We left the Habitat Bunkhouse in Ballanter after we made our own breakfast of cereal and milk (purchased the night before from the local Co Op) and headed for Aberdeen to visit Vince’s relative. Whilst there we met Derek and his Harris Hawk, Zeus. They are one of two falconers working in Scotland as part of a Seagull control program. The Harris Hawk ( who originate in Argentina and are purchased by the falconer at 26 weeks and then become food imprinted) just fly around and their presence has two effects, firstly if a Seagull is carrying an egg and it gets frightened the egg dies, and secondly if nesting the egg must be incubated constantly, if left for more than 30 min it will die. So the bird of prey just by flying around scares the Seagulls and helps control the population. It was very interesting to talk with Derek who told us it takes 10 years to become a master falconer and he has been doing it for 3 years, he has had Zeus for 1 year. Very cool!
We arrived in Aberdeen about 10.30am and left about 2.30pm heading south towards Edinburgh via Perth. Unfortunately the motorway did not pass through Perth itself so we didn’t stop off and the traffic for Edinburgh was so horrendous we decided to by pass it as well. As it was the A1 had a truck break down and it took us over 2 hours to travel just 8 miles…..very scary on a bike in such heavy traffic …. and testing of our patience as some drivers got so close they were almost touching my left leg….I gave him an Aussie one finger salute and told him he was an idiot!
We had intended to camp tonight for the first time, but by the time we arrived in Berwick Upon Tweed it was around 7.30pm and we were very hungry as all we had eaten all day since breakfast was a Mars Bar at a fuel stop ( more about that in the Ooops post) . So we eventually found a B&B at Castle Vale House, run by Margaret and Justin…who kindly gave us a reduced rate for the night (of 60 Pounds instead of 80) as we arrived so late. We took a walk along the river and found that most places were closed for food …it was around 8.15pm…but we eventually found an Indian place ….very expensive at around 45 pounds for two dishes and drinks and some papa dams ( which we thought were bing offered complimentary!) ….any port in a storm.
So all in all an up and down kind of day today!