I went to my pal's funeral on Friday - very mixed emotions. We gave him a suitable send off with plenty of drinking and telling of stories, but somehow I couldn't shake off the gloom of loosing a best friend.
So I went home, threw some clothes in the panniers and rode off north. I made it to Inverness by nightfall (can't ride at night due to the dodgy eyes) and stayed at a hotel there. Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny and warm, which for this part of the world is most unusual. I set off down the side of Loch Ness, turned west to Kyle of Lochalsh and enjoyed a fantastic ride - empty roads, sunshine and some of the best scenery in the world. I got to the Skye road bridge around lunchtime after numerous stops to take photos; took a piss in the best kept public toilet ever and carried on over to Skye.
What a place! Biking heaven. I spent the rest of the day, and all day Sunday just riding on their fantastic roads, stopping to look at scenery and generally empty my head. I didn't fancy returning to Aberdeen, so stayed on the mainland at the picture-postcard perfect village of Plockton. Monday was still sunny, so I rode for miles on empty single-track roads up to Applecross, had lunch then carried on round to Torreidon before heading home. What a fabulous few days riding.
I decided to complete the circular route by heading back through Grantown-on Spey, up and over the rampian mountains at the Lecht ski slopes (still snow and fog-bound), back down to Ballater and along the Deeside to home. A marathon journey. The bike ran without a problem, although the noise from the windscreen drove me mad.