2012 : Aberdeen to Shetland

We drove the bikes to York so we could spend a couple of nights with my elderly and recently widowed mother. It also simplified the rail part of the journey as we could catch an East Coast HST to Aberdeen and back, these trains having sufficient capacity for our three bikes.  We set off from her house for the 15:51 departure. The train was very busy, and at Newcastle a bunch of Geordies working off-shore from Aberdeen teamed up with a loud group of young Scottish women, and became more annoying as they worked their way through their drink stash. We moved to a quieter coach at the first opportunity.

The weather was grey all the way, we arrived at 21:20 to mist and drizzle and rode to the SYHA hostel, a large old house. I spoke to a group of motorcyclists in the common room, when Rowan came down it transpired that he knew one of them, he was from Bangor. It wasn’t a good night’s sleep, several people came in after midnight and someone got up at 05:00, woken by their alarm. Time for us to get the holiday under way, this was our itinerary:

01: Mon 18th June     Aberdeen to Turriff          51 miles
02: Tue 19th June     Turriff to Elgin             52 miles
03: Wed 20th June     Elgin to Inverness           51 miles
04: Thu 21st June     Inverness to Rogart          60 miles
05: Fri 22nd June     Rogart to Tongue             49 miles
06: Sat 23rd June     Tongue to Gills              58 miles
07: Sun 24th June     Gills to Houton (Orkney)     40 miles
08: Mon 25th June     Houton to Stromness          26 miles
09: Tue 26th June     Ride from Stromness          37 miles
10: Wed 27th June     Stromness to Rackwick         5 miles
11: Thu 28th June     Rackwick to Kirkwall         25 miles
12: Fri 29th June     Rest day in Lerwick (Shetland)
13: Sat 30th June     Lerwick to Mid Yell          48 miles
14: Sun 1st July      Mid Yell to Saxa Vord        28 miles
15: Mon 2nd July      Saxa Vord to Mid Yell        31 miles
16: Tue 3rd July      Mid Yell to Walls            36 miles
17: Wed 4th July      Ride from Walls              22 miles
18: Thu 5th July      Walls to Lerwick             28 miles