Monday, 18 May 2015

To the extreme,

I like Inverness Youth Hostel. That's probably because I had the unexpected foresight to book a single en suite room, so I am writing this while lying on my private bed, having freshened up in my own shower, and mane a cup of coffee using my own kettle. Luxury!

Tongue looked lovely this morning

The weather stayed dry all day, with the exception of a sharp shower about ten miles out of Inverness.

Driving East from Tongue. the coast road became flatter and less dramatic. Long sweeping curves and gentle undulations replacing the mountainous terrain of yesterday.
In the distance in this photo you can just make out the white Sphere of Dounraey nuclear power plant.

I had just ridden past the plant when a police car came towards me with lights flashing. I slowed and the car drew onto my side of the road., driving directly at me. I tried to imagine what sort of crime I had committed. , or was there a nuclear emergency which meant I wasn't going to be allowed to leave the area because I was contaminated!
The police car stopped directly in front of me. The driver signalled me into a gate entrance off the roadthen drove off I was left sitting on my bike when another police car came along this one stopped, the driver wound his window down and said in a soft highland accent "Wide load coming ". And around the corner came three large lorries carrying giant pipes
No emergency, no contamination .
In my ignorance I thought John O'Groats was the most Northerly point on mainland UK, it's not, it is the most northerly settlement, but the point is actually Durness Head which is ten miles west of John O'Groats.
It's a spectacular place with no pretensions, and loads of birds.

And a lighthouse

And at least one idiot with a selfie stick

By contrast J O'G had more going on. But it was much more restrained than Lands End

But you get idiots everywhere

Just up the road is Dunnet Head, the most North Easterly point on mainland UK. Again understated with a lighthouse and a complete lack of selfie sticks.
As the plaque explains these wares are where british naval vessels have sheltered and re provisioned .

Down the coast now and driving through Wick I realise that it must be at least three days since I saw a retail park with obligatory DIY store and carpet warehouse, a real measure of solitude .

Down the fast and relatively uninspiring A9 there are a number of little towns, which the main road has bypassed. I dropped into a few. Dunbeath has a lot of  seabirds and a private castle, 

Down the coast is pretty Helmsdale, where my battery ran out so no pictures.
Monday rant: I use an iPhone 5. Each morning on this trip I have it fully charged, I use mapmyride a tracking app that uses the phones gps. I take a few photos and send a few messages, by lunchtime I am getting low battery warnings. I am fortunate enough to have the capacity to charge my phone on my motorbike via a power socket. Apple and Samsung et al listen up: thin phones, curved screens, millions of pixels ARE NO GOOD WHEN THE BATTERY IS DEAD. Focus on the essentials 24 full hours of use between charges even if it means the phone is a tad thicker and a tiny bit heavier. End of rant

No comments:

Post a Comment