Approaching to the panoramic route heading to Edinburgh, I took the A701. The view was absolutely immpresive, a wide lansdscape made me imagine the dinosaurs or bears or the Highland cattle (Scottish Highland bull) living on those fields. It has been one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever ridden. Now I understand why William Wallace defended these lands.
I stopped in a town near Edinburgh to grab some food in a pub. There were a group of old men having some beers and they were very curious about me, the Mexican girl riding a motorcycle…that a nice gesture of them was paying for my salad and coffee, very nice from them. My welcome to Scotland 🙂
In this city I got a tent because Martyn told me about riding to the Isle of Skye and camping there. I had the itchy of camping after seeing in the Green Dragon how the other fellow motorcyclists enjoyed it.
Another day I went with a gal from the hostel to Ghillie Dhu to learn how to dance the traditional Scottish dance “Ceilidh”. I was ready to hit northern Scotland and live a full Scottish experience.
STIRLING/ TYNDRUM/FORT WILLIAMS
On my way I felt the bike funny like if it wanted to turn off. When I pulled over I saw in front of me the castle of Stirling and read some signals about the Wallace National Monument, which was nearby. After charging petrol I rode to this monument and the history of this National Scottsh Hero is very representative and makes you realice how important are the National Heros like Pancho Villa for Mexico or Che Guevara for Argentina.
That afternoon I attempt to rode until Fort Williams but agan felt the bike not running well, also I was feeling tired. After passing a small town named Tyndrum and with lots of rain, I saw that had to ride over more mountains, I needed to stop due I wasn’t concentrated anymore. I rode back to the small village of Tyndrum and after buying some food and asking for a campsite I found one: good price, with proper showers and toilets.
It was a bit difficult to ride on the gravel of the car park in the campsite.I decided to park near the river and next to another motorcyclist. It took me almost 1 hour pitching my tent, it was easy to set it up but was my first time doing it on my own. While I was doing that someone was playing a bagpipe in the forest. For me it was a lovely serenade (I recall the cartoon Candy Candy).
That evening a met my tentneighbourgh, a Sweden keen motorcyclist with many years of experience riding motorbikes and travleing. He was very surprised with my story.
Next day I packed my tent and stuff under the rain, a not easy task. I rode up to Fort Williams to overnight because I wanted to arrive on time to Arisaig to attend one of the famous Scotish Highland Games.
That morning in Fort Williams, I could pack my stuff with no rain 🙂 it makes a big difference. A couple of English motorcyclists talked to me curious at seeing the Mexican sticker in my windscreen. BTW I found it in a touristic shop in Edinburgh.
I suffered my ride to Arisaig, It was only 70 kms from Fort Williams but the intense rain made me lift up my visor to see “clear” the road, but it was worst, my face was receiving the heavy drops, so my skin was having a non-request exfoliation. Some drops were in my left eye just in my contact lense while riding in some curves, I was blinking but ouldn’t see well and there wasn’t a place to park, definetly not fun nor enjoyable.
I arrived to Arisaig at noon and the rain had gone, the scotish sky was clear only some clouds appeared from time to time, it makes a beautiful picture. Riding to the MacDonalds farm where the Games will be held, just 3 kilolemeters away from the town centre. On my way all the campsites in the área were full booked, but wasn’t very worried because I knew that in Scotland is allowed to do wild camping, it means you can pitch your tent anywere, I only had to find the place.
I was invited that night to the party in the City Hall of Arisaig. During the 45 minutes walk I enjoyed the view of the big miuntains, the sea, the Isle of Skye in front of Arisaig and was feeling so a tiny human being in the middle of this incredible beauty nature.
I loved the traditional Scotish party, literally the entire town was there in good spirits, dancing and drinking. There was a live band called Skipinish playing with bagpipes. I had a good time talking with one of the volunteers who invited me to this party, trying to understand the Sotish accent and later I was hanging out with a group of funny Scottish guys wearing kilts and being so funny dancing.
ISLE OF SKYE
After the Scottish party I was sleepy, but I only had to ride few kilometers to the port in Mallaig to take the ferry to Armadale in Skye.
Riding in Skye I had not idea where where to camp, I was looking for a nice spot near the sea, but honestly I wanted a place with showers and proper toilets.
I landed in a campsite just in the middle of the gigantic mountains of the East part of the Isle. Those days I spent myself in solitude, even there were some other people in he campsite. There are moments in the journey that you need time out to assimilate the entire experience lived.
Glasgow was my last Scottish city before riding to England and prepare myself to cntinue my travel to another country. There I visited the famous Kelvingrove Art Gallery Museum.