Thursday, August 9, 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012


The Massif were on the road again last week. Destination Orkney!
Aidan, Andy, Lyndsay, Bob, Brian, Faithier, Maw, Euan and I met at Aidan's Maw's hoose where we were seen off by HB and Dave.
After a quick pause to get Ben, who had somehow forgot his sleeping bag despite being packed for the previous three days, we set off to Ballater via Glenshee, an awesome road to ride both for scenery and twisty bits. It was a wee bit showery but was still nice and warm. Liam joined us just before the Forth Road Bridge and we carried on north, stopping for a bite to eat at the Glenshee Ski Lift.
The campsite was nearly full when we arrived, quite a contrast compared to when I had last visited with GHC. Luckily we had booked in so there was space for everyone. Big Smillie met up with us at the campsite and we headed out for some food and a beer in the Balmoral Bar.

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012
The Massif at Ballater.


Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012
Euan brought his Sex Panther. It works all the time, 60% of the time.



A video of the campsite.



Ben and Bob give a few words about the start of the trip.



Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012
In the Balmoral Bar


Winton Massif Raid the North 2012
Me and Ben cooking breakfast on our Swedish Army stoves.


The next day most of us cooked up a nice breakfast on the campsite while a few went into Ballater hunting a fry up. Liam said that the hotel was wanting £18 for a fry up. Eighteen fucking pounds. Luckily the local butcher cooked them up some bacon rolls for a couple of quid. They also bought some Irn Bru sausages! 
Our next destination was Brora, up the East Coast. We rode over the Lecht, another awesome road, through the Glenlivet Estate and up the coast road to Brora, stopping at Tiso in Inverness for some bits and bobs and some amazing mushroom soup. Liam and Smillie were only with us for the one night, but they still rode some of the way with us.
We stayed at the wee campsite in Brora rather than the caravan club site. The weather was pretty changable and everyone kept diving for cover when it was pissing down. After a few beers we went for a curry and watched a local lad pulling wheelies on his 125 before heading to Captain Crabb's, one of the best pubs we've been too. After a fucking great night out we headed back to the tents, Bob and I taking the road while Brian lead everyone else over the golf course and through a cow shit filled feild. And Faithir stopping for a shite behind a bush.

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012
Heading to Brora.

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012


Brora Wheelie Master.

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012
Brora campsite.



A video from Brora campsite.



Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012
Captain Crabbs.


Winton Massif Raid the North 2012
Irn Bru sausages for breakfast the morning after.


The next day we were heading for Orkney. Faithir and Maw were heading home today so we said goodbye to them and off we went. We'd booked the ferry for half one so we couldn't piss about too much. Ferg was meeting us at the ferry terminal, but Brian and I decided to meet up with him as we pass his front door on the way. Good job we did too. Ferg's XT had decided to have a wet fart which delayed him onto the later ferry while he swapped bikes with his Old Man, Beeg Bob. Beeg Bob's XT isn't as well adapted to touring as Ferg's bike, so we strapped Ferg's panniers on to my GS and arranged to meet him on Orkney. This is the Massif's second trip to Orkney, just like last time we got the Pentland Ferry from Gills Bay, its a fair bit cheaper than the other ferries. We were spending our first two nights camping at Stromness, a great wee campsite right by the sea with good facilities including a room with comfy seats, a television and internet access. Stromness itself is a great town to ride your bike through with its really narrow streets echoing the sound of the bikes. Both nights I had nice fish and chips from the local chippy and chilled out in the campsite at night with a few beers. During the day we were out on the bikes visiting the many sights around the island. I mostly went exploring with Ben and Ferg as we had visited the same things last time we were on Orkney. While at Stromness we visited Maeshowe Chambered Burial Cairn, a 5000 year old tomb where we had a guided tour. We went to the Orkney Brewery, where we got to try some of the beers and had a bite to eat after a tour of the brewery. The guy doing the tour convinced the three of us to take a sniff inside one of the fermentation vessels, the fumes hitting you was like a punch to the face and really brought tears to our eyes. We also treated ourselves to a bottle of Dark Island Reserve, one of the best beers I've ever tasted. Its expensive but a real treat. Its also 10% so it can blow your head off.
We skipped Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar as we had been to them before, but we did visit the archaeological dig a the Ness of Brodgar where they think they have found some stuff linking Maeshowe, the Stanes of Stenness (which we seen too) and the Ring of Brodgar. All pretty interesting stuff to us.

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012



Winton Massif Raid the North 2012
Sailing past the uninhabited Island of Stroma on the ferry.


Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012
Leaving our mark on the ferry.



On the ferry.



Winton Massif Raid the North 2012
We visited the Italian Chapel on the way to the campsite.


Churchill Barriers, Orkney.
We rode over the Churchill Barriers again, this photo is from our previous visit.


Stones of Stenness
Stanes of Stenness, photo from previous trip.


Skara Brae
We didn't visit Skara Brae this time but its worth going if you've not seen it before. Brian and Euan thought it was just a pile of old stones though.

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif Raid the North 2012


Winton Massif Raid the North 2012
Ferg arrives.


Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Dark Island Reserve.


Ness of Brodgar
Ness of Brodgar archaeological dig.



Orkney update from Ferg.


Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Orkney Brewery

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Tasting the malt. Yummy.

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Putting your nose in here.......

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
...will fuck you up.

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

View from Maeshowe
The view from Maeshowe. From left to right you have the Stanes of Stenness, the dig at the Ness of Brodgar then the Ring of Brodgar.



Orkney update from Ben.


RIMG0156Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Our accommodation for the next two nights on Orkney was the Youth Hostel in Kirkwall. The weather had changed a wee bit. It was still pretty warm, but the wind had picked up causing some carnage to Ferg's tent.
Despite the weather it didn't take us long to get our shit together and head over to Kirkwall. We dropped our stuff of in the hostel and picked up Ferg's girlfriend Lynne. We got a bite to eat in a wee cafe place and I had some Orkney patties, a mix of potato, mince, onion and pepper battered and deep fried. Probably not the most healthy meal but fucking tasty. We picked up some food and beers from the shops then headed back to the hostel for tea before heading out to the Auld Motor Hoose for more beers.
There were a few plans for the next day. The majority were going to Hoy to visit the Scappa Flow Museum, Ferg and Lynne were off to visit friends and Aidan and Brian were wanting to go for a ride around to explore more bits of the island. I was wanting to visit the distillery so Ferg, Lynne and I booked a tour for later in the day and I joined Aidan and Brian for a spin.
We ended up going to visit the Tomb of the Eagles where we got to handle some 5000 year old stone tools before having a look around the tomb itself. After stopping for some lunch at the Hoxa Tea Rooms we went for a look around the Hoxa Battery, the old defences and gun emplacements from WW2. It must have been pretty grim in there on a winters day.
I split from Aidan and Bri to go on our tour or the Highland Park Distillery with Ferg and Lynne. It was good to see round the distillery and taste and smell the difference in the Whisky depending on what barrel its been aged in. Back in the hostel it was steak for tea with Aidan's awesome pepper sauce before another night out in Kirkwall.

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Ferg's tent vs the wind.

Ferg's Tent vs The Wind the movie.

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Orkney patties and chips. Aidan went for a baked tattie with chips.

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
I can barely fit my fat ass through the entrance to Tomb of the Eagles

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Aidan going in.

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Two of the skulls found in the Tomb.

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
The 5000 year old tomb is in better condition that Aidan's hairy shit pipe.


Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
The Hoxa Battery

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Aidan and Brian on the Battery

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
At the Highland Park Distillery.

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
Ferg hooning past the distillery.

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012

Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
A good few quid in those barrels.
Winton Massif - Raid the North 2012
One of the more expensive bottles.

DSC_0440
St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall.


The next day we were heading back to the mainland. We had just set off on the ferry when we recieved the devastating news that our friend and Brian's father, Bobby "GHC" Fraser had passed away after battling cancer for several months.
Brian headed back to Kirkwall to fly home and Ferg stored his bike for him. After some discussion we decided to carry on to our last stop, Glencoe where Aaron met us in his Land Rover. We went to the Clachaig Inn had raised a glass to Bobby.
DSC_0454
Aaron in the Clachaig.

DSC_0447

DSC_0449
Grabbing some breakfast before we get the ferry.



Here's the Gopro video I made of our trip.




GHC and Faithir.
In Memory of Bobby "GHC" Fraser

8 comments:

  1. Condolences to Brian on the loss of his father.

    Having said that I must say it looks like you guys had an awesome time. Great pictures, as always and I liked all the video clips too.

    That wind (and rain) must be a bitch to ride in. I hate it when we are at the coast and the crosswinds are slamming us sideways. At least you got some sunshine too.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Motorbikes on pavements , you boys are worse than the ERC. ;) Good wee film mate .

    ReplyDelete
  3. You Scotch boys really know how to bore people to death. Why not go on holiday somewhere with bars and restaurants and people instead of in the outback? You like sheep that much? You disgust me. Try going on a proper holiday with the rest of civilisation and practice your table manners.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Equaliser HaterAugust 16, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    @the Equaliser. If we went on trips like that then we'd have to deal with pricks like you. No thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. An Orkney Blog - nae bad.
    Buts wherema Fudge ye radge?
    Nice T-Shirts though - must have been designed by a right handsome chap?

    ReplyDelete