it being loaded up with a fat bloke and all his gear who can complain at that!

Mechanically, there were no problems, and she was a joy to ride.

I decided to push on for another hour or so as it was only 1800hrs and there was plenty of light left.

After riding for around 2hrs a quick fuel stop I decided I would stop at the next camp site or where ever I thought a good place for a bit of wild camping.

As luck would have it after just 15 minutes a sign for a camp site appeared and I pulled in. Not a lot of life, but as if by magic a lady appeared and she said I could stay. Once more I wish I knew exactly where I was, but the name of the place escapes me!

I was a cracking little site with showers/loo's etc and even a place to wash up. It looked up towards the hills and had a river at the bottom of the field. It was ideal.

Straight into my routine, all though I was a little slower putting my tent up due to my knee playing me up.


Still full from my fish and chips no cooking was required but a brew and a couple of Tunnock's Tea Cakes did the trick nicely.

I slept soundly, my knee and ankle still sore, but I think a long hot shower before I got into my maggot definitely helped.

The picture above was first thing the following morning, a hard sharp frost had set in over night. I should also say my sleeping bag kept me roasty warm and the Vango 3/4 self inflating sleeping mat kept me well insulated from the ground. Not only that but it was extremely comfortable as well. Highly recommended for lightweight travelling.

A number of times I packed the tent away wet, I always left the inner attached as this sped up the setting up process. However it did make the inner wet. But, after the tent was up it took literally minutes before the inner tent was dry as a bone. I wiped out the inner floor with a dry cloth and all was well. The Vango Banshee 200 was a wise purchase.

The next day would be my last in Scotland, and to be honest all I wanted to do at this stage was get the trip completed.

The journey continues...........................