Author Topic: A short Scottish tour  (Read 736 times)

Pavel

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
Re: A short Scottish tour
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2020, 07:55:42 PM »
There's a nice and wholly unexpected Scottish connection behind this mini-tour Andre -- tell you about it in due course  ;)

Does it involve haggis?

Haggis?  Is that what scots do when trying to get a good deal on a new car?

Matt2matt2002

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1493
Re: A short Scottish tour
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2020, 11:06:13 PM »
There's a nice and wholly unexpected Scottish connection behind this mini-tour Andre -- tell you about it in due course  ;)

Does it involve haggis?

Haggis?  Is that what scots do when trying to get a good deal on a new car?
Ha ha.
A good joke.
Reminds me of the cartoon showing 2 Scotsmen chatting. One playing the bag=pipes.
Scotsman 1, What are those?
Scotsmen 2, It's a breathalyser. I play it and if you think it sounds ok, you've had too much to drink.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 08:11:39 PM by Matt2matt2002 »
Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink

Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3474
Re: A short Scottish tour
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2020, 12:29:49 AM »
A Swiss property developer who cycled with us in years gone by was convinced she spoke English at least as good as my Schweizerdeutsch. She asked me why I sang out to cows in the fields we rode past, "Hello, dinners." I was just waiting for her to ask. "See, it makes them feel good and useful to be recognised and praised. Since they aren't all tensed up wondering why we ignore them, their meat is more tender." So whenever she saw cattle, she would sing out, "Hello dinners!" On another occasion I told her that she should bring her accordion on her bicycle to the pub where we were dining that evening because the Irish like accordion music while they eat... After a while none of the property developers would cycle with us, or go hillwalking, or play tennis, or join us for the Christmas morning ocean swim for charity, and everyone sighed in relief.

What's the plural of property developers? Answer: Wreckers.

Pavel

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
Re: A short Scottish tour
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2020, 05:50:47 PM »
I've been obsessed about getting my car repaired for about two weeks, and now finally that seems done. I woke up today looking forward to a day of dreaming of Thorn, and panniers full, no thinking, and coffee stops, the perfect hammock hang, and endless lazy miles. But I know the coffee shops, the beer joints are closed, and what else I wonder.

I used to love the hot humid South USA summers.  Not so much now, they seem to drain me of any energy.  It isn't as hot as yesterday, but now at noon it is still hot enough at 33 Celcius and the high is said to be 34.5C.  I was just out feeding the birds and thought to myself that I feel no motivation this year to cycle anywhere. 

Normally late summer and especially early autumn I get travel fever. Reading your trip blog Matt was like firing up the engine, but it has sputtered and died upon imagining going on what all of a sudden feels like the "same ol' thing". And doing it in a possibly more hostile world, as well.

Does anyone else have any motivational difficulties this year, or does yours ebb and flow, like mines been doing? For Matt, has this Scottish tour sated your wanderlust for a time, or fired it up?  When and where is next?

Matt2matt2002

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1493
Re: A short Scottish tour
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2020, 07:09:48 PM »
Thanks Pavel. Good question.
To be very honest, I think my early tours were some kind of escapism from daily life.
I certainly enjoyed the wind in the hair kinda feeling.
Out on a limb and not knowing where I was going to sleep the next night.
Then I had a phase of, let's push things a bit: Ethiopia.

Now, I'm in a better place with home life so don't have the same kind of urges.
But the short tour a few weeks ago fired me up. My mojo is back.
Next stop?
It's all up in the air now due to Covid.
Lots going on in UK to rebalance our lives but of course it's the countries where I want to tour that need to be safe.
Magic wand? I had USA and a return trip to Tajikistan on the rada. Both have  considerable tasks ahead before I'd commit.
I'm using the winter months to consider my options.

My fav quote on this is:
If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It's lethal.  – Paulo Coelho
Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink

John Saxby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
Re: A short Scottish tour
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2020, 02:07:01 AM »
Quote
I'm using the winter months to consider my options.

Matt, let me give you some (unsolicited!) input of your prospective North American tour.  We'll leave aside the vexed question of the pandemic for the mo', 'cos what I have to say will surely be in effect when do do venture into these parts.

Just returned from my mini-tour of the extended neighbourhood, S and then W from Ottawa along the Rideau Canal, camping at lock-stations. (We'll leave the story of Annie Laurie until the full account - rest assured, it wouldn't have happened without her intervention.)

I spent the first afternoon and the entire second day battling head-on winds of 35-40 km/h, gusting to 50-plus.  On level ground, I was having trouble staying in 8th; any rise at all, never mind hills, and I was down to 6th, and often lower still.  (With a 36T front ring, remember.)

There were times when I was saying to myself, "Why is this happening?--I'm not in Saskatchewan..."

Occasionally, I found myself thinking of our conversation about your angling through Ontario en route to the Pacific coast.  My summary suggestion is this: if you're going to tour N America horizontally, I'd recommend starting on the west coast, and cycle east with the prevailing winds behind you. There are more enjoyable ways than by air to cross N America with a bike -- I'd suggest the train. Things is, if you ride to, say, Vancouver, you're still got to take the plane or the train to get back east; so if you want to make the prevailing winds your friend, I'd suggest you let the train buck the wind for you, and then cycle back east.

My return journey on my wee trek simply confirmed my existing bias:  with that 40 km/h-plus tailwind (it eased off a little as I turned N and W), I sailed along in 9 through 12.

Cheers,  John 

Matt2matt2002

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1493
Re: A short Scottish tour
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2020, 08:47:43 AM »
Much appreciated John.
Yep, head winds really suck the energy and moral.
I can usually get my head around a hill, ( I can see it and understand what it's doing to me ) but those pesky winds are invisible.

Out for another mini tour tomorrow. More a wild camp/ get away from it all kinda break.
More micro than mini.
But it's good for the soul in these troubling times.
Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink

John Saxby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
Re: A short Scottish tour
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2020, 02:48:05 PM »
Quote
it's good for the soul in these troubling times

Yep, gotta stay sane as well as safe.  ;)

StillOld

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
Re: A short Scottish tour
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2020, 08:00:58 PM »
Lovely read Matt...having cancelled our tour this year as we realised everybody was travelling to Scotland to do the NC500  ::) post lockdown.. (worst PR decision ever made by the Scottish Tourist Board was to name that route).....I needed the inspiration to plan for next year.   We would have taken in everything from Kyle of Lochalsh northwards to Durness and back cross country and although we use mostly campsites we do try to wild camp when possible. I think I remember that tower beyond Gairloch but my pitch was near the top of the climb out of Dundonell...overlooking the river on a grassy knoll.

That stretch from Lochalsh to Ullapooll is beautiful ..... thanks for travelling it and writing about it.

Matt2matt2002

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1493
Re: A short Scottish tour
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2020, 08:19:56 PM »
Lovely read Matt...having cancelled our tour this year as we realised everybody was travelling to Scotland to do the NC500  ::) post lockdown.. (worst PR decision ever made by the Scottish Tourist Board was to name that route).....I needed the inspiration to plan for next year.   We would have taken in everything from Kyle of Lochalsh northwards to Durness and back cross country and although we use mostly campsites we do try to wild camp when possible. I think I remember that tower beyond Gairloch but my pitch was near the top of the climb out of Dundonell...overlooking the river on a grassy knoll.

That stretch from Lochalsh to Ullapooll is beautiful ..... thanks for travelling it and writing about it.

My pleasure.

Yes – the N500 is very contentious as well as busy. Lots of negative press, not that it appears to be deterring folks.
Almost every lay-by had a wide selection of camper-vans.

Now that the deed is done, I don’t see how it can be contained. Educating folks don’t work. Too many dumpties who couldn’t care less.

But let’s stay positive. The scenery will always be stunning and the weather…. will always be Scottish!
Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink