It is finally happening! We are going on our first PLANNED trip (accommodation and all) since the pandemic started and they locked UK down 399 days ago.
This Saturday we are getting on the Beast and hitting the road towards Scotland. After my work trip in October 2019 I told myself I have to go back with the husband; we need to hit the unnamed roads on the motorcycle, feeling the crisp air, smelling whatever smells might come our way.
I honestly didn’t think it would come this soon after that trip in 2019, but Covid forced us to fold our wings and stay within the borders. Meh, it could be worse.
So while the husband is going through all the bike checks in the garage, I am sitting in the sunny garden, squinting through my sunglasses eagerly trying to type this post. FYI, polarised sunglasses are excellent for driving, but they don’t help when trying to work on your laptop.
Our plan? We will ride from our base in Essex all the way to Glasgow in one go, do a day trip around Loch Lomond then take ourselves over the Cairngorms to Aberdeenshire. From there up by Loch Ness all the way to the Isle of Skye and then back down to Glasgow over the western side of Scotland. All this in about 9 full days.
Pretty ambitious, I know. Our trip should look something like this and will be around 1500 miles long, not including any picturesque detours we find on the way.
This is a big trip for us. The longest haul we have done so far was about 950 miles and that wasn’t going so far up north (check the Isle of Man and Peak District posts). The main key is to have the bike ready (check) and to pack smart.
Apart from your usual stuff (camera, book, reasonable clothing and shoes, toiletries) some good things to pack are:
- an extra pair of riding gloves if you have some. You are more than likely going to get soaked at least once on the roads of Scotland
- extra socks (always a good idea)
- lens wipes for cleaning the bugs off the visor. If you can’t find biodegradable ones, grab a cleaning spray and a bit of cloth
- puncture repair kit – a flat tyre is always a high possibility when on the road. With one of these babies, you can get patched up in a jiffy.
- if going to Scotland (or any other destinations with long roads in the middle of nowhere) with a smaller tank bike, you will either need to know the location and opening hours of each petrol station on your route or bring a jerry can! The husband has an excellent story about running out of petrol in Scotland while travelling with his mates. If you ever meet him, ask him to tell it
- power bank for your phone, especially if you’ll be using maps on it as GPS. If you’re more into paper maps, don’t forget to bring those too (and a compass!)
This is the first trip we will be carrying an actual map with us and only because my sister in-law got her brother the coolest birthday gift this year! She got him 2 road maps of Britain. One is an Adventure map with all of the interesting things you can find on the road. The other one is a Folklore and Superstition map with all the places with ghost stories, witches, fairies and any other mythological creature or supernatural story tied to it.
We will not be updating the blog while on the road. I decided to leave the laptop at home and try to have less screen time during the trip. However, I will keep our social media updated once we settle for the evening.
Do you already have your post Covid trip planned? Where are you going?