10 July 2008

Getting The Abbey Habit

Our BMW Motorbike Club National rally was held at Kelso, Scotland in 2005 the Reivers Rally. We had blazing hot sunshine over the August Bank Holiday weekend, though the journey up from Back of Beyond (some 350 miles) was made in torrential downpours and thunderstorms.

When you travel by bike, there is a limit to how much you can carry, and we were camping as well so as well as clothes, I had a tent, sleeping bag etc all on the bike; thank heavens for hard luggage.

We stopped at a travelodge just outside of Durham on the first day, after having travelled up on the east coast, stopping for a break and a cup of well earned hot chocolate at Scarborough. To my regret though we saw Whitby in the distance, we didn't go closer to it and I would like to go back and visit one day.

It was a great rally and we had time to go out and about, so we visited Kelso, Jedburgh, Dryburgh and Melrose Abbeys while we stayed at Kelso, we stopped at Scott's view and although it was a hazy, misty sort of day you get the picture as it is very beautiful. Another day we walked up to Floors Castle and did the tourist thing. I remember having a great piece of cake there :-). On the day that the rally broke up, the August Bank Holiday (England) we travelled across country to Newton Stewart where we were going to stay bed and breakfasting at a small place just on the edge of town.

We stopped for a picture of the bikes at the Megget reservoir, the road was very quiet and we didn't meet very much traffic on the way to Newton Stewart.

The owner knew we were on motorbikes so it was no surprise when he showed us to our rooms and suggested where we might like to visit and take the bikes along roads we might not have found otherwise.

Certainly we had plans to take the coast road all the way round to the Mull of Galloway on one day, but we had planned to visit some more abbeys in Scotland before we had to leave.

Dundrennan, Glenluce and Sweetheart abbey joined our ever growing list of places we visited and it is strange how peaceful they are even though many of them are in ruins. Along with the abbeys we managed to get visits in to Culzean and Caerlaverlock castles, the book shops in Wigtown, take the Queen's road across the Galloway Forest and stop at the Grey Mare falls for this stunning picture.

The day we went to the Mull of Galloway was the day before we were leaving and we had the most stunning sunshine of all the week, it was positively baking and dressed in all our bike gear it was unpleasant when we stopped.

We rode through a herd of cattle, some with calves at foot, and though they looked at us they left us alone as we rode up to the lighthouse.

As you can see, there was hardly a cloud in the sky, and from the top you could see the Isle of Man, the Cumbrian coast and I thought we could see the tip of Ireland but it was hazier out to sea.

We stopped at Port Patrick for an evening meal, as it was unlikely that we would get back to Newton Stewart before dark, and in any case had heard good things about the food there. This is a memorial of the disaster of 1953 when the crew and passengers of the Princess Victoria were lost at sea.

I took an amazing photo of the sunset which I had written about earlier, but I also took this one earlier in the evening of a rainbow above the harbour.

My main reason for posting this is at the end of August we have another National Rally to go to in the Cotswolds but though there will be plenty of things to do and see I don't think anything will match the sheer beauty of this particular holiday.


Sucharita Sarkar said...

What a lovely trip that was. loved your jottings and the photos, too. In India, we grow up on a diet of British literature, and so, though I have never visited UK, many of the names are familiar and the scenes are played out in the imagination.

Elaine said...

Oh, Sage, you have brought back so many memories for me with these posts. I lived for many years in Jedburgh, and later for many years in Dumfries and Galloway.

All these places are missed, although we do sometimes go back to see some of them.....

Sage said...

@Sucharita - if you have a specific area you would like information on let me know and I will try and do a post around that area if I have the information.

@Elaine - It was my first trip to that area, I had been to the highlands and to Edinburgh many times but not to the west coast and was astounded as to how beautiful it was and full of such interesting places.

Glad you both liked it.