Arrived at our destination of Fort William by 4.30, following a day of sunshine and superb scenery along the route of the Great Glen. For the last hour and a half we were spoilt with outstanding views of a snow capped Ben Nevis, in a cloudless sky. The stats for our ride are given below, but we clocked up just short of 60 miles – further than planned because of some impromptu off-roading, did an average of 12 mph and climbed 850m.
For the first hour and a half our route was on the main A road, avoiding the logging trucks and passing the iconic Urquart Castle, on the shores of Loch Ness. Coffee was taken at Fort Augutus where we became distracted by the Caledonian Canal and Bry’s stories of taking a boat along it. On a whim we decided to cycle down the tow-path in the vague hope that we’d get to Fort William. In the event, we did get as far as Bridge of Oich, where we rejoined the route as far as Invergarry. Following signs for the public loo’s led us to our lunch stop in the superdooper Community Centre – soup and a cheese scone! After lunch, buoyed up by our earlier success, we again attempted to navigate our way ‘off-road’ – this time, however, the farm track became un-cycleable and we had to double back to rejoin the main road. It was then a slog from there to the Commando monument at Spean Bridge, where our route took us on a back road, with the aforementioned views, all the way into Fort William and our lodgings for the night. For the curious amongst you, supper was a couple of lesser known Bengali dishes, taken at a rather good Indian restaurant, preceded by a couple of thirst quenching pints of Orkney Raven ale.
A quiet day on the birding front with only a handful of new species added, including Treecreeper, Canada Goose, Great Spotted Woodpecker and House Martin.
Stats from todays ride – slight under recording I’m afraid because I forgot to restart it after a number of stops!
The iconic Scottish castle Urquart, by the shores of Loch Ness (no sign of Nessie though…!)
Bryan by the lock gates on the Caledonian Canal at Fort Augustus
Mid-afternoon and Ben Nevis hoves into view…
The Commando Monument, in the shadow of Ben Nevis, was a fitting reminder to us of the purpose behind one of our chosen charities, with personal memorials to a number of brave soldiers lost in conflicts across the globe.
The ‘Ben’ in all it’s splendour, bringing back memories of my first assent at the tender age of sixteen.
To close this evenings blog we’d like to say a big thank you to those of you who are following the progress of our cycling odyssey. Please remember to show your support for our chosen charities and perhaps as important, help spread the word.
Good night, blog you tomorrow. Bryan & Trevor