Well four weeks today and we will be packing for our dream trip to The Rhineland. Such an exciting time to be going together on our big red machine to a country that holds dear to my heart. So many miles in France together, taking wonderful summer holidays with the children, now this is our time. Our first European trip together alone on the bike. We are going to Germany and the Magic Bike Rally in Rudesheim. These next few weeks will be the exciting ones planning for Rudesheim on The Harley-Davidson®.
We received our stickers for our numberplate this week. Every other day something else happens or arrives and brings some excitement. Turn on the computer and have a look at social media and brighten up our evening. Seeing the progress of the rally preparations.
We have our cabin booked on the overnight ferry there and back. Hoping to get good sailings and not choppy seas. Already we have sought out The Harley-Davidson® dealerships. They are nearby to the fine little house staying there the 10 days we are away. The dealerships in Wiesbaden and Frankfurt looks fabulous, so looking forward to walking through their doors.
All in the planning for Rudesheim on The Harley-Davidson®
As long as I have a notebook and pen and a camera packed I will be equipped for our holiday. I will leave the bike prep to Steve, I know the bike will be in safe hands with Steve. Its going in for a service, MOT and new tyres the run up before we go. Essentially Passports, insurance, registration document etc is all in hand. Clothes as always we won’t have much clothing with us as our web address says ‘Travelling Light UK and Beyond’. My feed is getting posted this week in good time. Most importantly it will arrive at our holiday destination, our hostess kindly said the boxes of feed and be stored till we arrive.
It’s feel good Friday I am riding pillion on our beloved Fattie. Heading for Elginhaugh Farm to meet up with a group of friends for a leisurely ride on motorcycles. Most of us became biking chums at at Dunedin Chapter Scotland HOG #9083. It is the end of the working week, the sun is shining with warm temperatures, we are in our beautiful country Scotland, the restrictions are easing and we are riding Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. What a great way to wind down on a Friday night. The suggestion for our regular weekly run is an evening bike ride to Eyemouth.
We congregate in the car park, have a seat at one of the outdoor tables. I sit down by Deke and we blethered about our trip to London and his adventures with his new controls on his bike. The waitress comes and takes orders or those who want a drink, although my feed is on, the temperature is fairly hot and I take advantage and get a soft drink. As the rest of our friends arrive I take advantage of sitting without all my protective gear on in the heat. Everyone is here and we are ready for the off, I put on my jacket and helmet. Switch on the Sena Communication Kit. Enabling me to talk to Steve on our bike ride to Eyemouth. And what a journey it was.
A trip down the city bypass
We head onto the Edinburgh city bypass for a very short distance and turn off at the junction heading for the A68 signposted Jedburgh. The most direct and quickest way to Eyemouth is straight down the A1 however we are riding bikes and its Feel Good Friday. We have beautiful roads in Scotland shame not to use them.
As the group of us ride up the A68 in convoy, we climb uphill and away from the beautiful view of Edinburgh, we turn left at the signpost for Haddington on the A6093. The lush green verges, tall hedges and stunning rolling farm fields. Fabulous scenery to ride along to after a difficult week. As we approached our home village Pencaitland, the only set of lights at the bridge changed to red, giving us a few seconds to stop, all bunch together and take a breath.
At the end of the village we took a right hand turn towards Gifford, and headed up the winding road . We headed up and drove through East Saltoun, the road to Gifford, riding along the most stunning scenery, beautiful trees overhanging the road. We took the scenic route to Spott, driving through Papple and Stenton and onto Spott. As we approached Spott at the roadside there is a witches stone. Spott plays host to the last executions of the Scottish witch hunts of the 17th and 18th centuries when several alleged witches were executed at Spott Loan in October 1705. As we arrived at the roundabout we took the A1 and headed for Eyemouth.
And onto the A1……
The ride down the A1 was fairly fast on the two lane 70 mile per hour road. Although the cool air was a welcome breeze on this very warm evening. As we approached the sign for Eyemouth we turned left and drove into the small Berwickshire town. This fine town is only 5 miles from the English border. It boasts a working harbour; fishing still takes place and has been doing so since the 13th century. Tourists visit the harbour to see the seals. With its location the small town makes a lovely holiday destination, it was evidently busy the Friday evening we arrived.
When we parked up the bikes there were 32 people queued outside the fish and chip take away. Some of us went to the Indian restaurant, others bought a pizza, burger or kebab out of a different take away business. They were very busy too. Others had a pack up with them. All in all there was food for all.
Me being me I needed to go to the loo, all that soft drinks, my peg feed running, my bladder thought it was about to explode. I found a local and asked if there were public toilets. They pointed me in the right direction. Not far from where we were parked. I toddled to the loos. Open, clean, fresh paper, etc, excellent.
After food and a blether, it was time to go home. It was decided it would be straight up the A1 home.
Staying in Boggs Holdings, Pencaitland it didn’t take long to get home.
Where are we going today then? Not only one of our favourite beauty spots, but one of the most scenic drives; St Mary’s Loch. Living in the country is a blessing and I never tire of the single lane roads, winding turns, humps and bumps giving the tummy a thrill when driving certain speeds. Reminding me of my childhood in Glenshee when my Father would drive the car over such similar roads, he would say to my sister and I close your eyes girls know what was in front, Hazel and I would say in unison bumpy bumpy whee …… and no street lights to be seen, for me utter paradise.
Surrounded by beautiful countryside and not seeing a person, shop, house or a car for miles or hours. The beauty and tranquility of our surroundings brought the most fantastic memories flooding back. Such wonderful thoughts and recollection of amazing trips with our sons, paddling our feet in the water and building a dam. As I planned our trip to St Mary’s Loch and two reservoirs.
Our first destination for the evening drive from our home in Sunny Boggs Holdings, Pencaitland, East Lothian was St Mary’s Loch in the Scottish Borders. Accompanying Steve in the Mini rather than us driving our Harley-Davidson® is always a delight for our happy labradors. Our labs are always a welcoming addition to any trip. They were excited and eager. Bella is a beautiful golden lady, gentle and very loyal and loving. Husband Buddy, a fox red Labrador is my ever so handsome assistance dog. He is an amazing lad. If he got his way he would never leave my side.
Location of Beauty
St Mary’s Loch is a location of beauty. The drive is pleasant regardless which way you are coming from, either Edinburgh, or down south. The loch is the largest natural loch in the Scottish Borders, its 5km long and 1km wide. It lies on the south side of the A708 between Selkirk and Moffat and is only 45 miles from Edinburgh, well worth the drive. The loch was created by glacial action during the last ice age. Why is the loch called St Mary’s? There was once a church dedicated to St Mary which once stood on its northern shore. Unfortunately only the burial grounds are now visible.
St Mary’s loch is fed by Megget Reservoir. The reservoir in the valley in Ettrick Forest in the beautiful Scottish Borders. The 259 hectares reservoir is held back by the largest earth dam in Scotland. The reservoir collects water from the Tweedsmuir hills.
A firm favourite with all
The drive to the loch was such a pleasant one, filling the car with the sound of our singing voices at the top of our voices, the dogs slanting their heads from one side to the other. Glancing at us, and I’m not too sure if they could speak if they would say “come on give us more” or would say “for goodness sake Mother, give it a rest, our ears are bleeding”. Driving through Innerleithen with the infamous ice-cream shop had our dogs slavering in the car. I swear they know every place that has possible food stops. Labradors would eat non stop……
They look out the window and you know they remember every last stop and treat they had the last time they were in the car. As we drove through Innerleithen and passed the ice-cream shop they got excited in anticipation, thinking we should stop at the shop and treat them to a cone. No such luck, shop was closed. Buddy’s face fell like a sulking child getting the wrong toy. However the elation when we opened the boot when we stopped and they got out into the open space.
They ran about 10 yards, both of them came right back to me. Buddy gave me one almighty slobbery kiss so hard on the lips he almost knocked me over. Their way of saying we love you guys. You could see the happiness on their faces. buddy my ever so handsome Fox Red Labrador and Bella, Golden Labrador, she is sensitive. Both dogs are very loving.
Megget and Talla Reservoirs
St Mary’s Loch and Megget Reservoir are super area and firm favourite with us to either drive the Harley-Davidson® or take the dogs. Most certainly a place to favour walking in the evening with the dogs, not a person in sight. So easy to park, peace and tranquillity. Only sound to be heard was the birds.
After a walk, cycle or drive, St Mary’s Loch is a scenic place to sit and rest. There is a fabulous cafe opposite the loch, you can park right beside it. Food is excellent, and fills the belly of many a biker. They serve a lovely cup of coffee with cake. Delicious sandwiches, homemade macaroni, curry are on the menu. Food is good and prices are extremely reasonable.
After sitting by the loch, I reluctantly left the scene of beauty and headed toward Megget Reservoir. On the road from the loch to the reservoir it is narrow and somewhat uneven. Let’s say I felt the bumps in the road and was glad it was a very quiet evening and we didn’t pass anyone coming the other way. It is a fairly steep incline to get up to the reservoir, the landscape scenery is one of beauty. The road gets a tad hairy at times and you have to remember what goes up usually comes down. Lets just say we were going slow enough to take in the stunning scenery and manage to take photographs without stopping and getting out. Once we arrived at the Reservoir we took in what was on offer and boy it did not disappoint. The labradors enjoyed running around too.
Heading home… ice cream at Innerleithen on the way
We grudgingly took our seats and made our way on the beautiful scenic five and a half mile journey to Talla Reservoir, only one mile from Tweedsmuir in The Scottish Borders. Opened in 1905, Tala Reservoir is an earth-work dam fed by Talla water. It is supplemented by water from the Fruit Reservoir nearby. To help bring in materials for the Reservoir construction the Talla Railway was built.
If you have the time take a journey to either St Mary’s Loch and have a cuppa or enjoy one of the reservoirs. We managed the three of them in an evening. Had a wonderful relaxing time. Recharged the batteries. Took some photographs, enjoyed the peace and quiet.
…..Finally ice cream in Innerleithen
The ice cream shop at Innerleithen is Caldwell’s Homemade Ice Cream. You can find them at 88 High Street, Innerleithen. They have a fabulous array of homemade flavours. They do vegan for those that has such requirements. Tastes amazing, in my opinion be hard pushed not to satisfy anyone that likes ice cream. I most definitely give Caldwell’s 5 stars. Hoping they are hoping the shop is open the next time we are driving through Innerleithen and we can stop and buy some.
Above is Bella and Buddy. Sadly since taking this journey my beloved Buddy has passed way. Wife Bella is doing well. Loves her walks and journeys with Mum and Dad. When we are away she stays with Sally at Sals Pals. Could not ask for a better place for her to be looked after.