Between Rallies - 25th June 1990
When we grouped up in Aberdeen, for our camping week, we had three more in our party than we had before, as one of our members had acquired a new 'best friend' on Shetland, and she wanted to come with us for the week. We also picked up a couple on a ratty Triumph, whose names I forget, but were up for a laugh. I also forget why exactly we decided against the Lake District this year, probably just for a change. Instead, we were going over the west of Scotland, near to Kyle of Lochalsh and, therefore, the Isle of Skye. It took us all day, being 203 miles and plagued with constant stops due to John's outfit (again), so it was mid afternoon when we approached the campsite we intended to use, only to be turned away. The site owner/warden/jobs-worth decided we were too much like a 'single-sex group', despite there being three females to the six males; we were, therefore, likely to cause trouble. (Obviously nothing at all to do with the fact we were on motorbikes!) We convened at the nearest pub and located an alternative site, but two couples in our group decided they wanted proper beds for the night, so got a couple of rooms in the pub. The rest of us made our way over to the almost coastal Balmacara site, (Scottish Forestry Commission, very like the English National Trust). We arrived just as dusk was falling, so we had to hastily put the tents up on the nearest stretch of flat ground.
The four lightweights joined us the next morning and we decided to waste no time in taking a bonny boat over the sea to Skye, and have a mooch around, especially the Talisker Distillery, which several of the club were interested in. When we got back to the campsite, we thought we might have a barbecue, despite not having brought any equipment with us, so we checked at the office that we were allowed a fire, which was OK, as long as it was contained and put out, etc. Some of us were elected hunters, so they went into town for food, the rest of us gathered some wood. A lucky find was a fallen-off-the-post road sign, which we spent a while banging holes into, to use as a hotplate. While we were cooking, a couple of Germans on, of course, a BMW, arrived and set up camp a hundred yards away. They had anti-midge nets over their heads, but we hadn't bothered, as the smoke from the fire kept them away from us. They disappeared for a while after setting up, we assumed it was to a pub or café, which we later discovered was in fact the case, and when they returned, we invited them to join us, which they did, without nets. We had an amusing night with them and they marvelled at the rattiness of the Triumph, stating that it wouldn't be allowed on the road in Germany. They rode away the next day, off on their tour.
The next day we just zoomed around the mainland looking at various points of interest. I also went up Bealach Na Ba, (Road to Applecross), as it was a mere 1 in 5, and I had enjoyed the 1 in 3 passes in the Lake District, but when I got up there it was so misty, I couldn't see any of the sights people rave about. We all decided on a pub night this evening, so trekked a couple of miles down to a little one and whiled away a few hours.
The next day we decided to head south, breaking the trip at our favourite campsite at Ambleside. I had enough of their constant stops, and headed down there solo, and waited for them at the usual spot. As it was about 320 miles, this took them all day. Very interesting goings-on at the site involving some venture scouts, (male and female), and a guy who was very interested in helping them kept me amused. It included giving some of them a lift into town, when they were supposed to remain together and walk everywhere, which was very interesting when their supervisors turned up and some of them were missing. I also heard a discussion from inside their tent in the afternoon, which led me to believe that they were at least partly drunk and at least partly naked. The rest of the club eventually turned up, and decided we should pop into town to a pub for the evening. When we got back, there was a couple being extremely loudly energetic in a tent that had appeared next to us. We almost gave them a round of applause when they finished.
I left the others behind the next morning as I had another 300 miles to my next rally, and they were going in a different direction.
- Phil (the Spill) Drackley
The full rogramme of Phil's trip. Linked to rally reports.
Total Miles Travelled: 1878.