Thursday, 30 July 2015

Drumochter pass here i come

The tent was full of drifting down this morning. Not a snowstorm but enough that it was in my eyes and mouth and the black merino underwear lookec rather messy. Sigh. The sleeping bag will have to go back to the next Blacks i pass which is not till Dundee. Had to shake everything and sweep it out of the tent. There are no actual holes but it is coming through the fabric. Not actual feathers with a wee point to work its way through but soft, floaty down so guess is,sub-standard fabric...At dalwhinnie done 10 miles n got another 24 to go. Cant wait to see Hubby tomorrow. Good truckers breakfast before i set off, cos great place opposite the campsite

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Newtonmore and the Highland Folk Museum

Oh crumbs - got a wee phone call from the Kay Adams,show on radio Scotland yesterday afternoon, just when i had committed to a second night in Aviemore. I wanted to go to the Knit n Natter in Aviemore library. A lovely evening and it was fun seeing folks' knitting. I am told they raised £800 with their knitted poppies last year but I have been warned that they cannot cope with any more orders this year! I loved the knitted hedgehog too.

So i was all packed up by 7.40 this morning for a brisk 17 miles or so from Rothiemurcus to Aviemore and arrived at Newtonmore by 9.30, feeling very smug. Lots of wildlife at the side of the road that early in the day, including a weasel. Spotted some lovely chanterelles too and will add them to the crochet list. The campsite was only £5 cos i am by myself and cycling round Scotland and the owner also gave me 40p for a hot shower! So there i was sitting on a bench outside the campsite laundry being interviewed by Radio Scotland. Surreal! The tent is drying out in the breeze after four nights of rain, although it has not been too bad during the day.

Finished crocheting a seal.
And thanks to the Skiing Doo for a wonderful meal last night

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A seal, some energy n creativity

Been to aviemore knit n natter. A surge in creative energy since getting a new, cosy down sleeping bag nd dry bags for clothes. This is july and temperatures of -1 have been recorded. Cosy night last night at last and without wearing several layers of clothes. Far fewer midges now i am a bit further east so i can put up with the rain now i aM not cold or eaten alive! So out of survival mode and into creative mode again. Fourth consecutive night in the tent since the b & b in plockton and doind good! Poppies and hedgehog made by aviemore knit n natter members

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Dingwall to invernness - getting used to this

Had breakfast with the audax riders who had finished their 400k/250mile ride. Some had trifle or dumpling, some soup, some bacon rolls. Quite a few were snoozing between bites! A lovely knit and chat with Denise despite her havinng been up all night organising the event. Cycled from dingwall to inverness. 15 lovely miles on a cycle way so no need to touch the busy main road. Joy of joys a food van comes to the site so ddinnnner tonight cost only £5.40. crocheting a seal but it looks more like the snake in the Harry Potter books...

Saturday, 25 July 2015

No more midges for me!

Hopped on a train at plockton yesterday. Jumped off at Garve then cycled 15 miles to Dingwall. Im here to meet up with cyclists doing the national Audax - 400km/250 miles non stop and they will finish sometime between 4am and 1pm tomorrow. Denise and Steve have been doing the catering and invited me along for breakfast on the Sunday morning ie tomorrow. Went to see them off then discovered the Greenhouse communuty cafe and watched the torrential rain from inside whilst backing up photos on one of their laptops. They are having a sea and bea h awareness weekend with music and storytelling. Had a go on a tandem trike before it set off to do the Audax, thankfully with Judith on board behind Aiden not me! Cycling to inverness tomorrow. Finally joy of joys i can sit in the tent doorway, eat lunch and watch the rain without getting eaten alive by midges! Last two pics show the bike folded and tucked inside the tent and the tent zipped up snug against the rain

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

An interesting night..

Rather windy in the tent last night and opted to change the route n go to kyle of lochalsh with the wind behind me. Skipping Harris and Lewis and heading up to Dingwall from here. The tent held its ground perfectly in the wind though i did get up and check a couple of times. Am getting to like this tent! Took a video in the night of the tent being buffeted which is in my facebook page. Great workshop atvThe Handspinner Having Fun yesterday too and was made very welcome by Bev and the team. Now at Plockton after a pleasant 15 miles or so and will spend the night in a b n b.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Broadford skye and better news re te t

Headed over to the island of Skye last night and spent the first night at the forest garden campsite Armadale. Lovely atmosphere in the evening there but really more like wild camping. The first good nights sleep in the tent despite heavy rain. It is now waterproof, gas storm guys which help it pitch better and i finally sussed the condensation problem. Instead of securing the centre pegs of the ends of the flysheet first like you normally would, they are left till last. This helps the tent sit better and means there is,an air gap at either end between the flysheet and the ground. This matches up with the internal vents and it all seems to work well, fingers crossed. Pity neither instructions or youtube videos mentioned that! Arrived at broadford to find a notice saying 'Knit 1 Bike 1 is here 20th july! Bev at the Handspinner Having Fun has pId for my campsite which was lovely and am looking forward to meeting her and doing the workshop there tomorrow at 2pm. Also had a fab time at Heartfelt By Liz in Dalmally over the previous two days and was made to feel so at home. Lovely to see Liz again and get to know Graham. The crocheted flowers workshop was fab and a chance to catch up with friends Sandy and Jeanette who came over specially. Before that was a workshop in Mallaig and more wonderful hospitality from Morag in Mallaig. Great to see the,Ginger knitwear studio and Anna who runs it gave me some great yarn for the project. The Mallaug group gave me,a generous donation for Knit 1 Bike 1 too - thanks folks. Often hard to get o. The internet so will be gaps between entries at least till i am finished with the Islands

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

A wee adventure

Missed the ferry to fort william from the strontian road today and there was not another for hours. Was just deciding what to do when a bus came along and the driver was heading ba k to the main fort william road which meant i could cycle up the other way to fort william without having to retrace my steps. It was only once i was in board i realised it was not a service bus at all but one converted into a music studio for who work with young people in isolated areas and aim to reduce the very high suicide rate. The project leader and developer ran me all the way to fort william! This meant there was time to buy a new rucksac before mine completely fell apart! Staying at glen nevia campsite. Busy but nicely so with great facilities including a breakfast snack van and a tearoom bar and restaurant on the road nearby. Had a heritage tomato salad and chips! Great time at morags - no wonder highland hospitality is famous and fab granny square workshop in mallaig last night after fiah n chips from the famius hole in the wall

Lochailort and onward

Have done workshops at tobermory on mull, loch don on mull, kilmartin and mallaig. Crocheted a rock n sea shells and done lots if writing. Met up with hubby Lee n granddaughter Skye at oban. Enjoyed real highland hospitality with Morag at lochailort. Heading for fort william today n dalmally tomorrow

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Synchronicity, crochet and quaker meeting

Day off today and no cycling. Felt strange to be in a car as Edna and Bobby from Tarbert quaker meeting took me back the way i cycled yesterday to attend their Quaker meeting. Had a lovely time and amazing cake. Had to cancel dinner at Sally's tomorrow as hubby Lee is going to take me to Oban so we have a day in Hand to proof tent before i head to Mull. Then lo and behold i bumped i to Sally tonight along with her sister and their menfolk. I feel like this journey is what i am meant to be doing right now if thats not too deep and trendy. And things keep happening to help me on my way. Like Pam telling me out the high winds due yesterday, thinkind i needed guy ropes and finding some at the side of the road. And now thinking what a shame it was to miss dinner with Sally then bumping into her. If i have gone all airy fairy due to spending too much time on a bicycle something will no doubt bring me down to earth with a bump!

Tarbert to lochgilphead day 6

Waited till the rain and wind calmed down and set off in light drizzle with no wind. Got a caricature done in tarbert after cycling all of a mile. Its the seafood festival there. By that time it was pouring again though thankfully the gales stayed away. Decamped to a cafe and had An early lunch but beginning to think i would never get going. An easy run to the empire travel lodge lochgilphead a wonderful place with trip advisor certificate of excellence. Bit of a morale dip in the evening caused by tiredness as it often is. Sorted by hot bath, good dinner at the Empire, a nap and nice chat n moral support from hubby

Friday, 3 July 2015

So state of the art award winning tent leaks....

So posh tent is not waterproof although it is midgeproof. Pix show midges outside the inner tent and rain seeping through! I usually proof new tents but with this one costing £349 i sure it would be waterproof...the silly pegs that dont stay in the ground should have been a clue. Mini workshop at Pam's lochranza and she reckons worst midges ever and were coming in under the front door! We did some problem solving with an entrelac pattern, some silk spinning and double knitting. I was shown this by louise of woolfish but added my own wee trick,that lets you knit one stitch and slip the next all in one go. I knitted a camera cover with mine. Pam said windy tomorrow and could affect the ferry, so packed up quick, ferry to claonaig and cycled 11 miles,to west loch hotel near,tarbert. Expensive but i got the last,room and tarbert will be very busy. Hot bath n great dinner. Tomorrow will be an easier day. Everything drying out and will get proofing spray tomorrow. Met these lincolnshire lads in the ferry but beat them to tarbert cos one of them got a puncture. And that stirrup pump had gone ahead to tarbert by taxi along with the kitchen sink eh lads..knitted a camera case with my bit of knitting. Pam is holding a wooden seal. Will add it to the crochet queue

Thursday, 2 July 2015

This is so Scotland

Kildonan to blackwaterfoot o. Arran this morning and will continue to lochranza after stuffing myself with every available calorie. Took ages to get the stuff together n kept packing things then needing them again. Will get used to where it all goes but still cant find the spork - spoon n fork combo. Bit upset cos hubby got me it for the trip. Its probably there somewhere. Visited arram creamery n saw them making cheese. Got cash at royal bank of scotland mobile bank. No mobile signal or internet conection so you just show id to get cash out with your card. Only cash machine or bank in brodick so really lucky i saw him. Note to self always take rbs cash card if cycling round scotland. Mobile library at blackwaterfoot. Made me realise how us scots take
Mobile libraries and banks for granted but maybe they are unique to us? Rbs mobile bank in crochet queue. Fixed rear saddlebag problem with bit of polystyrene and bit of rope both found at the side of the road