Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Day 12 plus one......

After an early start, catching the Corran ferry at 8.45am, and a late arrival into Euston at around 10.45pm, the final day of our tour was a long one, even if most of it was sitting on trains!. After re-attaching panniers and for the first time on this tour, adding lights, we were ready to ride again.

The tour started as it finished with a ride through an eerily deserted central London, this time at night, and even quieter than our early morning ride the other way had been. Barely a car was seen as we rode right through the centre of town and down onto the Embankment, and pretty much every traffic light turned in our favour as we rode towards them....this is probably as enjoyable and safe as riding through London will ever get.

If you haven't tried it yet, its definitely worth a go.

The 16-plus miles from Euston to home was covered in barely over an hour, and I arrived back home a few minutes after midnight.

The tour in numbers :-

12 days of riding
559 miles
28,870 feet of climbing (not quite an Everest....)
1 puncture
2 tubes used fixing said puncture
3 attempts at fixing the same
5 days with no rain
5 different train journeys (2 of them unscheduled)
7 different overnight locations
8 ferry journeys (although on only 2 different crossings)
24 lochs ridden alongside loads of laughs and an infinite amount of enjoyment.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading our ramblings about our travels, and if you did......we would love to hear about yours!!! (I'm thinking of you Mike Reynell first up....cycling in Italy?....tell us about it!!).

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Day 12: Life in the Slow Lane

(with apologies to The Eagles).

Speaking of eagles, we saw an eagle yesterday on the long climb out of Lochaline.  It was wheeling and floating high above the high moorland.  Dave also spotted another otter in Loch Aline, playing at the end of the ferry slipway.

Corran ferry

Mini lighthouse at Ardguor

Today is our last day.  We had a ten-mile cycle and two ferries to get to Fort William,  just your average commute, along the quiet road we'd used three times already, the other side of Loch Linnhe.  After a sizeable breakfast, we set out at a cracking A Group pace until the first small incline, when our legs reminded us of the past few days, and we decided an Easy Riders pace was more appropriate.

By the way, as we set off from Corran we met a couple of guys who were just setting off to cycle the NC500 route. Corran is a weird place to start from, but never mind.  We mentioned that we'd done it in 2018, and they asked for advice for any sights to stop and visit, as they were "only" doing 100 miles a day.  They were staying at Lochcarron, Ullapool, Durness, Wick and Inverness, before heading back to Corran.  Our NC500 trip had twice as many stops.

Ben Nevis across the loch

We realised we had four miles to cycle in an hour, so we slowed down again.  As we rode, I was trying to capture the memories of this place: no stunning photo opputunities today, but the small things - the mossy crags, the little woods leading down to the shore, sun(!) sparkling off the water.  The salmon farm, with noisy pipes delivering food out to the salmon cages 24 hours a day, or so I assume.  A few goldfinches twittering and flitting along in front of us. The little white house with a field as front lawn, a wooded mountain as back garden.  And the friendly welcome in different ways from everyone we met.

Arriving at Camusnagaul, where we caught the ferry on our arrival at Fort William, was the end of our ride.  Unless... We dared not think of the consequences if the ferry didn't turn up.  Luckily, we didn't have to.  Fort William was a ten minute choppy ride on white horses across the loch.  We stocked up for the four hour Most Scenic Train Journey to Glasgow, and caught the train with a few minutes to spare.

It's a fabulous journey, but this is a cycling blog, so you'll have to look it up, or watch the TV programme.

Thank you for taking the time to read these blog posts, and for your encouraging comments, which were very much appreciated by Dave and I.  We're sorry that it wasn't possible for all four of us to come this time.  And thanks to Dave for taking the risk, being a great riding companion, and never complaining when we reached a closed cafe for elevenses.