Old Indians never die


The last promise or with the Cafe Racer through the Highlands (17.06. - 28.06. 2016)

First I want to thank my boys  in their girls, my sister in law Moni with her children and my friends Baerbel and Gernoth with their kids supporting me financially to make this trip come true.
And sorry for my bad English.

Let me explain briefly how it came about, pushing my old bike (in Germany we call the old beemer as a rubbercow –cow. Cause when you shift to a higher gear, the bike will lift the rear like an old cow standing up ) through the Scottish Highlands.

When I had to give the best pillion in the world the Left Hand in greeting for the last time, I promised her to ride into her beloved Scotland….


Loch Lomond - At the lake, which is celebrated by Runrig in their songs, to build a tower of stones. So that everyone can see that she was in Scotland. And for her to look once on the Isle of Skye over the Atlantic Ocean….

…. All this had me moved to ride to a country , where I would be traveling solo on lonely roads, far from home and with absolute certainty to get wet again and again.
Let me explain, it was my hardest ride, yet also equal to my best trip and I got a lot more than I have left there.

Well the old Indsman's not quite as naive. I had so far planned half a year in advance the trip, as I had booked the ferry and the Bed & Breakfast overnights. I have picked out routes and loaded on my old TomTom navigation ... I can not go with maps as an aging Indian because the eyesight is to bad for the short distance to the tank bag. My eyes plays many tricks and the roadmap then looks like a painting by Miro or sewing patterns from a fashion magazine .... But it is supposed to allegedly increase the anticipation enormous when one is preparing for a trip

Yes, the old airhead got new front and rear tires because my tires were already quite down and I was expecting about 4000 km (2500 miles) route ... ok, ok after the oil level I also have seen and even a filled half liter…

Oh and I bought in yet a new tank bag ... the old suitcase that I have with many years thought to have cast off the zipper. The seller at the accessories shop said when I asked him for a regular tank bag for the Scotland tour that probably such a tank bag would not be enough ... what nonsense. Everything does not fit in there, is superfluous or? Hey I drive with leather jeans and cowboy boots ... so enough pants and shoes. I've for every 3 days one fresh underpant, socks and a shirt.... Something to wash and the electronics stuff like USB supply for mobile phone, navigation and MP3 player.
After a silly experience anywhere in Germany on a beautiful Sunday with flat rear tires, are always 2 hoses and an air pump on the bike ... and my little kite to fly near the Atlantic still mounted at the bike.

The ferry is waiting


Then off to the Netherlands, the hottest city in the world (a song in Germany) .... but not for motorcyclists ... that's really the horror, just like along the Niederrhein (the last miles of the river Rhein  in Germany) - everywhere 70 kph (44 mph) and in the Netherlands 60 kph (37 mph). Since I do not drive the highways, I had to resort to the national roads ...


I've already mentioned once, I hate "Drempels"  ... and the secondary roads ... I think I invent in the Netherlands times signpost on the secondary routes. I think because Netherland is so small that there all familiar on their roads? Not me, and so I crossed once against and once across the rain alternated with the sun to Amsterdam and towards to Ijmuiden harbor and ferry..

One whispers in Scotland the fuel would be so expensive - is also true, I stopped shortly before the ferry again at a gas station and filled the fuel barrel. Speaking of fuel and Scotland ... I had to learn that there are many old wives' tales about the fuel supply in the Highlands ... in hindsight I suspect that it from those who were there and again want to go is told aware that others are deterred.
My experience is that after no more than 60-70 km (30-40 miles) somewhere a pump stands.

But back to the Netherlands ... to check-in I should go shortly after 15:00 ... just there were no signs and I know the check-ins from flying ... no ticket counter or something ... hm what now? Ahhhh some Scots on motorbikes, obviously on the way home ... came already from such a ferry that could know least. So let's back hung on the newfangled BMW 1200 GS and they were successful…


Done that beemer is securely lashed in the belly of the steel giant. Yes you have to do it by yourself, but it hanging lashing from the wall and there are steel cables on the ground and eyes, where you can tie up the motorcycle.


The crossing to Newcastle upon Tyne was very entertaining ... food was delicious and breakfast was plentiful. I would not book in advance, because on the ship there are some restaurants and you can also be fed for less. Eventually I found a bar where a bard played songs from the 70s and 80s. Just my world. Since sea conditions overnight was slightly rougher in the morning many passengers stood at the rail and fed the fish while I taste my scrambled eggs with salmon and enjoyed my pomegranate tea.
The Teletubbies

Finally land in sight ... England disregarded the Schengen Agreement and you have to by a passport control ... well is quick and the people are very friendly.
You get very fast similar driving on the left side and you do not realize that you are 50 years old and use the wrong side of the road :-) for the last 40 years and suddenly have to drive on the right side. Left around the roundabout traffic going great and the people on the island are able to drive it - unlike us Germans.

Then at the second roundabout after the ferry my navigation passed with a gentle jerk, holder and Navi spread on the street. A following local, drives directly over the holder and kicked the Navi to the curb stone… fortunately all routes and B & B addresses were listed there. But the Briton offers me his help and routed me to the bank, 5 miles away. Thanks to my colleague Horst, who put a navigation system on my mobile phone, the map of Scotland too and my routes also only a week ago. I had 100 times a day notice: Navigating with mobile phone is simply shit.

But at some point I stood in front of this beautiful sign in a beautiful landscape:


A great feeling to have arrived there where you want to go and where the actual journey begins. Yes the north of England and along Hadrian's Wall is delightful to ride and there are green hills with small streets.
In the Lowlands I found beautiful roads through a landscape that looks like the Teletubby Land ... just no Teletubbies, but sheeps ... everywhere sheeps and smallest streets with passing places. At one point I thought of a gas station, but Teletubbies probably need no gasoline. In the late afternoon I met two bikers and asked for the next gas station. They took me part of the way with, but then stopped at a cofeshop, I ran aside, given the advanced time and even distance to be covered.

The promise

With a full tank I went on to Glasgow and the beautiful Loch Lomond. There I want to build a tower of stone. Turned my Beemer to the shore and enjoyed the views.


Enough stones to build were also available. So I looked for a quiet place and remembered the years when I was still allowed to drive with a sociality. The warm sunbeams sends certainly Sabine from above.


Now can at least look her picture on this beautiful lake and I know she was always with me on the trip ... everyone who sees my bike, will notice that the rear footrests are always down ... her place up.

So I sat there a long time and pondered my life with Sabine and let happen the beautiful adventures revue while I had the songs of Runrig in my ear. Yes so many tears flowed in these beautiful Loch Lomond and it's true what they sing in the song:

And I'll be in Scotland afore ye.
But me and me true love
Will ne'er meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks O Loch Lomond..


After a brief small talk with five very kindly park rangers I should learn a next lesson ... after I was able to continue my journey after my Navis was out of order. After I drove 2 miles, I realized that lacks my BMW to drive. The engine turned up and the gear could be switched. My first thought that something at the joint of the gimbal was wrong ... so stop motorbike and check what it can be. The rear wheel spins freely although a gear was engaged - stupid. So off with the wheel and see what is the matter ....….


Since I had only two days previously mounted new tires, everything was easily disassembled with the hand tools.

Here was the culprit. The rivets of the drive flange were all broken, so that the drive flange has gone direction axle transmission and could no longer intervene in the holes of the wheel. Hurray, and this at a Saturday evening half past seven somewhere in Scotland and no Scotch Whiskey the next 5 miles.


After 5 minutes a very friendly man on a bicycle came and helped me to transport the wheel in his small garden shed workshop. We suggested the rivets from the hub and pierced the holes - in the absence of appropriate screws - on 6mm. Since we had distended just 6 screws up only every second rivet has been replaced, the remaining grab still in the holes and also drift with at. It has maintained and at home, I then replaced the remaining rivets by screws.


In this bower we could fix my bike. The woman of the house still brought us orange juice and we were talking about this beautiful country. When I asked how I was able to say thank you for his help, he replied just: "Have just fun in our country and remember us." Then he drove me to the motorbike and waited until I had all mounted. Here I want to again say thank you.

Almost forgotten…. Here is a picture of my route of the first day on the island


Off into the mountains

After a rich breakfast on the farm where I could spend the night, I made my way in fine rain to the north, always along the west coast.  By the way, I was allowed to graze my cow in the farmer's barn, and the farmer laughed at the yellow eartag on the cow. Remember, in Germany we call the old Beemers simply ‘cow’ . I then explained to her that here in Germany we call this bike as rubber-cow.

Leaving the lake behind I head halfway to the Isle of Skye the most famous bikestop in Scotland. The green welly stop at the A82 half-way to Fort William. It's worth a visit. There I really met kindly bikers and long talk over a cup of coffee on gasoline.


Then on to Fort William. But hey, if you ride there, do NOT cross the bridge at Loch Leven. Turn previously right towards Kinlochleven. You have then 16 km / 10 miles the best roller coaster on the finest asphalt and no traffic to Kinlochleven. And again 16 km / 10 miles on the other side of the lake back to the A82...


The landscape becomes more rugged and beautiful. One loch after another fly past one. I have met many motorbike riders from all over the world in various photo stops and chatted briefly.
When nearing Fort William my coffee from green welly stop forced into the green, I steered my bike to a small resting place where already two nice Englishmen sat. We chatted about the country and the people and agreed very quickly that it is just beautiful here.
They offered me to take a photo of me, the cow and the pond behind us. Of course, I'll take the offer and then I shoot the two in front their bikes.


At some point the Midlands become more and more jagged. A lonely sign told me that I had now arrived in the Highlands .... Actually, one could make new pictures every turn, but at some point one must also sometimes make some distance. My phone Navi visibly bugged me and finally I had found out how to tell the stupid thing, it is not always rotate the screen in the wrong direction.

Then come again those moments where everything is no preference and you are only jam-packed before the glory of our planet and you note how small and insignificant our problems are.


The cars were not a problem, willingly they always made where it was possible place, so that the cow has free spout. The traffic up there in the Highlands is completely relaxed and everyone is waving and smiling at you. I enjoy this, especially when I think of our German highways and the way we move in traffic.

There can be only one

After some left turn it was then before me, the Eilean Donan Castle... the Highlander castle ever. Of course, it was a duty to put the cow in position for the photo session. And since it was raining again, a welcome opportunity to eat a sandwich in the dry and drink a coffee... Really you should drink something else than the coffee in Scotland ... there is not really good coffee there.


It is only a stone's throw to the Isle of Skye. There, in the south of the island I had booked a hostel. Well, even old men can stay there. And best of all, it was a pub with Italian food next door.
I met three young law student from Bavaria. We drank until the bartender exclaimed to the last order and tested the best beer. This information should help me in the further days pleasantly. There are a lot of beers and only a few that really taste me.
At the end of the day when I wrote my travel book in the mobile phone, I let the route pass me over again.


I've met nice people

The next day I spent on the Isle of Skye. There is beautiful, it is a place where one wants to grow old. At breakfast, the cook, it meant too well with me. After a short chat about our bikes, he drives a rat Speedtriple with skull paint; he gave me the double amount of scrambled eggs with salmon. The real Scottish breakfast I cannot expect my palate in the morning ... something like seared sausage, scrambled eggs and fried black pudding and bacon plus ne ladleful white beans and some toast.

So go out on the bike. First I tooke the phone out of the hump, as it was the night to recharge. My adapter for UK power sockets refused miserably his service. So the battery of the airhead had to take over the charging.

The roads on Sky are really good to drive. An der Siligachen Bridge machte ich kurz Halt. This is where all the roads of the island meet, similar to Johanniskreuz in Rhineland-Palatinate Forest. But the stop is worth it.


The view from the bridge from the north shows a rich beautiful mountain. In Scotland the mountains call themselves all Ben blablabla


The mountain summits  here are all in the clouds. Now I know why the island is called "Isle of Skye". I'm so close to heaven out here. Tomorrow I should still feel this clearly. Following up to a notch to which a small river at the Lealt Falls over the cliffs plunging into the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the island.


The spectacle and the tourists leaving behind me, I turned to the west and enjoyed the ride over the Quiraing. Actually an unspectacular mountains pass, but a cool view from up there. What I liked better the road was subsequently.
A great single track road and no car far and wide.
Just me, the cow and very close to Sabine in heaven above.


This endless small road across the plateau led me into a small harbor town named Uig. There was fuel and a cup of hot coffee. But before this, the cow could gallop ahead. At the end of the road again offered another picture with uninterrupted views over the Atlantic Ocean and the town and harbor front.


Every now and then I have to put my tankbag aside, so I could make a picture of the cockpit and of Sabine in front of the dreamlike backdrop.

In Uig at the gas station the gas station attendant asked me, how old is my bike and what it is for a brand. We chatted about the further route on Skye and out of the corner of my eye I saw a CafeShop I then headed for. 

In front of the café was a young couple from Cambridge, as it turned out later. Both had nice scrambler bikes. I think she had a new Ducati scrambler in the olive green and he had a red one. When I took off my helmet, she asked what the lettering meant to the bensh. The line is from the song: Me and Bobby McGee by Kris Kristofferson: "I'd trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday To be holdin 'her body next to mine." I explained it to her and why I'm here. Then she took off her helmet, took off her jacket and hugged me. When she released me, she had tears in her eyes and wished me a lot of strength and "Have a safe Journey". This wish is for the drivers here in Scotland when they leave.

I met a Virginia woman in the café at the bar. She told me about her travels through the UK while I sipped my milk coffee and she sipped at her Guinness. I do not like the dark beer.
When I told her that I was born in the Black Forest and grew up near Stuttgart, lit her eyes. Her father was a US soldier stationed in Vaihingen and she grew up to the age of 9 years there. Yes, the Big Red One was stationed there. One of her wishes was to visit the Cannstatter Wasen (
Stuttgart Beer Festival), the Oktoberfest in Stuttgart, of which her father always enthused.

After the reinforcement and the dear conversations, it pulled me back into the street. It is also worthwhile to turn a small distance to the left or right.... well you have to go back the same tour. But hey, they did not have a street built in vain, either one of them lives there, or it is a place worth seeing. In this way I found many small fishing villages like this one here.


Back at the hostel and the pub I had to attach my mobile phone under the seathump to recharge. I decided the day after tomorrow to look for an adapter in Ullapool or to buy a USB charger for the Scottish sockets. In the pub I met the three students again and we told ourselves having a good blond lager beer and a chicken burger what we had experienced. Sometime late at night I lay down exhausted but satisfied in my bunk bed.


Close to Heaven

In the morning I noticed in my 8-man dormitory another couple still had slept… I do not at all noticed in the evening ... hmm was probably the lager. No matter, today the Applecross pass calls me. I'm looking forward to it to drive the highest mountain pass which is available up there.

On the approach to the pass I overtook a group of Harley drivers. We overtook always mutually, since I often stopped to take pictures. But the guys were fair and always allowed me to pass, even on small roads.


The view on a lot of fun on this day ... well not sooo much sun, but also no mosquitoes, yes so what. The premonition is that it is probably a little damp in the higher regions. And many serpentines further offered the following picture.


The Applecross is in the clouds … you can see here only the lower end of the mountain. There were many serpentines in the clouds and the single track road ... Zero visibility, the wind blew the water in the clouds across the vehicle over the pass. And the best at the top of the plateau could be seen very briefly, that the road was built on a kind of dam about 1 1/2 meters high. Already on the first turn at the descent I ran once again to the Harley group and had to find that the two last drivers could not drive a hairpin ... the descent was very tough because a passing at zero visibility was impossible.
We arrived at the Applecross Inn and had a cup of hot coffee and a hot dog. We chatted about the beauty of the west coast and it is a pity that the sun does not show up.


Since the guys still wanted lunch I continued alone, which was very dear to me. So I could go my own speed and do not always have to be careful about the slow drivers.
There is a fantastic backdrop behind every bend. If one is at a certain altitude, then the marshes with the wool grass and the heather are round the small and large pools.


Then again small great runs down to the lochs with views of small islands and of course a lot of salmon farms. And sheeps .... sheeps everywhere ....


Remembering bad days

After a short rest at Nanny's Cafe at Shieldaig on Loch Shildaig, the cupcakes there are really delicious, the trip continued to the Loch Ewe. Before I went to my B & B rooms I drove the few miles to the WW II Memorial Stone. Since I knew about this part of the 2nd World War, I had with my German license plates a queasy feeling in my stomach. Here sunken German submarines, the Scottish battleships, which had gathered in support of the Russian convoys in Loch Ewe.


I met an older Scotsman there, thinking he was a history teacher or something. In any case, we talked very long about the incidents there and at some point he asked me why I am interested as a foreigner. I told him, "Look, your grandfathers lie there on the ground, they were certainly good men. My grandfathers were the ones who sent them there; they were not bad men, it was the time of war. Look, it is also part of my history " He could understand that and we agreed that it is a miracle that we both can talk here without hate. Yes, we agreed that the only thing we can do for the men down there is to ensure that such stones do not have to be installed anymore
Then he recommended to visit the red beach at Loch Ewe. ... From there the British tried to drive in the distant past, the Scots from their land and deported to Nova Scotia in front of the coast of America. The recommendation I followed and I parked my cow on the beach of Loch Ewe and enjoyed the evening.


Three miles back towards Poolewe was my B & B room. Received by a very nice woman, we chatted about the reason of my trip, where I stayed already and that the starting point was Loch Lomond due to the Runrig song. She told that she sings in a choir the Gaelic songs among others also songs of Runrig. She said I should wait a short time and then came back with a CD. "On this are our songs, listen to you" she said and gave me the CD. When I told her that I do not have CD players left and in the room there is none, she just said: "Take the CD and when you listen it at home, then think of me at Loch Ewe". The people here always manage to knock me out of the slippers.

Slowly I begin to realize that I'm not alone even after Sabine’s death that people are interested in me and that it is good to share the ideas, so many miles away from home. I think in the few days I was never far away from home ... I was welcome everywhere and could feel at home.  It was just infinitely good to feel and experience.

Enough of the sentimental words, here is the path that I traveled that day.


Kites at the Atlantic

Today we go to Ullapool and further north ...… but first I want to indulge my hobby and to release my little 4-line kite into the sky and fly above the Atlantic. So after a delicious breakfast and some small talk about the art of gardening in England and Scotland, I drove my cow back to the red beach the previous evening. But the sand you could barely see because the tide was now there. This did not particularly bother my little kite. It made me really happy to play with my kite in the morning hours at the Loch Ewe.


Yes, the kite is a crazy idea of me, I've flown him in so many places and will probably continue to do it. So it‘s always in my luggage. On the bike, I had to rebuild it, since it with 2 meter wingspan is not exactly the optimum for a bike.
After an hour ago fun with the kite, scraped my cow with the hooves, probably had grazed too much of the good seaweed. In short, we were back on the road again ...


I had not even dared to dream of such roads before the trip, but it’s really exist, the freedom on two wheels. Again and again I had to stop, because after many a curve again and again I found so lovely spots of this earth.


Even the view from the other side of the road to the bike was breathtakingly beautiful. I keep telling myself, it can not be more beautiful, and after he next corner, "yes, it can be".


Slowly my stomach announced that it was time to find something nutritious. My stupid phone navigation made what it wanted, and I could not estimate how far it will be up to Ullapool. Then I met Lars from the “Tourenfahrer” bike magazine, who together with a colleague made pictures for a story about touring bikes in Scotland. He said that Ullapool would not quite half an hour away


Come to Milan in Italy

In Ullapool, I feed the cow first. A cash machine, I have found, and even get a free game . On the corner opposite the snack bar I also saw a hardware store, which according to advertising also sells power supplies and such a stuff. There I got my USB charger for the Scottish plug sockets and a USB cable, since mine had also run out of order.

Then go to the snack bar …. First: Fish & chips do not taste, but they have a certain nutritional value. Well the fish was ok, but not the fries, the Belgians can do that much better.

At dinner I met a couple, he came from Italy and she from Ecuador. We talked about everything. While he crushed her food because she had spasticity in her hands, she talked about their land on the other side of the pond. I enjoyed the moment and Marco and Mary invited me to a pizza at the biker meeting in Milan ... I should only contact them.


An hour later I found a small bay with a beautiful sandy beach. The water was gorgeous blue, but far too cold for a professing wimps. When I was standing at the water's edge, I looked around and saw my trail in the sand and fell into sadness, because there was no trace next to mine. These moments came very often on the trip, and I was very glad about the Scottish rain, because he washed the tears from my eyes.


Trying to get rid of Coke again, I stopped at a small parking lot in a forest. Less then 10 meters next to the machine, I found this beautiful creek. The brown water from the moor plastered over the rock. A welcome place to unwind the soul. I had plenty of time and do not rush. I only had to be at my B & B hosts in the evening. 


I passed far-out farms, and many signs warned the lambs on the road. Yes, the old sheep are no longer disturbed by the vehicles which pass by, but the lambs were trying to reach the other side of the road to Mama just before me.


In the evening half past ten, looking out of my window at the cow, who got her deserved sleep. Up here in the north it will only be a few hours dark even before midnight you can still see very well. I was able to spend the night by an old couple who were also rode a motorcycle for a very long time.

Here is the route I took.


On to the north coast
At breakfast the host told me that I had a very nice route, which winds up and down along the coast like a roller coaster. He said, you need good brakes if you want to be there quickly. I replied to him: "I've bad breaks, but I trust in god". Then the man laughed beside me, there arrived an English couple in the evening, and said: "We trust in god too, but we have breaks".
And so I drove my cow on this endless right left up and down winding narrow road.
But always pay attention to the lambs.


On such roads, the biker's heart hits faster, or not?
Somehow a small, and admittedly for the Highlands very modern gas station appeared before me. It belongs to the fishing shop and I spontaneously decided to stock up on fuel fill.


The woman at the checkout wanted to know whether my fringes on the suede jacket did not flutter too loudly in the wind. But I could safely deny that.
I then came across one of the many plateaus where there were small and large lakes on either side of the road. Again and again the sight of this landscape overwhelmed me.


Somewhere I turned just once right and came upon the smallest streets in a beautiful bay. I could park my bike in front of the water and let my mind run free on a park bench.  But don’t ask me where I am bent there …. I do not remember.


Opposite were dark rocks a steep coast where birds breed.


Children and old men

And in the parking lot next to my Beemer was a camper and a long-haired hippie was busy cleaning his cooking utensils. Somehow he looked at my bike and we came into the conversation when I came back from the bench. He liked the old motorcycles better than the new ones. Then his pregnant wife greeted me and she told me that it was her last trip for this two and they were looking forward to her baby. I replied that it is exactly the opposite as a reason for my trip. As they made their journey to expect a new life, I made the journey to say goodbye to an old life. After I had wished the future mother all the best for her and her child, I asked the young man of his wife and child to be a good father. With these words and a compulsory "have a safe journey", I directed my cow back north.

My stomach signaled that he was very interested in something edible and so I looked for a suitable place.


I found it on the edge of the road in the form of an old school, which was converted to the restaurant. The name fits perfectly to my old cow and even with the food I was not disappointed.

In the afternoon, somewhere near Tongue, I saw a little sign for a gas station. I drove into the small town and found however only a mom-and-pop store. The house was built on a slope and the farm consists of lot of potholes …. No, before the shop was an old dispenser, no with digital display, no, one with pointers. We had such a thing at father's gas station as a diesel pump during my childhood. But where the motorcycle parked in front of the gas pump? I was sure the bike would fall in the sloops on the slope. Still pondering, I read a sign written with an old trembling hand: „ no selfservice, please ring the bell“ "Damn, how do I get to the stupid bell without getting off?" But an old man with a long white beard came up to me and smiled. We first held a little chat, so in the way, "How old is the motorcycle?" "Is ne old BMW, is not it?" And where I come from and where I want to go today. After a few minutes, even more motorcycles come to refuel and the old man said then: "open the tank and let us refuel, the others still want to refuel". When he had finished fueled he wrote the liter and the amount of a small block, like the waiters in the restaurant have, and told me to park and pay for my purchase at the small market. So nice can be a tank stop.


Again and again I passed the many bays of the Atlantic. The people here live from fish farming, sheep farming and tourism. They live in a beautiful area, but they also have to work hard for their livelihood.

One time or another I stopped at old, almost dilapidated cemeteries and read some grave inscriptions. The graves are partly from the 17th century. they have carved into the stone how the dormant lost his life. You can read a lot about illnesses and murder, but also about death sentences and piracy. But there are also stones saying that the human being died of a natural death due to his age.


It is already a strange atmosphere in such an old cemetery and up there the houses are not torn down they remain as a witness until the time to fall.


Shortly before my destination, the Armadale House, I again made a small break on a lighthouse and the cow still granted some rest.


Time for tea

The Armadale House is run by a very nice old lady. You have to imagine it like a mansion in a Rosamunde Pilcher film flickering on the TV on Sunday evening. She welcomed me warmly and after she showed me my room, we sat in her kitchen with a cup of tea and biscuits. Just like here, I was able to get to know the hospitality and the warmth of the people everywhere. I feel slowly that people in this beautiful country will remember me far more than the grandiose landscape.

I showed the old lady what route I had traveled that day and what I could experience


No power

The next morning it was raining, it had probably been raining all night and the temperatures were slightly in the basement. Think about the 16 degrees were the peak values that day. So the rain jacket had to come back. When I had loaded my luggage, I tried to start the cow. I had any idea that the rain and my open funnel the carburettor could not very well together. The BMW I parked so stupid that the rain fell into the funnel and the bike did not want to start. Well anyway is the end of the battery and I stood there, high in the north and no more electricity. The other guests, two young Swiss women and a young couple from Germany had no booster cable in the rental vehicles. Even the lady of the house had none at his disposal. But she called throughout the neighborhood in vain for such cables. Ok but then called the workshop in the 40 miles distant Tongue. The man asked for the payment and I explained that I had to pay it out of my own pocket. In the 45 minutes I had to wait for him, I sat back in the kitchen with the tea.

At some point the mechanic came and we bridged the battery of the cow, which acknowledged this directly with a willing cold start. I asked for a jumper cable. He told me that the gas station in the next town had such cables I bought them at the tank stop, put it in the tank bag packed and a can of “Bradex easy start” to it. Fortunately, I have not needed the cables and the Bradex until today. But I had 60 £  less in pocket.

Vegetable soup is great

In the drizzle and at fresh temperatures I drove eastwards, always along the northern coast to the end of the mainland when one can speak of an island as a mainland. John o 'Groats was my aim. The last house of Scotland.


Here I was just at the edge of the British Isles and in the cold rain. But we both, the cow and I did it. I'm proud of us. Somehow, if you go as far as you can, you build up a certain "relationship" to your vehicle, for me it is just the BMW. I talk with the bike and I imagine that it is synonymous with me talking. So I could put my cow calmly on the parking lot to the many other motorcycles. So I could look at the place in peace.


As yet very fresh and cool as was said during the trip, I enjoyed the sight of the cafes in the background. As I entered I smelled a delicious scent and spoke to the service on it. It was a vegetable soup that sprayed the scent and I was even allowed to test it. Yummy! ... "A plate of it please", "big or small?" "Great, as big as it comes and toast, brown toast please".

I am convinced that this vegetable soup is one of the best soups I have ever tasted. It not only warmed the stomach and the fingers but also the soul. It did not matter, that the coffee once again not among the best, which are so sold on the globe.


Tip: Test the vegetables soup when you have driven your bike into this corner of the earth, is worth it.

Since my sister-in-law will be 70 years old next week - oh man I've grown old - I thought it would be a good choice to buy a nice, Scottish souvenir. Yes, even here there are tourist souvenirs excessive prices ... but what is it, hey, I'm a tourist and want to buy such a nonsense. The cow I even gave her a sticker from John o 'Groats for her hump. Think she can shine in front of the other bikes, which are driven by their drivers in the sunshine to the next cafe and home again.


Drunk in the pub

On the road to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands was actually nothing ... lots of fertile land now and then a castle or a fort, but the road was not worth mentioning. So I was able to do what bikers really like to do, speeding over the slopes with excessive speed. Must also be times, right?

Somehow I passed a castle and thought, why not even look at the building? But the entrance fees were too much for me. So I looked at the castle from the outside and got to know a nice smart Jaguarpilot. He told me his sports car not without pride and let me hear the rich sound. This are beautiful cars built by the British.


Then on to Inverness, this time I booked an apartment in the middle of the city, actually in Nairn, just east of Inverness.
As the old lady at the Armadale House told me that you could see dolphins in the wild, I marched then in the evening to the harbor. Of course, ebb and no dolphins. On the way home I came past a pub and gave me a lager beer. After several lagers and more Coronas I was glad when the host then said: "last order, boys". But one after anonther. I sat next to a man in work-clothes, who, as it turned out, was British and moved to Nairn.. We chatted about everything under the sun and drank a few beers together. Suddenly there was a Scotsman next to me, who looked at my patch from the Ice Hockey Club Bad Liebenzell as a fan patch of the Chicago Blackhawks: "Blackhawks - yea !!! "And thumbs up, he grinned at me. I said the same, and suddenly there were three beers on the counter. It was a really cool evening in the pub and we laughed a lot and talked. Until the landlord just called to the last round.

Late at night in the apartment I looked at the route, which lay behind me.


No Flipper, no Nessi but Cajun Chicken

The landlord explained to me that I would see with absolute certainty in Rosemarkie on the Black Isle the dolphins. Actually I wanted to go to Nessi ... hey Scotland without a visit to the Loch Ness, this is a no go, because you to go there go. Well, everyone but not me. I thought it was more likely to see dolphins than seeing Nessi, so I went to the Black Isle. Very nice roads there and when I arrived in Rosemarkie - low tide and no dolphins again.


Frightened by the absence of Flipper and his friends, I continued my journey towards Dundee. My Navi brilliantly once again tremendously and it steered me three times through the city of Inverness. That's so annoying me totally. I just drove in the desired direction and hoped that the Navi resets.

I found beautiful routes and somewhere in the Cairngorms National Park at a stop I met like-minded Scots. A couple drove an old green Norton through the National Park. For coffee and cake - the cakes tastes very delicious in Scotland, is recommendable - as everywhere gasoline was talked. Old motorbikes and crazy routes were the theme. I liked the fact that the two were on the road with only one machine, is better to be with the passenger bind. Like me and Sabine for many years.


The Midlands are good to drive. Although one can find everywhere the Singel Track Roads, but the settlement becomes denser and the hills flatter. Nevertheless, there are also beautiful views of the rivers which still have the typical brown water.


When I arrived in Dundee, I thought I was able to stock up on my supplies of food and I could pack a couple of drink cans in the tanker bag, but the shops were already closed. So I put my bike on any parking lot, hoping that my tank bag is still there when I come back.
To my delight, I found a small Italian bar with the best cappuccino in all of Scotland. I said this to the young landlord, and he took it with pleasure. Oh, the tank bag was still on the cow.


It started again on the last 5 km to very much rain.

At the Seaside House I had my room and the landlady only meant that they would have turned on the heater and I can dry my clothes. Yes, and I wanted to watch the footballgame, it was the European football championship,  she told me where I could eat and watch football.


I found the restaurant and ordered a Cajun Chicken ... I had no idea that there was such a sharp panade at all. But it was delicious and around worlds better than fish & chips. Meanwhile my clothes were drying and the weather got better again.


An evening among friends

I was shocked by the hostess at breakfast. I wanted to "just" toast and jam or marmalade have my Persian pomegranate tea I brought myself. Even after the fourth toast she asked again if I really wanted to eat anything. A sweet breakfast is probably not in Scotland with the meals. :-)

The route from Dundee to Perth is boring. Although I could sometimes from the wide road down to secondary roads, but they all ended up somewhere on the stupid A90 to Perth. When I arrived I grabbed fuel and landed well at the local bikertreff. It came driving more and more members of the Tribe of Glasgow and the Blue Angels Scotland. I talked for a long time with some of them and they asked me if I had driven the North500. No, I replied the Scotland 4000 and reaped giddy looks when they looked at my old bike. One of the guys had a book by Guy Martin in the tankbag. I told him how to get to know him at the 1/8 mile race at Glemseck 101 / Germany. As I swung myself into the saddle, they wanted me again the known "have a safe journey".

South of Perth, the landscape became more beautiful and the streets were smaller and more cuddly. I found lovely bridges like here at Bridge of Earn.


When I stopped here to take photos, I posed my Caferacer across the street, so I got the river in the picture. It was Sunday afternoon and as Murphy explained it, hit just the moment a fancy new Land Rover, but could not pass. He stood still, and to my astonishment greeted me kindly. Of course, I would like to return. He waited until I had my photos taken and I thank him and he saluted goodbye again back. Imagine the bridge would be in Germany ...


Here in the Midlands you can go wonderful tours. I was on the road towards Saint Andrews. But this beautiful town on the North Sea coast was kind of crowded. On the central mile I did not even get a place where my cow could rest and I got a coffee.


With these splendid views, you like to spend your Sunday afternoons in the saddle or? And since St. Andrews was so crowded I was looking for somewhere else for a cozy street cafe and then I find anything in Cupar.


Freshly strengthened I found still further smallest side streets, which were thanks to a good covering very good to drive. Coincidence then directed me to Springfield and I had to laughter and send a picture to my boys. WhatsApp also works in the UK.


Then it came as it had to, on the last 30 kilometers that I was wet again. But the Frenchwoman with whom I had my B & B room took it easy that I stood there like a drowned poodle.

Since again a German football game is announced and the Frenchwoman had no TV, she told me the way to the only pub in the village. In the pub it was really loud. I think Scots can not be quiet in the pub. :-) I stood at the counter and drank my accustomed Tennets.


Next to me stood a can with dog biscuits and a two old dogs begging again and again. Somehow it was like in a large living room. Before the game I got my dinner ... the fish was delicious, but the chips ... got some farmers for his pigs.


When I cheered for the team loudly, three men were standing next to me and asked me if I was German. Then they congratulated me on our great team. But I can not do anything for the boys to play so well..
We chatted all night about football and the Brexit and also about bikes. One introduced me to his whole family and asked what I was on the way. I showed him a picture of my BMW. He smiled and said he also has a German boxer. Then he showed me his red Porsche 911 Carrera. to be allowed The evening was totally relaxed and I enjoyed spending this evening as among old friends.

I hope tomorrow is dry, because tomorrow I have a sporting stint back to the ferry.

Here is the route I took.


Hury up

The morning was really nice and it was hard for me to go home. Since my way actually led across Edinburgh, this tried to avoid. At the same time, I strayed along the coast in the direction of Dunbar


Although it was fun to cross the coastal road, but I had the 15:00 clock check-in in mind. So then I went reluctantly to the A2 to the south. Endless truck columns had to be overtaken and the cow ran like clockwork. Actually, I thought I was coming with the last £ at the gas station to the ferry, but no, just before the ferry, it was another £ 20 pull a little gasoline.

In Newcastel the signs to the ferry as bad as in Amsterdam .... In a strange way, however, I landed in a parking lot where many bikes were waiting for embarkation. A nice young couple from Plauen / Germany on their XS400 Caferacern stood behind me and we revelated in the memories of the lonely Highlands. In front of me two girls from Belgium with modern


The check-in was actually very fast and we were allowed without a long wait for the ship. Only there was not as comfortable as on the way out. In three rows the bikes stood and only to one side was a steel cable ... one had to "somewhere" a fastening point for the laid belts. Also no one came who controlled our hustle and bustle. And the worst, you could almost never move between the motorbikes. Everywhere criss-cross straps ...


I'll feel relieved when it's over and I finally could leave the loader room and enter my bunk. Quickly thrown the luggage on the bed, the leather jeans exchanged for another jeans. Then get on the deck and get fresh air. The loader room was very stuffy, hot and loud.


Farewell to the island and hoping on a quiet crossing. To the exit from the harbor we waved an old fortress to us ... now the sea has us under control.


On deck, I sat directly in a café and tapped the experiences of the day into my travel book. I then switched my last pound notes into iced tea. Also I found again a nice bar someone sang to the guitar the old songs of Simon and Garfunkel or the Beatles.


The Netherlands and its secondary routes

At first I took a tour of the deck to get fresh air and enjoyed the silence.


I spent the evening in the bar with a Dutch couple who had explored Scotland by rail. They liked it very much, and she told her that he had given her the trip because she had a very heavy heart attack. I was happy for her and I then told my story. So we could understand each other very well.

At some point, however, I fell into my bunk and let myself be rocked by the waves.


The next morning, before breakfast, I wanted to know how it is to take a shower on a boat ... what can I say, it’ ok.

Down from the ferry I wanted to avoid the highways and thought I could do it without Navi ... well, I thought at least. At some point I thought that the direction of Den Haag is slightly wrong and Utrecht would be the right direction.
Driven to the nearest petrol station and bought a map. With a pencil line between the place where I was and Harscheid (my Hometown)  ... hmm I need to go over Gauda and Eindhoven to Aachen - from there I know myself.
The 350 planned kilometers at the end reaches a little bit more than 500. In the Netherlands there were various ferries across the rivers, like this one over the river Maas.


In Aachen I drove the cow through Simmerath into the Eifel County. Of course not without having ordered a cola at the Biker Ranch. It was strange to sit here after the splendid journey and the nice acquaintances, and no one likes to talk to me.
Here is the last section of my trip:


After more than 4500 km I was back home happy, the cow was a bit of a wound, but it was all repairable.

I am glad that I could fulfill my promise and on the journey, the heaviest so far for me, but also for me very much to take with me.

Before I went to my house, I went on to Sabine and laid a stone to her, which I brought from her Loch Lomond to her grave.


The sun was shining and a light breeze was blowing when I left the cemetery. I know she was pleased about it and sent me the sunbeam in the face.

I hope not to have bored you

The Mohawk

18.02.2017 Addendum:

Today I was finally able to say thank you to Hughie and Rosie Allan, who helped me on the first evening at Loch Lomond to repair my bike. A little parcel will say Thanks. Jane from the Shandon Farm, had determined the address and sent it to me by e-mail.

Thanks Jane