Monday, August 13, 2012

Day 1 - Overloaded but happy

12/8/12 Day One
This is it! This is the beginning for real.

Perth Provost Elizabeth Grant
Perth Provost, Elizabeth Grant has been kind enough to meet me and send me on my way. She turns out to be a lovely lady and we instantly get on. I’m sure we could talk for hours about the politics of Scotland, the demolition of the ugly City hall and the future of Scotlands oil but alas we have to get down to some civic and planned duties. I present the Provost with a gift from the City of Perth Australia and she presents me with a similar message to take with me. 

 Liz wishes me well and I head over to the South Inch for some photographs. My son Steven is here to take some pictures and video. I bid him farewell and head for Ardlui further west.

When I finally settle down on the road, with all the gear checked, bags loaded, equipment fitted, camera housed, money in pocket and a full tank, I finally breath a short sigh of relief that I’m actually going, actually on this trip. It takes me another hour of twisty roads to improve my new and improved heavy loaded bike handling skills before I start to smile to myself that yes, I am actually on this trip. No more planning, wondering, worrying about the small things, this is happening.
I power out of a corner on the road from Callander and I’m presented with this amazing image of beauty.  I’m in a Glen of beautiful bright green, blue water glistening in the river alongside, the sun breaking through a dramatic and hazy Scottish summer sky It’s as if God was rewarding me for being here, for doing this thing, for choosing this bike, this road. I’m becoming aware of this feeling of euphoria, satisfaction that I’m doing the right thing. Forget work and worries, this is the right thing.

Every corner improves my confidence, the overweight luggage on the back startled me yesterday and had me worrying about stability, dropping the bike at slow speed, turning is a nightmare, but this road is taking all that away. The machine is perfect for this. I’m so glad I chose my Triumph for this trip. I wonder if I’ll still think the same in weeks to come.

I arrive at the Ardlui Hotel later that evening and sit for more than an hour in a state of total happiness and relaxation. I’ve never been able to meditate but I suspect the feeling is pretty close to this. Riding a wonderful motorbike through beautiful scenery and incredible roads of Scotland has to be one of the best things ever.

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