Lossiemouth and nearby Elgin were still on my mind due to an earlier tour, mainly because of two things: At the end of April I once got a B&B room there only due to considerable telephonic persistence, and there is a RAF base in Lossiemouth, from where fighter planes take off regularly and frequently. Both memories are in direct connection with each other.

When I wanted to stay in the region at that time - without prior planning or even booking since it was in early April - was just an international military exercise at the airport and a species I had never seen before, the so-called Planespotter, had come over the area. Their passion is aroused by the photography of airplanes, whereby the collector's instinct here is probably the most important ("I don't have F-40 yet, do you want to swap?"). You shouldn't mock the judgment of other hobbyists when you spend much of your free time hitting a small white ball somewhere, just to go after it and hit it again, but it seemed strange to me, but remember the worried sheep and their strategy. We'll come back to the planes later.

Today's stage was special in that my faithful, blue companion Horst had become somewhat uneasy in the gearbox, and my limited ability to fix it. However, the plan for the day was a relatively simple and not too long section, the weather was fantastic and I could get a good breakfast in the small shop directly at the harbour in Nairn. But I just have to smile when I think how I found the way to this café, which was directly opposite to the camping site, no, the "Holiday Park", by a 10-minute bicycle tour. I guess I was a little bit taken away from the sleepless night, because otherwise I can't explain why I didn't choose the 30-second footpath over the bridge, just because it was signposted for pedestrians only. If I had thought about it, I probably would have come up with a creative solution. Pushing, for example.

I don't remember that the daily activity would have become remarkably more challenging due to the malfunctioning gearshift. But my photo collection suggests that I must have been in quite good spirits: I reduced the collection of luggage items that I would have taken with me unnecessarily by one element. I released the small tripod that I had packed in order to occasionally take action photos of myself in breathtaking places, from its textile prison. Well, I must leave the breathtaking scenery and heroic speed to the viewer's imagination, but I just don't dare tell the tripod that it was completely useless. Hence:

Then I can still remember that I was overcome by a sporting ambition during this stage. A few kilometres before my day's finish, two cyclists turned off the main road to my way. They were in chat mode and just rolled along, but on a road bike it's still faster than moving my load transporter. But not with me, not today, not here. I saw the chance to catch up with them. So I was pedalling heavily to pick up speed. They were only maybe 300 metres away from me. In fact, I noticed that I was getting a little closer after every turn. And then I could actually catch up with them. It's a bit embarrassing that I needed such a show-off to confirm the performance of my legs on such a tour, but it was just a unique opportunity... so I finally rolled between the two of them. In order to give this hussar ride (a phrase that I remember from countless Tour de France transmissions and which seems absolutely appropriate to me here) at least some objective reason, I asked the obviously local people whether there would be a bicycle shop in the village. After a little conversation and the exchange of further courtesies, I tried to look as relaxed as possible when I started again to drive ahead of them. My mental state must have been really special that day. Or maybe it was the expectation of the martial explosiveness I was confronted with a few hundred meters later.

At first I could not classify the strange sound. Then I noticed strange lanterns along the way, standing in the middle of the field, and I remembered: These lights illuminate the take-off and landing corridor and thus the pilots of the fighter jets in the hopefully lucky attempt to get their bolides in the air or back on the ground. And indeed some jets were about to take off. Unfortunately I was a bit too slow - a planespotter doesn't seem to be in me -, but if you look very closely, you can see a point at the end of the grey cloud. This is an airplane. It's hard to believe what noise this little grey dot causes, but I would be able to convince myself of it today.

Behind the next curve there was already the next reason to take the phone out of the holder to take a picture. What I first and for a long time thought was the tent camp of the military exercise, which was obviously taking place again in view of the many starting airplanes, was then, when I took a closer look only similar: It was a tent camp for pigs. My agricultural experience is really limited, but I had never seen anything like that before. It actually looked quite comfortable, from the perspective of a cycling camper.

Shortly afterwards the bike tour was finished for today. A little surprise was waiting for me, when I had to pay 22 € per night for my small tent for the camping site in Lossiemouth, which was not only right next to the golf course (good!), but also directly under the start area of the fighter planes (much, much less good!). Considering that the place was almost empty and that there were considerable traces of use during the summer season, it was an amazing amount. Well, the choice was small and I didn't feel like going to the village anymore to look for a B&B. I wanted to squeeze another round of golf into the day, but I'll tell you about that in the next article.

My proud steel stallion held out bravely and even took the victory in a race - which nobody but me really considered a race. But as I see myself on this journey in Don Quixot-esk tradition anyway... so what? Therefore and because the day was soaked with fuel and adrenaline anyway because of the proximity to the top guns, there is the Dom Torretto Award, because: "Ask any racer, any real racer. It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning's winning."