Route: 446km, 277mi (GPS track)
Today we started without breakfast. Instead we had it on a parking lot near Loch Luichart. The next stop was castle Eilean Donan (GPS waypoint EILEAN). Manfred and Uwe didn't want to spend the money for a visit. But Torsten and I decided that it doesn't make sense to drive all the way to Scotland and then not visit a single castle because of money reasons. So Torsten and I went in and Manfred and Uwe stayed out. The clan's room and the kitchen were the most interesting rooms. The clan's room is still in use and it's prohibited to take pictures. The kitchen was built up like a snapshot from former times. Even the correct sounds were played at different places. For example the fire or the sound of washing the dishes. This nice idea made everything even more real. Guess which persons are real in the first picture.
When we came out one and a half hour later, Manfred seemed to be very pissed. I said nothing and waited whether he would complain. And yes, he did. I simply told him that nobody had forced him to wait. He could have placed a little notice on our bikes and left. Would have been no problem for me. I had already mentioned several times that we didn't have to go everywhere together. Furthermore I told him that this probably wouldn't be the last visit of something today. Those clarifying words were neccessary. He got it. He was focussing too much on driving in my eyes.
We continued to Isle of Skye. The guide book said that rain was guaranteed there. Rain? None! We want our money back! The sun was shining all day. Lucky me! We went north on the eastern side of Isle of Skye and passed Old Man of Storr (second picture, GPS waypoint STORR). At the parking lot at Kilt Rock Waterfall we had lunch (GPS waypoint KILTRO). At the northern end of the island, Torsten and I visited the Museum of Island Life (third picture, GPS waypoint ISLIFE). Manfred and Uwe again stayed outside. The museum gave a very good impression of what life was like here a hundred years ago. It consisted simply of working for one's basic needs for living. But it was for sure less complicated than today. At that time, everybody really knew what they were working for.
Unfortunately, it was too late to visit the Piping Centre in Boreraig. So we went south to leave the Isle of Skye again. We passed the Cuillin Hills (fifth picture) which probably will be sold to an American by the local lord, because he could not afford the maintenance of his castle any more. To an American - a sad story! Hearing that, I decided not to complain about high entry fees for the castles any more.
We left Isle of Skye. We soon saw the proof of lessons learned from our discussions about driving and sightseeing: Torsten and I decided to drive back to Beaully, whereas Manfred and Uwe drove first to Durness and then to Beaully - quite a distance. Well, it was their own decision and they certainly saw a few more nice spots than Torsten and me.
On our way back to Beaully, Torsten and I switched our motorcycles. Uah, the African Twin is really a high motorcycle compared to my Triumph Sprint. And the handlebar is so near to the body - I had to get used to that. Finally, I decided that the Sprint is the better motorcycle for me - the right decision back in 1995.
Back in Beauly (GPS waypoint BEAULY), Torsten and I looked for a restaurant. We were sick of all the self-cooking in front of the tent every evening. We found one and really got a big meal. We sent a short message to Manfred's mobile phone telling him where they can find us once they came back to Beaully. They found us later, but unfortunately then didn't get anything to eat because the kitchen had closed already. We found a Chinese snack bar for them.
The last picture shows the typical Scottish asphalt. It has perfect grip but it's also a real tyre eater. You will read more about it in the last pages of this tour diary.