Posts Tagged With: Scotland

Day 15: Glen Coe to Fort Augustus

Miles travelled: 53

Metres climbed: 384

Near misses: 2

We set off at a speedy pace hoping to keep Mummy warm after yesterday, which seemed to work! (Apparently you have to work hardest at the back – even though Alice and I have been taking a the headwind :))

After a quick coffee in Fort William we popped into Inverlochy Castle for a comfort break (unlike Mummy and me Alice is unable to use the bushes and needs a five star toilet to relieve herself on route ;)) It was a stunning setting though so we were glad to see it 🙂

We then stopped for a snack overlooking Loch Lochy… After I nearly fell into a pot hole the size of Oxford, but was rescued by a soft verge and nearby fence 🙂 Then for a few brief moments the sun broke through revealing the splendid scenery 🙂

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We were touched to receive two spontaneous donations… From Alice Forest,  Sheila Waters and Lyndsay the waitress… Perhaps an indication of how shattered we were looking 😉 Mummy was so hungry we had to supplement our snack with some of the chocolate Cordelia gave us a few days ago!!

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We then pushed on alongside the loch to Fort Augustus… When it wasn’t raining the view was mesmering 🙂

But after the drama of yesterday, and mummy nearly falling off her bike when her coat got caught in her rear wheel we were very relieved to reach Fort Augustus and the legendary Loch Ness in one piece!!

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Day 14: Loch Lomond to Glen Coe

Miles travelled: 54

Metres climbed: 760

Hours of torrential rain, wind and hail: 8

So far our experience of Scotland is that it is every bit as bleak as it is beautiful! The scenery certainly is stunning, it’s just that today we only got to glimpse it through sheets of rain and fog. Apparently the “real feel” temperature today was 2 degrees C, which was definitely a little colder than we’d planned for…

Today at was all about the stops! We planned our route around places where we could shelter from the elements… The first was the atmospheric Drovers Arms for the best coffee of the trip..

Then after a few more soggy hours we stopped at Tyndrum to defrost and refuel… The Real Food Cafe was fantastic – definitely set us up for the afternoon ahead 🙂 I certainly would like the recipe for their Lime Courgette Cake…

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Glen Coe didn’t seem as big a climb as we’d expected, but that was partly because we couldn’t see all that much… Nevertheless it was very satisfying to know that we have reached the Highlands and crossed Rannoch Moor…

It was colder than we’d realised and Mummy was almost hypothermic by the time we reached the Clachaig Inn and my feet were almost frostbitten (sorry for the gross picture!) 😦

image Fortunately a hit shower and a hearty dinner left us all feeling much better!!!

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Day 13: East Kilbride to Loch Lomond

Miles travelled: 45 metres climbed: not many… Weirdly, despite being a pretty short flat day, we all were struggling a but today… Maybe it was the after effects of our bumpy ride yesterday… And I suppose that navigating Glasgow made things a bit more interesting! imagewe stopped at Clarkston Cycle Centre to see if anything did need tightening on our bikes (which apparently it didn’t :)) but mummy did need a new tyre… In fact her inner tube was basically poking out – the guy in the shop couldn’t believe we hadn’t noticed! Oops!! Alice navigated excellently through Glasgow and we eventually found our way onto a cycle path that was actually signposted to Loch Lomond… image The path wasn’t as great as it looked, but was lovely in places…

After 35 miles we were all flagging, but were revived by a MASSIVE lunch alongside the loch… We considered accelerating things by flying the last few hundred miles…

But the plane seemed to be heavily guarded by swans so we got back on our bikes for the last 10 miles along side the loch and then had a quick swim before dinner and bed!! image image Unfortunately we did get a chance to try a deep fried mars bar… Not something I’ll ever be doing again!! Utterly gross is really the only way to describe it!! image

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Day 11: Ullswater to Moffat

Miles travelled: 70

Metres climbed: about 600

Bikes repaired: one (twice!)

Feeling all refreshed after our rest day and stuffed full of porridge we got our bikes from the garage where they had been locked only to find that Alice’s had a flat tyre 😦

After replacing the inner tube and inflating with a mini canister of compressed air it almost immediately deflated again… Possibly for the first time this trip, Alice wasn’t very happy! Luckily Philip, the kind gardener, came to our rescue and helped us replace the inner tube again… And fortunately this time it worked!! Not only did Philip fix our bikes, but yesterday he drove us to a nearby town for some emergency supplies (so that we didn’t have to cycle on our rest day) and on too of that he generously donated to support our challenge!! Philip we can’t thank you enough!!!

Alice was still a bit worried though, especially as her bike was also squeaking so we stopped at Halfords in Carlisle and the guys there kindly gave her bike a “once over” for free 🙂 it is so amazing and humbling how much kindness and generosity we are encountering every day!!

We were sad to leave the lakes, but consoled ourselves in the knowledge that hopefully we’ll be back before too long for the Windermere swim!

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We pushed on along a great road which followed the motorway, and pretty soon crossed into Scotland!! 🙂 it seems hard to believe we’ve made it this far…

We had a yummy coffee in the Old Toll Bar (literally next to the border!) to celebrate! It is amazing to think of all the couples who must have said their vows in Gretna for so many different reasons over the years.., eloping actually sounds quite romantic! 😉

After Gretna the road continued to follow alongside the motorway, but sadly the condition deteriorated so that it was a rather uncomfortable ride… Very bumpy!! And weirdly, although it looked like we were going down hill – a lot of effort seemed to be required to build up or maintain any speed… Very weird!!

We were very happy to make it to Moffat!! 🙂

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