126 miles 9 hours of cycling, 11 hours on the road.High mountain passes - yep
Blazing sunshine - yep
Friendly people with funny accents - yep.
I'm obviously in the Pyrenees not Scotland.Today has been tough both emotionally and physically. I had a lovely breakfast cooked by Keith at Kinkell House, packed my bag, got my bike ready, then said goodbye to Keith and Clare, who were lovely hosts. I started off slowly, spinning rather than grinding the pedals as I knew I had a long way to go and a decent amount of climbing to do. From the moment I left Inverness till I arrived in Glenfarg I hardly saw a cloud in the sky. 4 times I applied factor 50 suncream, but still my face is burnt. Glad that I put my arm warmers on to save my arms getting burnt.
I was doing well, so at Cairn I stopped to take photos of the waterfall, then, not realising I was only 4 miles from my intended stop at Aviemore, I went across the road for a cup of coffee and banana cake. As I was finishing my coffee, a biker in black leather asked if he could sit at my table. For the next 20 minutes we chatted about my challenge, why I was doing it and we shared our stories about Prostate cancer. Suffice to say, Alan was a genuinely lovely guy and I had more than a tear in my eye chatting to him and for the next few miles. Cheers Alan, I hope you enjoy you time up in the north on your steel horse.
I had thought after about 50 miles that the climbing had been done for the day. How wrong was I... I had about another 20 miles of climbing or flat roads. When the downhill came, I suffered my first puncture of the trip. It was own fault, going down the rough cycle path as if I was on a mountain bike, should have been mote observant. Still it gave me a few minutes rest while I changed the tube and pumped it up.
Travelling down from Inverness I started going through so many towns that I remember from my childhood camping/caravaning in Scotland. Blair Atholl (photo to follow), Pitlochey, Killiecranky... again very emotional.
As I approached Perth, my Garmin had a "moment" and decided to send me down the A9 for about 4 miles, I thought London was bad, nowhere near as scary as the A9 on a Saturday evening in Perth. Glad that's out of the way.
This evening I am staying in the Glenfarg Hotel, also I had dinner here. rather late at 9.20. After that I went through to the public bar and had a pleasant chat to Wayne who is up here from Durham, as he is about to have a 4hour learn to fly experience. A few pints of Guineas later and it was tome to come up to bed.
Tomorrow I head down to the borders at Gretna. Not expecting too much, as I would imagine Gretna to be quite a dreary place. We will see. At least it is only 114 miles tomorrow, gives the legs a rest :-S 3 days and I shall be in the Midlands whoop whoop!