Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Zzzzz

Got home less than half an hour ago. Can hardly keep my eyes open. Might do like some of the party and confuse the bathroom and the bedroom...

Monday, 23 August 2010

Science in action

Worked our way back to the A74(M) from Ayr, and a question about the width of the B7076 led to Haydn getting his tape measure out on the road surface to measure lane widths. We are pretty sure we have sized it up completely now!
Breakfast has been and gone, and we are all much happier for a good night's sleep and a big breakfast.

Only problem now is that it's raining heavily outside, and in fact across much of Scotland and northern England, which might make for a glum journey back...

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Bedtime

Our last full day draws to a close. Desserts just arriving here at the Village Inn, Arrochar. It's a little bit twee - lots of Tartan in the rooms - but comfortable, feeds us well and is perfectly placed for the trip back tomorrow.

On the Blackburn Chart, it looks rather a bit like Bryn mentions Blackburn on an hourly basis, if our survey today is representative.

Taffic jams !

Been caught in traffic tonight, been traffic carnage around Loch Lomond today, fatals, serious, cars over heating, people panicking - we held our cool and got to the hotel a few minutes late ;-)



Enough is enough




After nearly a three mile walk in Glencoe, we attack the Devils Staircase with vigour... Halfway up, Bryn started looking rather ill, I was starting to feel the strain, so along with Paul, we came down. Chris, Rob, James and Kenny pushed ahead and got to the top. Looking forward to seeing the full set of pictures.

Devil's Staircase next

Just did a section of Telford's road in Glen Coe, down to the Study and back. Now for the main event!

1000 miles

Bryn's car clocked 1000 miles on the trip counter as we passed through Onich.

Fort William

We're at the first of two otherworldly staircases now - Neptune's Staircase, the impressive flight of locks built by Telford at the southern entrance to the Caledonian Canal.

Sunday begins

Massive breakfast enjoyed by all; now back to Mallaig to find the old A830 and from there work our way to Glen Coe and the Devil's Staircase.

Glenuig Inn has, I think, the best eggs on the journey so far. But I'm happy to take the views of others into account before making a final pronouncement.

Toilet troubles !

Bryn, whilst talking to himself in the bathroom has managed go break the toilet seat !!! That's some serious shot man !



SABRE

Snorers Anonymous and Bathroom Recumbent Escapists

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Bed in Glenuig

Evening! cb a1 is now with us in the extensive attic bunkhouse of the Glenuig Inn. Eight SABRE members sleeping together in one room? They said it couldn't be done! We'll find out if that pessimism was justified in about 8 hours!

Arrived at Glenuig




Really ready for food after walking several miles, missed lunch and covered many miles of historic roads.

Skye Bridge

We've reached a lay-by overlooking the Skye Bridge, after a day that's taken us right back to Spean Bridge with quite a bit of walking and many stops to look at parts of the old military and Telford road that has been replaced by the A87.

Haydn's car is running on fumes, but a quick refuel at Kyle will see us onto the island shortly.

Bridge porn

Currently stopping at every old bridge on the A87. Some of us are worrying whether we'll make the ferry...

Wades High Bridge




Just a short walk from the Commando Memorial, we have walked to a old bridge built by General Wade in 1736, the steel bridge was laid across in 1894, the arch under collapsed in 1913.

And were walking!






Yawn !

Lovely nights sleep ! Woke to the smell of breakfast being cooked... Can't hear Bryn yet though, he must be looking at his road sign photo collection !

UPDATE - Chris has just reminded me, he's actually in a different building !!! < Note triple exclamation marks ;-)

Friday, 20 August 2010

Advice

On single track roads with Haydn driving, and in the event of the car in front being slow to get out of the way, do not attempt to drink from a water bottle. When the vehicle in front finally moves aside, you will be rapidly accelerated to Warp 9, and any remaining liquid in the bottle will be transferred at high speed down your throat.

Just a little tip for you there.

Day 2

The second day's GPS track is up: http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/maps/?track=highland-day2

The Plockton Inn's "Plockton Ale" is rather good. And appears to be rather strnog. (Hic)

Dinner time at Plockton Inn, watch out for the whicker man !





Bealac na Ba

Just completed the famous pass, drove up at 40mph, slowing near the top, closely followed by Bryn and Glen. The top was very windy, the rain was painful and we hightailed it back down. Video has been taken each way and will be uploaded to SABRE as soon as I'm back home.



Raining !!!!





Old A9





To the hills!

Quick stop for fuel at Tore, where we also pick up Glen. Route now - A9 north, B9176 to Dornoch Firth, then A836 and A838 to Laxford Bridge, sightseeing on the way.

Onward!

On to the main course

Just passed a sign - "Welcome to the Highlands". Blue sky ahead too. Onward to Inverness!

Breakfast

The breakfast table was polarized into two camps: "no mushrooms" and "no tomatoes".

The rain on the Tay

The view from the Inn on the Tay this morning:

Not quite as bright as we might hope, but still pulling off that impressive Scottish trick of being heartbreakingly beautiful even under grey clouds and pouring rain. Kenny has an idea that it will clear in a few hours - yesterday started like this, it seems, and we had most of the afternoon in Glorious sunshine. So fingers firmly crossed, and downstairs for breakfast.
Friday dawns wet, hopefully drying by evening, but with high winds forecast. I suspect Bealach na Ba is off the cards.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

First day, as a Google Earth .kml track.

Great view from earlier today





Knackered now

Stuffed our faces, had a couple of beers, chatted some, now I'm chilling laid out on the bed talking politics with Kenny.

The road north

Quick stop for very cheap petrol in Kilsyth, then on up the B822 through the Campsie Fells, then A81 and A821 through the Trossachs towards our overnight stop at Strathtay. Onward!

Location:Glasgow Rd,,United Kingdom

Sterling services




Time for a comfort break, Bryn is still on a roll, thankfully, I'm getting back in my car now ! Phew !

M876

Stopped over to see the M876... Well, when in Scotland !


A74(M) construction




See, we still do build motorways in this country !

Location and GPS track updated

http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/maps/?track=highland-day1

First stop for coffee





Food already !

All ready to go !




It has been said that Haydn cannot travel light ! What do they mean ???

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Bags packed

Bags are now packed, camera batteries charged, rucksack ready to use, maps all packed into a box, all the travel arrangements are sorted.... Just need to pack my toiletries and get a good nights sleep !


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Worried Bryn

Preparation swung into the final stages today, all the places we are sleeping at got a call, I finished printing some more maps out, this time, some old Barts and NLS mapping, courtesy of Sabre Maps. Bryn is starting to look concerned that we may need to call mountain rescue out to restate his heart, but still seems reasonably positive about the trip. Pick ups and meet ups are mostly sorted too, roll on Thursday !


Monday, 16 August 2010

All kitted up now

Had a session in the local "outdoors" shop, new walking coat, walking trousers, some extra socks, an extra fleece, a couple of outdoor tops, some bug repellant and a handful of landrangers that had been missing from my Highland collection !

All set now, just the camera to charge up and bag to pack ;-)


Saturday, 7 August 2010

Not long now

With less than two weeks to go, I've started to think about what I need to take, as usual the camera kit bag will be in the boot, leaving the laptop at home, but I'll be tooled up with my trust iPhone. Clothes is the difficult one, I could do with a new weatherproof and breathable jacket, the one I have now protects really well from the rain, but isn't breathable, so isn't comfortable on a short walk, let alone a longer one. Trip to "Go Outdoors" I fear ;-)


Monday, 2 August 2010

Ferry is now booked

Two cars booked, my car was in the preset list, Bryn's C4 had to be listed as Citro├źn Other ;-) four in my car, three in Bryns... £67.55 in total !!!!



General Wade ???

I'm pleased to report that after being completely unimpressed with family and friends not knowing who General Wade was, Christine at Costa Coffee in Halifax is the first non roads person to know ! Yay !

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Further Development

As the weeks rolled on, a few members started to show interest, a few wanted to know the costs, the idea evolved into a long weekend traveling up from England on the Thursday, picking up the Highland Roads on Saturday and Sunday, working our way home on the Monday.

The plan then ? Two cars, one from Sheffield, the second from Blackburn, meeting up near Carlise, to dip across towards Ayr, then head north via Glasgow, look at the M74 extension and M80 upgrade, then onwards into the hills, staying in Grandtully on Thursday night, Plockton on Friday, near Mallaig on Saturday, then Arrochar on Sunday.

Thursday, Friday and Monday will probably be mostly driving, but Rob has kindly arranged some short walks for us all on the Saturday and Sunday. Fingers crossed for some great weather.

Further details of the trip can be found here

Origin of an idea

Late one night in early May, a few rumblings of discussion began over the idea of a summer awayday for the members of a forum that have an active interest in roads, if you really need to know. The talk turned to exploring the London Ringways, how about a trip down into Devon and Cornwall, then an idea popped up....

Rob said, "Or if anyone wants to come further north with a pair of walking boots, I could possibly rustle up some ideas along the lines of Wades Military Roads and Telfords Highland Roads, and a look at the new bit of the A830 too?"

Bingo, we had a concept.