Posts Tagged ‘motorcycling’

Chilly day out

April 14, 2019

The Bed and Breakfast thing is really frustrating this early in the season. We’re all fired up, smiles and tourist information at the ready, only to receive a trickle of guests. It’s good in one way as it means that it’s a gentle reintroduction to our breakfast routines, not to mention finding our way around the new kitchen! On the other hand, it’s all a bit of an anticlimax. So, with the weather being blue-sky beautiful yesterday, Kevin suggested that we took a wee trip out on the Bike.

A trip which involved a ferry ride from Armadale to the mainland, with some lunch en route and a pootle around the coastline just south of Mallaig, the ferry port. It has to be said there was a fairly stiff breeze which tried its best to penetrate our biking togs but nonetheless, we arrived at Armadale feeling fairly comfortable.

Securing bikes before sailing


To cut a long story short, the ferry was delayed due to some plastic having got wrapped around one of the propellers. We soon discovered that no matter where we stood, the wind managed to find us and make a thoroughly good job of chilling us down while we waited for the next ferry, a tub of a thing which appeared to have all indoor seating situated in a very efficient wind tunnel! Needless to say, by the time we reached our destination for lunch, we were almost as blue as the sea!

Anyway, lunch and several cups of tea later, we were sufficiently thawed to continue our exploration of the coast, although with thanks to the ferry delay, we had less time than planned before our return sailing. But my, what a beautiful coastline…


At least there was a conveniently positioned container to shelter behind while we waited for the return ferry! Very cold, but still a lovely day out. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to return, with a picnic maybe, when the weather is warmer!

Blue skies on Skye

April 19, 2015

After the high winds and horizontal hail of recent days, no wonder Huff looks surprised at the arrival of a perfect blue sky!


Time for our first three-hour-holiday of the season; off on the bike to Plockton on the mainland.


Plockton is a beautiful spot, especially on such a clear, sunny day.


Our main reason for visiting however, is to call in at the Plockton Inn for lunch. They have the most delicious seafood menu using local fish. Their prices are very reasonable too.


Cameras can’t swim

October 6, 2014

Smoked salmon with scrambled eggThis time last week, after serving the last breakfast of the season, we hopped (hopped? me?) on the bike, trust camera in pocket and headed for Inverness to get some work done on said bike. The weather was glorious, so Kevin suggested a detour up a hitherto unexplored glen which was en-route.

The detour involved branching off from Loch Ness and its monster into Glen Affrick. It was, of course, beautiful and there were several tempting paths heading off to various waterfalls. However, the investigation of these paths will have to wait for another occasion when we’re not kitted out in full biker’s regalia; much too hot and cumbersome for a hike!

Glen Affrick

Glen Affrick

Glen Affrick

We stayed overnight in Inverness and the following morning was sunny and warm – HOT in the gear! After retrieving the bike we headed home. About an hour into the journey, there was an ominous looking sky ahead. Was that mist? Nope, rain – of the horizontal variety! So for the last two thirds of our journey we got a thorough soaking, arriving home with both our feet paddling within our boots and me wet through to my knickers because of the spray off the back of the bike! It was only the day after when Kevin was checking our abandoned wet gear that he discovered my wee trusty camera sitting in a puddle in my jacket pocket. It had drowned, weighing twice as much as it did pre-swim. The memory card had survived so at least I could show you a few shots of our trip but no more Garybuie’s blog until Wednesday, when Amazon assures me that a new, hopefully trusty wee camera will arrive. With wetsuit. And water-wings.

A beautiful Easter day

April 20, 2014


The View

These past few days have been getting better and better weather-wise, today reaching perfection I think. BB approves of this change and has been enjoying the great outdoors with her family. She doesn’t venture far but seems very content.


All of our guests had an early start this morning so we had the opportunity to take this season’s first ‘3 Hour Holiday’. I swapped apron for motorcycle helmet and off we went, Talisker Bay being our destination. We had our picnic on a large flat rock and just enjoyed the scenery…



Sea stack

We were even treated to the sight of a pod of dolphins in the bay but they were a bit too far away to get a decent photo so you’ll just have to take my word for it! It was a joy to see the newly unfurled leaves on the trees…

new leaves

…and adding even more colour to the vibrant spring day was this unusual Skye resident.


A jumbled week

April 12, 2014

tulipsThe horizontal rain has returned so no VIEW today. I haven’t the heart to show a non-view of the ridge again, so this is an indoor spring-like shot instead!
What a week! Last Sunday, we were expecting our first guests of the season; four guys who made their reservation back in December. What we didn’t expect were four guys on motorbikes, one of them being Kevin’s uncle who we’ve not seen for about twenty-five years! So our Bed and Breakfast involved dinner too on Sunday, but only after Kevin got to go out and drive around the island with the surprise guests. They got drenched!



Recovery after late-night socialising was difficult as we’ve had guests for most of the week. It’s so difficult to get back into the breakfast routines after a six-month break but I’m sure that we’ll regain the hang of it soon! After our surprise start to the season, the whole week seems to have been a catalogue of unexpected (some unwanted) events. The first one was when I decided to finally use the compost from the wormery. I’d planned to use it in the polytunnel but my plans were soon dashed when we removed the top few inches containing the worms to discover that the ‘compost’ appeared to consist mainly of un-composted eggshells! It was impossible to separate the shells and we had to throw the whole lot into the outdoor compost heap, in the hope that creatures other than worms will be able to tackle them.

compost disaster

I guess that B and B quantities of eggshells are just to much to handle! So, this season a maximum of a dozen eggs, finely crushed, per week methinks!

Thanks to the return of wind and rain, problems with the conservatory added to the week’s jumble of events. One of our leaks had returned. Nothing major but undesirable none the less. Obviously with the idea of killing two birds with one stone, the conservatory chaps arrived the following day to fix the leak and to plaster where the old lead flashing had been removed. Of course we have had two weeks of fine, spring weather but no, how about plastering when the forecast was anything but spring-like! Hence, later that day, slithering plaster…

slithering plaster

slithering plaster

The glass of the roof is a special, self-clean, tinted kind. Water only, NO chemicals. And what came leeching out of the cement but the chemical anti-frost additives. So poor Kevin had to get onto the roof (in wind and rain) to GENTLY wipe off any staining, rinsing off with a watering can. It was suggested that we tuck old sheets under the flashing to protect the glass. Of course heavy planks of wood had to be added or the sheets would have no doubt ended up at the end of the glen! Lovely. Thankfully, we have no guests booked in over the weekend and hopefully the slithering plaster matter will be resolved. And the leak. Again.

There have been animal problems too. Kevin disposed of one of BB’s chicks today as it had developed splayed legs and couldn’t stand. The other three are doing just fine although BB hasn’t ventured outside with them so far. Who can blame her in this weather! Can you see wee Three Lives peeping out from under mum?

BB and chicks

No eggs are being laid in the wee box in the polytunnel coop and it’s easy to see why. The Musco-teers detected something not quite right…


That’s no hen!


Hamie has decided that it’s the perfect place convalesce! There has been some laying going on in the ‘over-by’ coop however, which we opened up for that very purpose. Both Broody Brenda and the Nest Thief, among others, are laying in there and I’m hoping that Brenda will sit first. That way, we can then reduce the size of the pop-hole so that the Nest Thief can’t fit!

And finally, here’s one for Matt and Sarah…

wee garden

A 30-year dream come true

October 1, 2013

Well actually, it’s longer than thirty years. Good Lord, it’s almost 40!!! Kevin and I met at the tender ages of 16 and 17 respectively. Getting around during our courtship involved the bus but it wasn’t long before Kevin got his first motorbike to travel to his first job and our transport became more exciting! Since then, his dream has been to own a BMW. Every birthday and Christmas, if asked what he’d like, ‘A BMW’ was his standard reply. Of course nobody took a blind bit of notice, although one year my mum put a Matchbox toy BMW on his birthday cake! (She was great at birthday cakes)

This year’s birthday however was different. Kevin received an unusually large cheque as a gift from his mum (“Do you think she’s starting with dementia?”) Apparently, she’d gifted the same amount to her other offspring because, ” I’d like to see you enjoy it while I’m still here!” Not that she’s going anywhere in the foreseeable future! So, He sold his glorious, red Triumph and today, this arrived….



One very happy man!

Happy man


Logs and what? (And a 30 HOUR HOLIDAY!)

August 29, 2013


We received our third delivery of logs yesterday as fodder for that hulking, skulking Beast. Strangely, the load was accompanied by another kind of fodder – prawns! Ewan, who supplies our logs, is also a prawn fisherman and was kind enough to bring us a wriggling bag of the day’s catch. Delicious!


But even more exciting than a free, squirming bag of prawns, is that at the weekend we had a couple of nights off and took a 30, (yes, 30, not 3) hour holiday! Mother Nature smiled on us too and gave us some lovely, dry and warm weather – perfect for a trip on the bike! We headed off for the Black Isle on the east coast of Scotland, just north of Inverness. It’s not an island at all but a peninsula, so how it got the name I’ve no idea! It’s an agricultural area, predominantly arable but also there are cattle and of course sheep. The landscape is gentle and ‘neat’ compared to the rugged, dramatic west coast and there are some particularly pretty fishing villages too. Flowering baskets and pots were abundant and were obviously carefully maintained.

Beauly Priory

Beauly Priory






We stayed overnight in Avoch, pronounced Och, and the following day headed to Chanonry Point at Fortrose, in the hope of seeing dolphins.  And we did! Apparently, these Bottle Nosed dolphins are the only dolphins to permanently reside in the North Sea and they number about 200. To adapt to the cold environment the have more blubber and consequently are much larger than the regular members of their species, some of them reaching 4 metres in length.

chanonry point

Chanonry Point


Unfortunately, you never know where they’re going to pop up, so catching them on camera is tricky!


dolphin 2

We continued our journey to Cromarty, where we caught the small ferry to Nigg and from there back west and home. Nigg is home to a large storage facility for oil from the Moray Firth. It also has a large dry dock where rigs were made for drilling in the North Sea.




Cromarty harbour


View of Nigg from Cromarty


Join us on a wee trip

July 8, 2013

After days of non-summery weather, today dawned dry and warm, albeit cloudy. So, join us on a three-hour-holiday. Here’s a map so that you won’t get lost; we start in the glen at the yellow pin and head south to  Isleornsay and the red pin. Who needs Google Maps eh?


Isleoransay hotelNow I should warn you that the bike isn’t too well at the moment and can get a bit stuttery. Don’t worry though, just hold on tight in case it has a sudden surge and you won’t summer-salt over the back! We’re taking lunch at The Isleornsay Hotel and enjoying the peaceful views.













But of course it was only a three-hour-holiday so we were home in time to greet new guests, feed our feathered friends and yes, I knew it, you all came up with some fine excuses when it came to ironing the sheets!! Not to worry, I was re-energized after that wee break so even had the time to write this post too. I had to smile when, as I was sticking pins in the map, a quiet shuffling behind me grabbed my attention. It’s a long time since Lucky and Chance came calling and wisely decided that quacking was a bad idea if they wanted to avoid attention during a cat-dish raid! Only water I’m afraid girls!

Lucky and Chance

Lucky and Chance weren’t the only door-step visitors today. Broody Brenda, who has been sitting on her nest for a couple of weeks now, visits once a day and clucks demandingly for grain at the kitchen door, even if it’s closed! In the past she’s brought her chicks for a quick snack but she’s obviously decided that she deserves some special treatment herself. I think she’s right!



Our first 3-hour-holiday this year!

June 17, 2013

The bike hasn’t been well, we’ve had family visiting, veg to plant, eggs to hatch (occasionally!) and a bed and breakfast to run. Not much opportunity for any 3-hour-holidays which we love so much. The Isle of Skye is a staggeringly beautiful island and what could be nicer than getting on the bike with a picnic and finding a quiet spot just to sit and stare? The only difficult part is choosing that spot! Yesterday was our first opportunity for such a trip and even though the weather was overcast, it was still warm. We headed for Sleat, the southern part of the island. There’s a small road which branches off the main one to Armadale, where ferries sail to the mainland. This wee road passes through three hamlets; Ord, where we ate our picnic, Tokavaig and Tarskavaig. Anyway, see for yourselves…











Tokavaig - Cuillin mountains in background

Tokavaig – Cuillin mountains in background



Three-hour holiday

May 21, 2012

As the weather seems to have finally taken a turn for the better, we decided to take one of our three-hour-holidays,  well, nearly four actually! No guests on the previous night so no breakfasts, no laundry and no excuse for not making the most of the day. So, we hopped on the bike – maybe Kevin hopped but I did more of a stiff-legged, laboured slither. In my defense though, I am only 5’2″ and the bike has a seat which is waist-high. Also, any fluidity of movement is seriously hampered by short legs and armoured motorcycle trousers. Graceful I am not – think short Robocop!

Anyway, first stop was for coffee in Plockton on the mainland.

We then headed to Glenelg via the beautiful Ratagan Pass (Bealach Ratagain), where the view of The Five Sisters, complete with a dusting of snow, is superb…

From there we descended into Glenelg where there are two fairly well-preserved Brochs; fortified dwellings scattered throughout the Highlands, dating from around 2000 years ago. We didn’t actually spend time at them on this trip but I thought I’d show you one anyway!

Also at Glenelg is the wee ferry, our favourite route to Skye and our first trip on it this year.

A lovely short break!

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