Words by Chris Millar:
Itching for a small adventure, last weekend Haz and I took a couple days off work. We borrowed some kit from friendly YesTribers, packed up our bicycles and caught the overnight Caledonian Sleeper to Inverness. Fresh off the train, we followed a series of brilliantly signposted interlinking cycle routes, meandering our way through the Highlands, two national parks, countless wee villages down to the Central Belt of Scotland.
However, as with all good adventures, things didn't always go to plan. On the first evening we were prepped and ready to cook dinner over the fire. Wrapping our potatoes, onions, sausages, beans and corn in tinfoil it seemed as though we were in for a feast. Alas, the Scottish summer weather had other plans. Wildcamping in horizontal rain, with damp fire wood, was proving a small challenge and it looked like we were in for a cold and hungry night. Fortunately, and out of nowhere, (as so often seems to be the case on adventures) the kindness of strangers shone through. The generosity of a local gentleman who gave us some firelighters and a loaf of bread was just what we needed to get the fire going, cook, toast marshmallows (very important) and keep warm. Bliss.
Waking with the sun the next morning, and even with the various potions and lotions people lent us, we failed to fight off the formidable Scottish midges - we must've been just too tasty to resist! Itchy, annoying, maybe even slightly maddening, even the midges proved to be no match for just how stunned we were by the beauty of the lochs and glens! Leaving midges behind, we set off as quickly as we could pursuing freedom on two wheels.
Wildcamping by the sea brought even more enjoyment. After a change in course, we landed in Burntisland for a surprise spot of seal spotting, a tasty fish & chips and a few wee whiskies (as is tradition) before falling asleep listening to the sound of crashing waves.
Trips like these just open our eyes to the fact that there are really special places right here on our doorstep. You don't need bags of money, you don't need to travel to as far as the moon and if you ask nicely, someone is sure to help kit you out. Adventure is out there - all you need to do is go find it!