The Buddha of North Wales.
Thank you for visiting.
Photographers – Think Differently..
The Buddha of North Wales.
Thank you for visiting.
Shot this in the Peak District a couple of months back. A 1984/85 Ford Transit motorhome parked at the campsite car park.
Thank you for viewing this weeks monochrome image.
So after leaving Wales I headed over to the Peak District in mid England.
The ride across to the Peak District was an enjoyable ride with a few detours due to road works. When time is not a problem I love detours, on the motorcycle I just take any road and see where it takes me. Sometimes I do this just for fun. I have seen great little gem’s of the country side by doing this or ended up in dead end’s or farm yards. It’s still great to explore to little roads.
So my destination was The Royal Oak in Hurdlow, Nr Buxton, SK17 9QJ,
This was home for two nights staying in the Bunk Barn.
The bunk rooms are up the stairs, they are clean and also have a small shared Kitchen area if you wish to cook or just make coffee, tea etc. Toilets and Showers below them has seen in the photo. Because the barn is built into a slope the bunk rooms are at ground level on the other side of the barn.
Last year I camped here before going up to tour Scotland, saying it rained is an under statement. I never seen any of the Peak district. This year the ground was burnt with no rain for a couple of months.
Where most of my meals where had and a few pints of ale enjoyed. There was a large music festival due to start a few miles down the road. So it was busy and no shortage of people to chat to, it’s the thing I love when touring alone. The people I meet, local and others travelling. Some great true stories, and others boasted by too much ale. You have got to love it.
An old Ford Transit motor home owned by a family of festival goers.
Red tailed bee and a few shots around the Peak district.
The Royal Oak sits on part of the National cycling network route. I walked around 10 mile of it in the evenings. With it being based on old disused railway lines in this area, it was enjoyable to walk and not have any traffic. While walking I left the camera, just enjoying the walk for what it is. Before leaving the Royal Oak I would like to say, Having stayed here twice I would highly recommend this place, staff and service is great and the ale worth trying.
My next stop is in North Yorkshire in the Market town of Skipton. It’s here I have to apologize for no photographs from this part of the trip. When replacing the SD card in the camera, I didn’t push it fully home and it was not till I was in Skipton I discovered it. So a full days photos in some scenic parts where lost, plus photos of a place I want to see for years. the town of Holmfirth in Yorkshire. Where the longest running British television sitcom was filmed. ‘Last of the summer wine’ the series run from 1973 to 2010. I always want to get a cup of tea in Sid’s cafe, a place in the sitcom. So I made it there and got my tea and thought I had my photographs, So it will be another trip back to see Holmfirth and another cuppa.
Skipton in Yorkshire is a place I have been to a lot, I was going to visit friends there for the weekend and do some walking but the weather there was thunder and lighting storms so with the bike parked for the weekend we went to Salts Mill a few mile from Bradford. About Salts Mill
The Church where a wedding was taking place.
Something different from the wedding cars you normally see.
The sign at the old police station.
Hockney 1853 gallery , Some views of the work on display in the David Hockney gallery. Here’s Andy adding scale to the famous Hockney chair.
In a gallery being artistic with slow shutter speed.
Heavy weight reading here in the book shop, detail from the slinging hook used in the old mill. It was nice to see how a lot of the old mill has been restored or just used has it was, like the old stone flooring and other features like the windows and doors.
A coffee in one of the coffee shops and it was out into the sunshine.
The mill chimney from different views.
Beside the mill runs the canal where we where going to walk but just has these photos below where taken the storms moved in.
some off the local wildfowl coming to greet me.
then ignore me.
Others check the camera out.
Looking across the River Aire beside the Canal.
It was a drive back to Skipton and enjoy the rest on the weekend with dear friends who always look after me with five star treatment, love you both. I left Skipton with heavy storms looming has I set off for Scotland to catch the ferry back to Belfast. Just made the ferry with minutes to spare, like the last one on board. Supper on the ferry and a mild crossing I rode into Belfast around 11pm and another half hour till home.
Hope you enjoyed the end to my trip ‘Short tour of Wales’ It was a good trip with kind weather and good friends, old and new. Remember a adventure does not mean travelling around the world or cost thousands. It can be a few mile away and with planning, cost’s can be kept down. So what ever you are into get out there and explore, meet new people and the most important thing enjoy life.
So this the last post on my recent tour around North Wales. Today we’re of to Harlech Castle or Castell Harlech in the native Wlesh language. This is Wales most famous castle and also a world heritage site.
First a few links for those that are interested in a little history.
Men of Harlech A version of this tune was us in the movie “Zulu” (1964)
Lyrics Various version’s of the above song.
Has can be seen it was a warm day but great for biking, so arriving at the car park has usual there is no motorcycle parking provided. So a no parking area was used and it frees up a couple of car parking places. Just has we parked up another couple from Germany pulled in along side us.
Cable locks secure the helmets to the bikes and with my panniers empty I store my riding gear in them making it more comfortable to walk around in the heat. Into the castle entrance which can be seen in the above photo. With our wallets a little lighter it was across the foot bridge into the castle.
Will leave the photos to tell the story.
A sample of the photo’s taken and photo’s of the two friends I was touring with.
After four days in Wales it way time to go our own ways, With me going to the Peak District in England, another going to the south of England and one back home to Ireland. So a final breakfast and with the bike packed it was back on the road alone.
a few photographs has I made my way across Wales and below is my final photo and what part of motorcycling is all about.
There is going to be another part of the trip through the Peak District and up into the Yorkshire Dales but that is another post.
Hope you enjoyed the trip in Wales, it’s a beautiful country with unpronounceable place names and the people warm and friendly. That’s my third time staying in Wales and not my last. If you ever get the chance come and see Wales you will not be disappointed.
Thank you for joining me on this short tour and I happy to bring you along.
Hello my friend’s , it’s been a few weeks since my last post. Has I stated a short while back I was unable to walk due to an injury. I had a bit for a relapse so was back out of action. But I’m back on form and out on the roads around Ireland. This years photo rally points are out and I have started to do a few.
Here is a link to the map and site of the Photo rally: Irish Photo rally 2018
There is no order in which these points have to be done, so for my first day out I decided to do number one on the map. This is in County Donegal and was the stone map at Glencolumbkille folk Village. Any Photographs that include my motorcycle are the rally entries.
Glencolumbkille folk Village, and the beach beside it.
My second stop on my trip took me up and across Donegal and into Northern Ireland. I crossed the Sperrin mountains and dropped over to the Glenshane Pass where my next photo point was. Ireland highest Pub/bar. The Ponderosa Bar.
Even with the sun shining this is not a warm day with temperatures getting to 8 degrees centigrade/ 46 Fahrenheit. So a coffee was in order before my final point for the day. This was a short ride to the town of Portglenone in County Antrim where the Piper and dancer was waiting.
This was a hard one to get a good shot, with the tree and cars in the background. With the temperatures dropping and rain moving in it was time for the final leg home. My day covered around 260+ mile over some beautiful landscape and with a hot shower plus a bite to eat I had my first three photos for the photo rally.
Thank you for visiting
Okay this is my last post on my Scotland tour. This covers my last two days and has we get into the last day you will understand why I have combined them. So let’s go.
After a great nights sleep on what turned out to be the coldest night of the trip. I awoke and it was still dark, opening the tent door I could see the stars like fairy lights through the tree tops. A thick mist on the water, plus the sound of something close by doing whatever it does. Out and a quick pee it was back into the warmth of the sleeping bag and with my woolly hat pull over the ears I rolled over.
With light showing I looked out to see this,
The view from my tent across the Loch. I grabbed the tripod and had a walk along the shore.
Why there is a lifeboat moored on the loch shore I have no idea. Breakfast was enjoyed listening to the birds and the gentle sound of a stream running into the loch. Packing up the bike was down to around 15 minutes, getting good at breaking camp. The overcast sky was breaking up and the sunshine showing has I rode into Fort William. Heading towards Onich I got the ferry for the short ride across to Corran and pointed the bike for the most westerly point in main land Britain. The point of Ardnamurchan. Turning off the A861 and onto a single track road that follows the shore of Loch Sunart. If I recall right some of the wood lands that border this road are so of the oldest oak woods in Scotland. Now I might be wrong on that but they make a grand view with them on one side of the track and the loch on the other. With the batteries running low for the camera I stopped at a lovely cafe / gift shop and asked if they would charge up a battery while I was out at the point.
I would like to thank Hanna and her folks who run the Cafe for there help. Talking to Hanna she was saying she does a little wildlife photography. When I had internet I was checking out the cafe/ gift shop when I came across a link to Hanna. I hope if you are reading this you will take the time to check this out.
Hanna the modest lass who does a little photography. All I can say is thank you and much respect for the work you are doing.
With the sun shining it was out to the lighthouse at Ardnamurchan.
I spend about half a hour here and it was back to collect my battery and treat my self to a coffee and a bite to eat. Has I ordered a coffee and a homemade custard tart I looked around for a seat and there was a lady waving at me to join her. The lass I had met in Ullapool was enjoying a bite to eat. So it was her motorcycle parked in the parking lot. A chat and it was back to the ferry and a B&B I had stayed at before. With my clothes laundered and breakfast shared with a couple from Switzerland I set off on another day of travels. South down the shore of Loch Linnhe to Connel where I turned east and onto another single tracked road which followed Loch Awe back south west towards Ford . It was on this road which wandered through the forest. After climbing a steep winding hill I pulled off the road into a viewing point.
I got talking to Paul who was touring Scotland on a Mountain bike. He had stopped for a break from climbing hills on this road. Has we were travelling in opposite directions he asked about the road ahead. Well I’m glad I had 1200cc powering my bike and not two legs. Not wanting to be photographed I got him heading off down hill.
There he goes …..
At the end of this road I turned south and down the Mull of Kintyre To Campbeltown where I returned north up the B842 to Claonaig. You can see the Isle of Arran most of the way while on this road.
Two Photographs with Arran in the back ground.
I stopped over night on Arran with the tent set on the road side along the shore. The weather turn for the worst overnight and its here My photographs end. I left on the ferry from the other side of the Island to Ardossan where I turned south for Stranraer and then east for Carlisle in the north of England. After the ferry crossing to Ardossan the weather got worst. With heavy rain and strong winds it became dangerous to be on a motorcycle. I have been riding for over 40 years and only once have I ever felt I was at risk. Getting into Stranraer I got a bite to eat and decided to keep going east. After another 50 mile I called it quits and found a hotel that had a room for the night. In that last 50 mile I saw three accidents. I could just about see a large lorry from about 30 metres, so at what distance could I on a motorcycle be seen from behind. So before I go I would like to thank you all who have got this far and yes I left Scotland the next morning. My last Photograph of Scotland is of the refuge I found than night.
Travel safe where ever you are, and may your road be straight and the wind at your back.
On leaving Ullapool I had to go over to the east side of Scotland to Inverness and I returned back towards Inverness to continue my coastal route down the west coast.
Following the A832 just south of Braemore around by Gruinard Bay I stayed on the A832 till I got to Kinlochewe where I turned right back towards Shieldaig. ( due to heavy rain on this section I took no photos) .Then onto a single track road around to Applecross.
With the weather showing signs of improvement I enjoyed the views around this run into Applecross. Then cyclist’s started to increase in numbers, there was a Duathlon event taking place. Yes it was finishing in applecross, so I head over the pass of the Cattle ( Bealach-Na-Ba) . This is a must do if you are in the area, another one to mark of the list of must does. Here is a link off a video from another biker doing it from the 0pposite direction. Bealach-na-ba
I had planned to stop for a couple of days in Applecross campsite, but with it being so busy I pushed on the the Isle of Skye. It was well into the evening When i got there. Looking for a wild camping spot I came across a B&B that had a room so Parking the bike it was a hot shower and down to the local hotel for a bite and a jar of beer.
The next day was the first I had woke up to sunshine on this trip, and after Breakfast I set off to explore the Island.
Has you can see from this photograph it was a grand morning to be out on the bike.
I saw this waterfall from the road and made my way across a very muddy track which motorcycle boots were never designed for. After sliding my way back to the road I pointed the bike north to do a loop around the north of Skye.
Again this must be one of the most photographed spots on Skye, I know I will be back to Skye with my walking boots and photography gear minus the motorcycle. Think a photography holiday will be had. Next place I was looking forward to seeing was The Skye Museum of Island life. But When I got there it was closed, they don’t open on a Sunday.
Got these photos from over the fence so another reason to return to Skye. Do you get the feeling I liked Skye….
So on the way back I saw people pulled over and standing looking at something, getting closer I spotted what it was.
Yep Highland cattle. This was another first for me, seeing the real thing. Love their handle bars 🙂 Was going to get the ferry from Skye to Mallaig, but on a information sign I would have to wait nearly two hours. Looking on the Sat-nav it was two hours to Fort William, so off I went. I stopped for fuel and got water and milk knowing I would be wild camping tonight. Around 10 mile from Fort William I pull off the road and down to a loch.
This site under the trees was my bed for the night, below is a evening view from the tent across the loch.
A beautiful still evening to sit and enjoy the peace, until around 60 Brent geese landed. Was nice to see them but what a racket they make. after twenty minutes they took off leaving me to a peaceful nights sleep.
One more post and my trip will be completed, thank you all for visiting.
So leaving Dornoch its north toward Wick where its time o refuel the motorcycle. Stopping on the outskirts of the town I refuel myself. Coffee and a sandwich while checking the map, I plan my route for the rest of the day. Time to ride north has far has I can.
That place is John O’ Groats, It’s the point in Scotland you have to turn west or swim.
Photograph’s from John O’ Groats
Bar the small harbour and the most photographed signpost in Scotland. The rest is souvenir shops, cafes and a hotel. So while the sun is shining I turn west. A short ride west and it’s a right turn to the UK’s most northerly point, Dunnet Head.
Dunnet Head lighthouse.
From here it was onto Thurso and the weather turn’s sour. Turning left to see some of the Highlands on it many of single track roads. The cloud was low and the view was the road ahead with tantalizing view’s . Then the curtain of rain would close and all that’s left is the road. I spotted a bird of prey close by, bike stopped and was looking for it when a pick-up pulled in and a man inquires if all is okay. I point out the bird and he tell’s me its an eagle. A first for me, my day been’s made, rain can’t dampen that. After that I covered another 80 miles or so. Rain is now persistent and the wind is doing it’s best to remove me from the road. My next stop for the day is Tongue where a warm and dry B&B greets me. Tigh-Nan-Ubhal Guesthouse lovely hosts and a homely feel to the place, plus they didn’t even blink at the puddle that was forming around me in the hallway. !0 out of 10 from me. Link below.
A damp morning greets me and with a full tank another day begin’s. I leave with a view looking back at the misty Highlands with the sands and waters of Tongue in the foreground.
Next post see’s the north coast completed and starting down the west side of Scotland. Thank you for viewing.
So Friday the 8th September rolls round and its an early start for me. Motorcycle packed and its off to Dublin to catch the ferry across to Wales. Leaving the house the dark and wet morning wasn’t looking good for a 100 mile plus ride to the ferry. Heading south the weather picked up and by the time we cast off the sun had replaced the grey sky.
Irish ferries terminal Dublin Port. With a slight swell on the water it was out pass Howth peninsula has it projects out into the Irish sea.
Leaving the harbour in Wales you could see the rain falling in the distance. It wasn’t long before the lovely welsh mountains disappeared behind a curtain off falling water. When I arrived at The Royal Oak pub and camp site the with the sky grey but bright. The start of the tent village started to appear on the slightly sloping camp site.
The last dry photo of the day before the rain returned. with a wall of water falling it was time for a beer and motorcycle talk in the bar. Saturday started like Friday finished, yep it was still raining. What should have been a ride out with scenic views over the Peak district. Turned out to spot the roadside hedge’s. Yes it was really a wet day. We hit lucky once and stopped at Lady Bower reservoir where I got a couple of photos.
So this lasted about 5 minutes before …….. yep you guessed it. More rain.
It was great to meet up with friends old and new.
Sunday comes and its time to pack up and head home, or in my case head north to Scotland. Will be there on Monday and hope to get some posts done has I travel around the coast over the next couple of weeks.
Thank you all for spending a little of your time here.
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