Stats for day:
- 92 miles, just over six and a half hours – less embarrassing average speed of a shade under 14mph
- Total ascent 3,780 feet (yesterday was 4,770 feet by the way – turned out to be user error rather than the Garmin)
- Calories consumed – 5,005, more than made up for by feast in evening
- Saddle sore status: 2 – no worse than yesterday really
- Flies ingested: 1, plus an alarming near miss with a dragon fly
- Motorist altercations: about 20, 18 of these on the last 20 miles on the A82
Much easier day today, despite the extra few miles. Yesterday’s wind had gone away, and although we had light rain on and off through the day, we’ll settle for that if it means no wind. We fairly flew along for 50 miles to our lunch stop in Dingwall.
The scenery gets more and more spectacular, one of today’s highlights being the climb out of Beauly towards Drumnadrochit - cutting the corner formed by the coast road. The climb up was a long steady pull, with great views out over the western end of the Moray Firth, followed by a few miles through woods and moorland. The descent into Drumnadrochit was a prolonged 15% gradient with some eye-watering speeds reached. Half way down we passed Steffi driving up the hill looking for us - we didn’t stop!
While the scenery gets better, the standard of driving gets worse. The drivers we came across yesterday were as courteous as you could imagine. They would patiently wait for us in passing places, sometimes for about a minute given the laboured progress we were making battling into the wind. Fair to say that people aren’t in a hurry up in the far north of Scotland. Here’s hoping the arrival of Tesco superstores doesn’t change that. Today it was back to usual, with “vigorous remonstration” needed more than once. There was one near miss (inches away) - the driver actually apologised - made a change!
The final stretch from Drumnadrochit to Fort Augustus along the banks of Loch Ness looks like it should be flat on the map. Turns out to be a series of 150 foot ascents and descents, not quite the Pepsi Max rollercoaster style of the coast at the top of Scotland (or Devon/Cornwall), but enough to round off a long day in the saddle.
We’re staying the night in Morag’s Lodge, a nicely appointed hostel on the side of a precipitous slope (we had a nice few yards pedalling to get up there!). Steffi, Cara and I are in a family room, but Charles is sharing in a dorm. Let’s hope Herr Schinken hasn’t followed us down from Crask Inn to be Charles’ roommate.
To view pictures of Day Two click here