15 Saturday, 28.6., Inverness - Buckie, 118 km
From Inverness the route leads inland into a hilly farmland with
forests and small rivers. There is nearly no traffic. So we now have
one of those ancient landscapes but a quite normal as we are used at
Finally we reach the town Nairn and have a photo of a narrow bridge.
Approaching the coast again we visit Brodie Castle, one of those
British castles. The following village Dyke has a
nice church and
an old graveyard. The gardens behind the houses are picturesque as
In the botany and at the shore of the rivers we see large fields of the
(Giant Hogweed). This plant is a controversial subject for
because it is not member of the native flora. It was once imported from
Caucasus mountains and now lurks to displace local plants at their
Near the town Forres there is one of these cute small bridges again
Bridge). Thereafter I get lost for a while - passing Forres -
at the keyword "Mill of Grange" find back to the
cycle path. The sun
shines bright and we have beautiful colours again. At the town Elgin
the route is adventurous along the river and in the outskirts difficult
We then have an old rail bridge crossing the mouth of the River
And on the other side of the river there is a fine rest place at an
airfield. It is interesting to observe how the natur re-conquers the
and concrete surfaces. A roebuck jumps out of the bush and
back into it again.
The last section for today is along the coast in the evening sun. I
that this area must be touristic, but there are no B&B signs
The Hotel in the center of the town of Buckie is announced for sale.
I find the Old Coach House Hotel where I can stay.
Of course we have
a festival again: "Lost Weekend" or so.
My final walk is soon over
while so many youngsters stroll around and crie and shout. There is
to do "at home": a shave and laundry.
The night is somewhat noisy from the disputes of the seagulls, which
seem to have trouble with each other. But don't bother, this is the
of a coastal town.
16 Sunday, 29.6., Buckie - Tarves, 115 km
We will pass a couple of scenic coastal towns today. They have nice
like Portessie, Findochty or Portknockie.
Within the cliffs
there is a golf course (Cullen). There are two golfers just at the
drive and the first
one tries to hit the ball but only a hollow sound comes up and the ball
20 m or so ahead. The second player does a better work. Like Tiger
he strikes the ball away and I neither see it fly nor fall. Strange
I better continue my tour and pass a pretty rail viaduct.
We return inland to farmland and in the village Fordyce
there are some
old things like the ruin of a church and ancient gravestones. At Portsoy
we return to the coast, there is a festival at the harbour today. One
has to pay an entrance fee to come in there. I only want to go for a
and so they let me in cost free. Thankyou!
At Banff we leave the coast and ride up the valley of the River
Deveron. The next town is Turiff, but I
don't remember details,
may be the path was just along the river. At the village Maud
have a new attraction: the route leads on the former railtrack of the Formatine
and Buchan Way Sometimes a rough gravel, but mostly a good
The only drawbacks are the tricky barriers to keep out the motorized
It is hard to lift the loaden bike up to knee height all the time at
Some miles later the pleasure ends and in the fields I get lost,
a sign to turn off. As I notice my mistake I go back assisted by the
direction of the river Ythan, but there were 4
miles in vain. Then I feel
a desire for an accommodation and ask here and there in the village Tarves.
They only advise me to go to the next village named Pitmedden,
is a hotel. I will never get there! You know why? OK, just at the road
crossing A920) there is a sign: Farmhouse B&B.
I meet a friendly
lady there and my usual demand "Can I stay here overnight?" is replied:
you can". The dog named Cate is so happy on me as
if I am an old friend.
In the evening I cycle to Pitmedden, have a look at the hotel and even
an open shop on Sunday where I can buy some food and phone up at home.
Today we can use the railtrack of the Buchan Way once again and this
in the outskirts of Aberdeen. It is a great pleasure to cycle like
Sometimes a flock of rabbits runs ahead which comfortably
live in the
slopes. After I reach the metropolis of Aberdeen the situation changes.
am the rabbit myself. So I feel at busy crossings and roundabouts. Such
big town with the roaring dense traffic is an awful difference to the
of the farmland or coastal areas. I fight my way into the city and just
the tourist information. This is important for I need a new Sustrans
"Edinburgh to Aberdeen" (though I will go the opposite direction). And
get the map. "So many people buy this map" the clerk says. "I hope so"
17 Monday, 30.6., Tarves - Arbroath, 142 km
Now let us cross the Victoria Bridge and leave the
town along the
harbour. At the lighthouse and the Nigg Bay we are
for our own again.
And there is a fine route along the cliffs of the coast. In Portlethen
we turn inland and pass a stone circle with funny signs (Beware Dogs in
The route zigzags for a while (up and down as well) and finally we
the scenic town Stonehaven. Up above the town there
is a beautiful
From now on I choose: the main road (A92) if this is nearer to the
the cycle route otherwise. On the main road we reach a fabulous speed
I tell you, that we enjoy a proper tailwind once again?). At Inverbervie
we must leave the coast anyway because the continuation of the route
be mastered by unloaded all terrain bikes. But I see "Four Men on a
and shortly ask for a photo and before they really know - click - the
is done. "A nice place here" I say and hear something like "If you sit
twenty years?". And I hurry up back into the real world.
This is the town Montrose with a dense traffic as
Over a bridge we reach more quiet channels again. This is the last
for today and I monotonically ride ahead.I pass the ruin of the Red
this looks like the head of a horse. At Arbroath
there is a Nature Trail which leads to the
promenade. There seem to be some smokehouses,
a speciality of this town? ("Smokie"
- haddock smoked over embers using a technique that is traditional to
the area..., try Google). But at first I must
find an accommodation.
Three times in vain: no room for a single. At last in the
The Pend, looking like a backpacker's pension, I get
a tiny room.
The greatest problem is the bike, but finally the chief gets the idea
deposit it at a nearby pub.
For dinner I cannot get profit of the announced smokies. Let's have
fish'n chips from the takeaway - once for ever. In my room I consume
stuff with bare hands, no one should watch me at this activity.
The greatest place of interest at Arbroath seem to be the ruins of the
At breakfast the chief asks me if I had been at the village Auchmithie
nearby, the nicest spot of the coast near and far. I have not been
- he even offers to bring me there. Well - you cannot see everything
time is money - I prefer to go on south.
18 Thursday, 1.7., Arbroath - Edinburgh, 136 km
I ride to Monifieth on the main road (A930), have a
look at the Broughty
Castle and then ride on the promenade along the Firth
of Tay. We
can avoid to get into the large town Dundee and
end under the road
bridge across the Tay. After some time I find the elevator for
baby carriages and bicycles. A fine facility! Pedestrians and The
vehicles can use a path in the middle of the bridge, which is longer
2 km - the longest river bridge in Britain. On the right hand side we
the Tay rail bridge, and there is some history about this bridge.
In my early youth I heard about it and felt spooky. There is a ballad
Theodor Fontane (I don't know if an English translation exists), and
begins: "When will we three meet again...". At the other side of the
there is a signpost about the background: in the year 1879 the bridge
during a storm and a train with about 70 passengers pitched into the
No survivors. Today the remaining fundaments of the old bridge are
still to be seen.
We get the feeling to begin a new section of our tour. But it is not
to go up and down, sometimes with nice views across the river Tay. At Newburgh
we go inland, the weather is dull and we have few colours. On lonesome
we surround the hills of the West Lomond mountains.
The hills are
not higher than 500 m but are hidden by clouds. At Kinross
Loch Leven, a historic place, but we don't see much of it.
Another summit must be passed, this is easy to perform and then we use
favourite old rail track for a while. Eventually we see a large bridge
front, but it lasts a while until we are guided through Dunfermline
and other towns. So it is a great moment to enter th Forth
Bridge. This is somewhat shorter than 2 km and as it was
built in 1964
it was the longest suspension bridge in Europe. To the left we see the Forth
Rail Bridge, a huge framework bridge which is very scenic and
my imaginations of the River Kway Bridge.
We have crossed the Firth of Forth and now reach the town Queensferry.
There is enough time to master the last 20 km to Edinburgh.
is well signed and never leads into the traffic (another rail track
At last I intend to end at the next B&B available. And this is
nice one near the Haymarket: Glenerne, 4 Hampton Terrace.
house, old furniture and large portraits everywhere. I get a large room
a bathroom aside. 15 minutes ago I was tired and exhausted,
now I lie
in the warm bath-tub and I think: "Life is wonderful".
Just on the other side of the road there is a Japanese restaurant. But
am too lazy or too tightfisted: I enjoy my bag-food and look out of the
into a wonderful gardenscene in the evening sun.
From my lodging I reach the center of Edinburgh, Princess
and so on within some minutes. The cyclist is invited to have a
the doubledecker busses for they use the same carriage ways. At a
light it happens to me that there is a bus to the left and another to
And then they shut the gap like tongues or scissors. I somehow stay
alife but from now
on use the pedestrian's pavement.
19 Wednesday, 2.7., Edinburgh - Kelso, 137 km
As usual I don't like a big town and look for the crossing of the cycle
along an arterial road. In vein! But I can tell you, that there are
of Guesthouses, B&Bs and private Hotels. But I must go back to
the city and at the Tevot Place I recognize where I
am. Then I get
lost for another time - forget about it. May be, one hour later I face
small tunnel of the rail track, where I am right and the tour may start.
For a while on the track things are fine. But then the track is closed
a diversion route recommended. So we still toddle around in the
until we reach the free botany. This means to cross the River
and climb up the Moorfoot Hills. The views to the
coast and the town of
Edinburgh are stunning and we get up easily. Behind a bend there is the
A long green valley opens and a 40 km/h downhill road without using the
the pedals follows. No trees at all, some brown areas of heather which
to blossom in red.
At a bridge I have a rest and see my favourite Monkey Flowers again. Up
the slope there is a lonesome house, may be the Garvald Lodge.
the road stays to lead straight ahead, somewhat uphill at first but
all the way down to the Leithen Water and the
touristic town Innerleithen.
Here we reach the river Tweed and will follow him
until his mouth.
This part of the Tweed valley remembers at the landscape of the German
mountain ranges. The river Tweed soon gets wide and we come to the
Galashiels and Melrose. As usual
I will have rushed through
ignoring the famous Melrose Abbey (1136), may be
there was just a
downhill or the wind pushed me along. Then after a gate we have the
ourselves. At the village Newton St. Boswells we
cross another spectacular
suspension bridge (Dryburgh Bridge).
If you read my End-to-End report you know I have a foible for the most
telephone box. Here is another one and I use it for a call at home.
I look for an accommodation first, but today I say: "...you find a
everywhere...". May be I am wrong today with this statement. Just a
moment later I have a severe blackout. I climb up
a 12% hill, ride 1 km ahead and then suppose to be wrong. I go back the
way, read the signs - no, I was right. So up the 12% hill a second
And a friendly man in his garden says "Hello" for the third time.
Farmland and lonesome farm buildings. Once I see an individual, an old
man with a plastic bag as luggage. He looks in his map and doesn't
me. So I rush along but cannot report something about this tramp or
he was. Soon we reach the town Kelso and while I
look for an accommodation
it starts to rain.
We have my favourite situation again as I told you before. They all
"full", "booked", "no vacancies". At last I enter "The Queens
This was restored until last week and so there are no bookings in
I can check in "just in time" - as the chief says. And don't forget: we
the "Jim Clark Memorial Rally". Jim Clark was born around here, he was
1968 on the Hockenheimring during an unimportant race.
For dinner I have seen a Pizza-Take-Away. I go there and order a
Pizza 10 inches diameter or so. During the waiting time I throw a
to the Kelso Abbey, the meadows of the river Tweed and the entrance to
park of Floors Castle. Then I hurry back with the
quickly along the chief who just checks in another guest. And in my
I consume the pizza aided by my pocket knife and a spoon - works well
Behind the hotel there is a Porsche jacked upon a trailer. May be he
in "just in time" as well.
5. Kelso/Berwick - York/Hull
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