Touring the Scottish Highlands?

Do your planning here, and let us know how it went!

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alraptor
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Touring the Scottish Highlands?

Post by alraptor » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:41 am

Found this link again after many years.... http://www.highlandmotorcyclehols.com/infopac.html

I went on a 3 day tour with this guy in 2003 - great roads and we visited places I never would have found - all planned depending on which direction the weather looked best! He now does a self guided pack if you want routes but not the tour guide.

Hope it helps someone!

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Re: Touring the Scottish Highlands?

Post by Tommytuck » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:42 am

Just back from a 4 day tour of the very same route....
Troon - Tyndrum last Thurs night, wild camped (Bivvi) in a forest just above Tyndrum
Tyndrum - Isle of Skye (Portree) via the 87 Kyle of Lachalsh etc Friday (Youth Hostel)
Isle of Skye to Ullapool on Sat via Applecross & the Wester Ross coastal route. (Bivvi)
Ullapool to Troon on Sun via Inverness, Loch Ness & Lough Lommond...
Amazing weather & approx. 750 miles covered.

Note: "Ullapool" campsite was infested with the dreaded highland midgies, completely ate alive!
Our party were using sprays from "skin so soft" as used by military, Nato grade midge repellent
& a spray provided by the campsite owners, none of which repelled the little buggers!
I have done this similar run the past 5 year's & it's the first time i've had the misfortune
of being subject to the "Midge fest".
Apparently it's on the local news & papers about the problem this year, it is seriously
damaging the tourist industry....didn't look that way to me as the campsite was completely full.

Quite a few bikers at the Ullapool campsite this year too....

A couple beside us were midge free, claiming to use a bottle of repellent called "Midget"..

Anyway, a fantastic weekend & heading back to do the Braemar highland games in a few weeks time.

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Crap Tartan
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Re: Touring the Scottish Highlands?

Post by Crap Tartan » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:12 pm

Hey Tommy!

Glad you had a good "dauner`roon the heelans!"

The midges are the greatest fighting force we have, should have used them back in the Jacobite times!!!! Bets way to deal with them is stay in the pub, get pished and you wont care what bites you..................... :wink:

Did you try that alternative route I mentioned?
nil illigitimae carborundum

alraptor
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Re: Touring the Scottish Highlands?

Post by alraptor » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:38 pm

I love those roads... A87 is amazing... Some good ones in Northumberland too if you're ever this way. Where are you in NI - I'm originally from outside Banbridge.

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Re: Touring the Scottish Highlands?

Post by Tommytuck » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:11 am

Hey Crap Tartan....
Done the Oban route also in the past few year's, ain't many roads I haven't been on in Scotland lol.
Covered many a rally also from the Thistle in February to the Antler in September, even the Team MCC rally in John O'Groats (4 years in a row) this is the first year we didn't venture up to the top....way too many to remember lol.
attached is a pic of my mates remedy for the highland Midgies & a few of us heading down off Applecross at the weekend.

Braemar in two weeks time for the Highland Games, camping at Ballater.....
Have to get the clutch thrust bearing sorted on the GS12 first, sort of killed it on the way home at the weekend :lightfart:
Big GS12's just aint cut out for sratching, fully loaded :ouch:
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Crap Tartan
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Re: Touring the Scottish Highlands?

Post by Crap Tartan » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:39 am

gonna need a lot of deoderant for all them midges!!

Applecross is amazing, used to work up at Kyle many years ago and used to do Applecross in the winter!
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Re: Touring the Scottish Highlands?

Post by Tommytuck » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:27 am

It ain't fun coming over Applecross in the winter chum....
Toodled over it a few times at 10 - 15mph because you couldn't see your finger in front of you
with wind, rain & cloud cover!
Nout better than a beer at sunset in Ullapool watchin' the Stornaway ferry exiting the port.
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Ullapool sunset
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Re: Touring the Scottish Highlands?

Post by pod » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:15 pm

Living in midgee central , we have developed an arsenal of techniques for holding back the onslaught.

Personal rave fans, light and portable, excellent for sitting around and staying relatively sane, the noise is a tad annoying though.

oily rags, arrange clumps in a circle around your chosen zone and set alight, the smoke helps keep them at bay. looks cool too. or those paraffin wicked garden torches with oil of citronella added to the mix.

Midge nets, very good but sometimes impractical.

Smoking , a big pipe with the foulest of bakky is best.

Aerosol and fag lighter, very satisfying but a tad dangerous.

Movement, the midge top speed is about 1 mph, not good for sitting around though.

Things to avoid,
being out of breath and wearing black, the midge hunts with two methods, it sees in infra red and it smells out CO2.
my missus wears black and always gets bitten first.
Camping in a windless area, deadly.
Drumming, the vibrations are definitely attractive.
killing the beasts with hand swipes, when a midge is killed it releases pheromones which attract other midges , " kill one and a thousand come to the funeral "

Chemicals , DEET ( Jungle formula and others ) is the most effective , but its hellish stuff, melts plastic, lips and eyelids,.
Skin so soft , the gamekeepers favourite, works fairly well, but they tend to stick in it.
Avoid " natural " repellents like Bog Myrtle , they are fairly ineffective.

So to summarise , you are safest when camping in the highlands , if, you camp in a windy spot, wear a one piece white coverall, have a personal fan, smoke a pipe , wearing a head net with a surrounding circle of burning smoky stuff, remain calm and walk round in circles, thats not too tricky is it?
Stay calm.

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Re: Touring the Scottish Highlands?

Post by dizzyblonde » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:33 pm

pod wrote:




Skin so soft , the gamekeepers favourite, works fairly well, but they tend to stick in it.
?

Only the green Skin so Soft though, as it contains that midgie repellent......... Citronella.

I once bought some citronella burning thingies, like those hippy incense sticks, but in great big curls in a tin.

No midgies....and that was in Beinglas, the damn infested place you needed to wear bee keeping outfits just to sit indoors :shock:
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Re: Touring the Scottish Highlands?

Post by pod » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:51 pm

Regular Skin so Soft is fine, the citronella is a marketing gimick, original works, guaranteed.
Stay calm.

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Re: Touring the Scottish Highlands?

Post by Tommytuck » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:49 am

Pod, you deffo sound like someone who has first hand experience with the highland flying hooligans.
My ignorance was my downfall this time as I knew all too well that I would come across them some time
or other. Just because I got away with it the past 4 year's, I assumed this year would be no different :doh:

"Midget" spray on order for my next visit in a few weeks time to Braemar/Ballater...

All of the above repellents you mentioned are pretty accurate, quite a few motor home folk
had the burners out.....

One will not be caught out again, 3 million times bitten, twice shy! :naughty:

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