Total mileage: 78
Terrain: Undulating landscape with heavy rain and heavy holiday traffic
After a very relaxing evening in the warmth of the hotel and a decent restaurant, the following day was again wet and windy. We loaded up our bikes that we had stashed in the security of the landlady’s back garden and went on our merry way.
The exit to Oban was an uphill campaign for the first few miles, much like the morning we left Launceston. However, the weather was far less friendly as the rain once again began to fall. Although we had put the unfortunate escapades of the previous day behind us, the roads were thick with holiday traffic, most of which was impatient and pushy. Our route took us up along the coast and then inland to Fort William. Considering we had had the luxury of quite roads since heading away from Dumfries with the exception of around Ayr, this was an unwelcome return of congestion.
Fort William was abuzz with holiday makers and outdoor types. We settled down for a spot of brunch after our early start. The food was great and began to warm us up once again. We even had the chance to send a couple of texts as there was some reception for a change.
Before we headed out of town, Pete decided it was high time that he invested in a new waterproof jacket. This proved to be a very shrewd idea as moments after he emerged from the outdoor shop, the skies opened and we were soaked in the ensuing deluge.
The ever useful handbook that Mary carried around with her suggested that we should head down to the canal and follow it 15 miles upstream. The midges were out in force so we did not hang around, which was a shame as the views along the canal were very pleasant. Fortunately for us, the weather was more behaved for the remainder of our ride that afternoon.
We rejoined the tarmac in time to see a few bikers being nicked by the local police – probably having too much fun for their liking… We carried on along the small B roads, through some spectacular countryside and back onto the main road to Inverness, which fortunately, was not too busy.
The quiet roads were smooth and bordered by a very beautiful loch. We were able to open the taps a little and get some decent miles under the wheels. I had thought a B&B would be a good idea for the evening as we had to wash and dry all of our clothes but were unable to find any vacant rooms. We did find a lovely campsite. The only drawback was the swarm of midges that bit the hell out of us as we tried to eat supper. So, our only escape was to get into our respective tents, zip them closed, spend about 20 minutes catching all the midges in the tend and then finally be able to relax and read a little.
Some beautiful views only marred by the miserable weather and heavy traffic.