Recent Event Reports

Page 5 of 11
Sunday 29 July 2018
08:00 - 23:00
Tour: Scotland
Day 11: Bonar Bridge to Inverness B&B

3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Report to follow.
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Inside our majestic guest house at Bonar Bridge (10:09)
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Kyle House guest house, Bonar Bridge (10:32)
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Jude in the fascinating Ardgay Stores and Highland Coffee Shop, with loads of useful things for sale (11:53)
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Dillan enjoying a very good value latte in the Ardgay Highland Coffee Shop (11:54)
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A final wider view of the Ardgay Stores, featuring Jude Norris (11:54)
HD video footage from today's ride



Saturday 28 July 2018
08:00 - 23:00
Tour: Scotland
Day 10: Achmelvich to Bonar Bridge B&B

3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Report to follow.
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Achmelvich youth hostel common room (09:59)
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Our 5-bed dormitory at Achmelvich hostel (10:00)
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Achmelvich youth hostel (10:05)
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Waiting for the bus at Lochinver's main bus stop (12:34)
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Glad to be in the bus on this very wet afternoon (14:37)
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Jude on the bus (14:56)
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Our bus, complete with cycle trailer, at Lairg train station (15:25)
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The "interesting" Google shortcut down to quiet the Achany Glen road from near the station (15:44)
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The footbridge over the River Shin in Achany Glen (15:46)
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Footbridge over the River Shin near Lairg station (15:48)
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The quiet, woody, scenic road along Achany Glen (16:16)
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Dillan at the Shin Bridge, Invershin (16:20)
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Our favourite youth hostel of all time, Carbisdale Castle, now sadly in private ownership (16:34)
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Ardgay Stores & Highland Café, providing us with excellent value meals (18:34)
HD Video footage from today's ride



Friday 27 July 2018
08:00 - 23:00
Tour: Scotland
Day 9: Ullapool to Achmelvich YH
Hot and sunny
34 miles (▲ 810m)
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Report to follow.
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The cosy twin room at Tenterden guest house, Ullapool (09:56)
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Tenterden guest house, Ullapool (09:59)
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The signs up here are usually quite simple (10:46)
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Turning off the main road towards the Summer Isles at Drumrunie (12:04)
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Dillan and Jude cycle off towards the impressive Stac Pollaidh from near Drumrunie (12:17)
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Stac Pollaidh (12:36)
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Information sign in the Stac Pollaidh car park (12:40)
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Riding along the banks of Loch Bad a'Ghaill (12:47)
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Loch Bad a'Ghaill (12:51)
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Dillan and Jude, with Stach Pollaidh behind (12:54)
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Our lunch stop at Badnagyle was brought to an abrupt end by a swarm of midges (13:25)
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Heading for the coast on the Mad Little Road to Wester Ross (13:41)
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Small lake near the Black Loch on the Mad Little Road to Wester Ross (14:00)
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The Black Loch (14:07)
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Our first sight of the beautiful Enard Bay (14:25)
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Dillan by Enard Bay with its many islands (14:33)
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Inside the Achins Bookshop and Coffee Shop, Inverkirkaig (15:19)
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Michael enjoying coffee at Inverkirkaig (15:20)
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Leaving the coffee shop at Inverkirkaig (15:30)
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Lochinver primary school (15:57)
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Approaching Achmelvich (17:11)
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Dillan and Jude on the magnificent beach at Achmelvich (17:57)
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Heading to the second beach (18:03)
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Difficult access to the secluded second beach (18:09)
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Dillan finally plucks up courage to get his feet wet on the second beach (18:25)
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The sand dunes behind the second beach (18:40)
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Achmelvich Bay (18:46)
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Michael on Achmelvich beach as the sunset nears (21:27)
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Michael and Dillan on Achmelvich beach (21:31)
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Dillan and Jude in the sunset on Achmelvich beach (21:37)
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Jude photographs Dillan on Achmelvich beach (21:38)
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Sunset at Achmelvich (21:39)
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The clear waters of Achmelvich at sunset (21:39)
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Sunset at Achmelvich (21:40)
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Michael and Dillan at Achmelvich (21:43)
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Dillan and Michael at Achmelvich (21:44)
HD video footage from today's ride



Thursday 26 July 2018
08:00 - 23:00
Tour: Scotland
Day 8: Gairloch to Ullapool YH
Hot and sunny
39 miles (▲ 876m)
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Report to follow.
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The twin bedroom at the Mountain Lodge guest house, Gairloch (10:12)
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Jude's four-poster bed at the Mountain Lodge guest house, Gairloch (10:13)
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The Mountain Lodge guest house, Gairloch (10:21)
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Preparing to leave the Mountain Lodge guest house, Gairloch (10:22)
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Loch Tollaidh, between Gairloch and Poolewe (10:59)
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Leaving Poolewe after a welcom cold drink in the café (11:34)
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Loch Ewe, from Leathad Mòr near Drumchork (12:08)
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Aird Point and Altbea, from Leathad Mòr near Drumchork (12:08)
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Jude and Dillan with the Isle of Ewe, from Leathad Mòr near Drumchork (12:08)
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Our slightly shady lunch spot at Second Coast (13:13)
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Gruinard Island, from just beyond Second Coast (13:17)
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The fabulous beach at Gruinard Bay (13:32)
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Jude and Dillan at the Little Loch Broom viewpoint near Badcaul (14:27)
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Little Loch Broom, from the viewpoint near Badcaul, with Priest Island and Bottle Island in the distance (14:27)
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Jude and Dillan at the Little Loch Broom viewpoint near Badcaul (14:28)
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Starting the final climb from Strath Beag, Dundonnell (16:04)
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Hot and humid conditions near Beinn nam Ban (16:35)
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The top, at Loch na h-Airbhe (17:00)
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Starting the rough descent down the track to the old Altnaharrie Inn (17:00)
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Descending to Loch Broom, with Ullapool on the far side (17:05)
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Ullapool, from the track to the Altnaharrie Inn (17:05)
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The Stornoway ferry prepares to leave Ullapool (17:09)
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Nearing the jetty on Loch Broom (17:18)
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Our speedboat leaves the jetty by the old Altnaharrie Inn (17:27)
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Speeding across Loch Broom (17:29)
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Approaching Ullapool as the Stornoway ferry starts to depart (17:31)
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Dillan and Jude on Shore Street, Ullapool (21:35)
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Dillan and Jude on Shore Street, Ullapool, with the ferry pier behind (21:35)
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The moon sets on Dillan and Jude by Loch Broom, Ullapool (22:06)
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Dillan and Jude at Loch Broom, Ullapool (22:08)
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Dillan and Jude at Loch Broom, Ullapool (22:08)
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Shore Street, Ullapool (22:16)
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Michael, Jude and Dillan on Shore Street, Ullapool (22:19)
HD video footage from today's ride



Wednesday 25 July 2018
08:00 - 23:00
Tour: Scotland
Day 7: Torridon to Gairloch B&B
32 miles (▲ 347m)
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Report to follow.
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Jude and Dillan outside Torridon youth hostel (10:13)
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Leaving Torridon Café & General Stores (10:56)
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Jude, Dillan and Michael at the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve sign (11:39)
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The Whistle Stop café at Kinlochewe (12:54)
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Jude and Dillan at the Beinn Eighe Visitor Centre, Kinlochewe (13:30)
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Lunch by the main road on the banks of Loch Maree, near Talladale (14:39)
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Loch Maree from near Victoria Falls, Slattadale (15:00)
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Kerry Falls HEP Station - switched off during the dry weather (15:42)
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The rope swing at Kerrysdale, scene of great amusement on our 1993 Scotland tour video (15:57)
HD video footage from today's ride



Tuesday 24 July 2018
08:00 - 23:00
Tour: Scotland
Day 6: Applecross to Torridon YH
36 miles (▲ 639m)
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Report to follow.
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Applecross youth hostel (10:05)
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Dillan and Jude at The Junction café, Applecross (10:57)
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The Junction café, Applecross (10:58)
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Loch a Mhuilinn, Milltown, between Applecross and Camusterrach (11:04)
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A & J Brown General Stores and Post Office, Camusterrach, Applecross (11:28)
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Loch a Mhuilinn and Milltown, from the Camusterrach road (11:37)
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Shore Street, Applecross (11:42)
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The sign for the "new" Applecross road, completed in 1976 (12:03)
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Applecross Bay, from Cruarg (12:09)
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Applecross Bay, from Cruarg (12:09)
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Our lunch spot at Kalnakille (12:58)
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Kalnakille, showing old desserted houses along with newly refurbished houses (12:58)
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Highland cattle near Cuaig (13:50)
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Highland cattle near Cuaig (13:52)
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Highland cattle near Cuaig (13:53)
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Michael gets close to a young Highland male, much to Dillan's consternation (13:54)
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Kenmore and Loch a Chracaich, off Loch Torridon (14:51)
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Approaching Ardheslaig (15:27)
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Preparing to leave Nanny's café at Shieldaig (16:59)
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Approaching Torridon (18:07)
HD video footage from today's ride



Monday 23 July 2018
08:00 - 23:00
Tour: Scotland
Day 5: Plockton to Applecross YH
37 miles (▲ 1191m)
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Report to follow.
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Dillan in our cosy attic room at Hill View, Plockton (10:00)
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Hill View guest house, Plockton (10:03)
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Hill View guest house, Plockton (10:04)
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View to Loch Carron, from Craig (10:46)
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View to Loch Carron, from the viewpoint above Stromeferry (11:20)
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Leaving the excellent Carron restaurant near Strathcarron (13:03)
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Approaching Lochcarron (13:24)
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View across Loch Carron, from the Waterside Café at Lochcarron (14:05)
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Approaching Ardarroch, with the mountains of the Applecross peninsula beyond (14:55)
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View to the Applecross peninsula, from Seafield, Ardarroch (15:05)
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View to Cnoc nan Uan and the first part of our climb to the Pass of the Cattle, from Seafield, Ardnarroch (15:05)
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Severe warning signs as we start the big climb from Tornapress (15:18)
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First part of the big climb from Tornapress, looking towards Loch Kishorn (15:26)
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View over Loch Kishorn to Ardnarroch (16:05)
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View over Loch Kishorn towards Plockton, from the Applecross road (16:07)
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View back towards Ardarroch, from the higher reaches of the Applecross road (17:00)
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The final hairpin bends (17:17)
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Red deer in the mountains (17:18)
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View from the hairpin bends near the top of the Pass of the Cattle (17:33)
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View from the hairpin bends near the top of the Pass of the Cattle (17:35)
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The Bealach na Ba, or Pass of the Cattle, at the very top of the hill, 626m above sea level (17:52)
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View towards the islands of Scalpay and Raasay, with Skye beyond, on the descent from Bealach na Ba (18:01)
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A much needed coffee and warm-up at The Junction café, Applecross (19:10)
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Applecross Youth Hostel (22:05)
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Dillan and Jude outside Applecross youth hostel (22:11)
HD video footage from today's ride



Sunday 22 July 2018
08:00 - 23:00
Tour: Scotland
Day 4: Mallaig to Plockton B&B
34 miles (▲ 389m)
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Report to follow.
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Ready to leave Bank House guest house, Mallaig (10:23)
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View from Bank House guest house, Mallaig, to the ferry terminal (10:25)
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Mallaig, from the Skye ferry (11:06)
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On board the ferry from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye (11:23)
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On board the ferry from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye (11:23)
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The ferry docks at Armadale, Isle of Skye (11:35)
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A very welcome coffee at The Hub café, Camuscross, Isle of Skye (12:59)
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A shrubby cycle path near Kinloch (13:39)
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Christmas Trees invade the cycle path near Kinloch (13:44)
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The Isle of Skye at Upper Breaknish (14:19)
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Ashaig Cemetary as seen from Upper Breaknish, with the isle of Pabay beyond (14:27)
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The Skye Bridge, first opened in 1995 (14:52)
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Preparing to leave Hector's Bothy, a good value restaurant at Kyle of Lochalsh (16:55)
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View to Drumbuie from Loch Erbusaig (17:25)
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Jude at Duirinish (17:35)
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Plockton High School (17:47)
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Jude and Dillan at Plockton (17:56)
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Plockton Post Office - still a wooden shed, although different from the one they had on our last visit (20:16)
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Jude and Dillan try out the equipment in Plockton play park (20:24)
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Plockton Pier (20:40)
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Plockton Pier - tranquil and beautiful (20:46)
HD video footage from today's ride



Saturday 21 July 2018
08:00 - 23:00
Tour: Scotland
Day 3: Fort William to Morar B&B
45 miles (▲ 560m)
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Report to follow.
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Dillan and Jude outside Alltonside Guest House, Fort William (10:08)
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Coffee at Costa, Fort William (11:06)
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The new footbridge over the River Lochy, near Old Inverlochy Castle (11:26)
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The Great Glen Way by the side of the Caledonian Canal at Corpach (11:37)
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Crossing the lochs over the Caledonian Canal, Corpach (11:44)
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Lunch by the Glenfinnan viaduct, used in the Harry Potter films (13:28)
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The Glenfinnan Monument on Loch Shiel, from the Glenfinnan viewpoint (13:28)
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Looking down to the Glenfinnan viewpoint, from our lunch spot (13:29)
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Jude and Dillan by Loch Eilt (14:53)
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A steam train passes Loch Eilt on the way from Mallaig to Fort William (14:56)
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A chance sighting of a red deer at Lochailort (15:21)
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Loch Ailort, our first view of the Atlantic Coast (15:28)
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Jude and Dillan overlooking Loch Ailort (15:28)
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Approaching Loch nan Uamh (15:41)
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The sea front at Arisaig, scene of a major incident on our 1996 Summer tour (17:09)
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Dillan and Jude at Arisaig sea front (17:10)
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Dillan and Jude by the sea at Arisaig (17:12)
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Michael and Jude at Arisaig (17:13)
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First view of Mallaig, with the station on the right (18:06)
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Dillan and Michael enjoy soup and a burger at the West Highland Hotel, Mallaig (20:40)
HD video footage from today's ride



Friday 20 July 2018
08:00 - 23:00
Tour: Scotland
Day 2: Fort William Sleepter Train to Fort William B&B
Damp start, warm and dry later
8 miles
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Complimentary breakfast on the sleeper train these days consists only of a hot or cold drink - the croissant is now a chargeable extra. We got some great views of Rannoch Moor from our bunk beds, but the spells of rain did not look too promising for our planned assault of Ben Nevis later.

The light rain was still in evidence as we disembarked at Fort William at 10am. As we still hadn’t had any proper breakfast, the café at Nevis Sport seemed liked a great idea for a first port of call. It turned out to be excellent, on the upper floor of a modern pyramid-shaped glass building, with large portions of food and drink available for much less than we usually pay in Devon. Dillan had such a large plate of beans on toast for £2.50 that he couldn’t eat it all!

The jolly proprietor of the Nevis Bakery supplied us with a range of hot pizzas, pasties and pies for our Ben Nevis adventure and assured us we would like them so much we would be back for more tomorrow morning. Fully stocked with provisions we rode the few miles up to Glen Nevis youth hostel, which this year had been fully booked when we were looking for accommodation. It looked very different from the last time we visited in 2010, so we called in to chat with the warden. The hostel had just completed a £2 million refurbishment that included new cladding outside and the replacement of large dingy dorms with smaller, modern, light and airy rooms and a fabulous kitchen and reception. The warden kindly gave us a full tour – it really felt like a brand new hostel and we were quite disappointed that we had been unable to stay there.

We left our bikes in the bike shed and set off at 12:50 over the footbridge opposite the hostel that leads to the easy path up the mountain. There was still some light rain around and the top half of the mountain was shrouded in thick cloud so we didn’t think we’d be going too far up. By the time we arrived at the lake the mist was so thick that we couldn’t see any sign of it even though it was only a hundred metres away. We continued on a little way, expecting to turn back within thirty minutes, but then, as Michael filmed, the cloud lifted and the lake gradually became visible. Suddenly the summit seemed a possibility, and both lads were very keen, so on we pressed.

We were amused to see that virtually everyone we passed on the way up was kitted out with expensive boots, Gore-Tex coats, backpacks and walking poles while we were just wearing our cycling gear. We imagined them calling in to Nevis Sport, saying they wanted to climb the easy path up the highest mountain in the UK and being sold equipment more appropriate for an expedition up Mount Everest. Having said that, Michael would have put on his walking shoes rather than his cycling trainers if he had realised we were going to the top, but we certainly didn’t need walking poles.

The cloud was still lifting and conditions were remarkably hot for the time of year, so we were wearing just shorts and t-shirts as we neared the top, and our pace was slower in an attempt to stay cool. There was still snow lying in places on the mountain despite the warm weather. We finally arrived 3¾ hours after we set out from the hostel, a great achievement for everyone and only the second time in our club’s history that weather conditions allowed us to go all the way. The summit itself was up in the clouds but we could see everything we needed to see, including the refuge for people stuck on the mountain in bad weather and the triangulation marker on the peak, which of course Dillan had to stand on.

The return journey took 2¾ hours. We thought we had left at about the latest time to be sure of getting back before dark, but we were passing people going up even as we neared the bottom. We were told later that it never gets totally dark in the summer, but even so it’s probably not a great idea to be walking back down at 1am.

As we neared the bottom everyone had sore leg muscles but Michael was paying the price for wearing soft trainers - every step was painful. It was a great relief when we finally reached the hostel. Our walk had been 4.3 miles each way with a total climb of 1314m. Congratulations to everyone on a great achievement.

Michael wanted a coffee and a cake at the hostel but they only sold coffee and the other cafes we had seen earlier were closed. We ended up getting some food from Tesco and then going to the Pierhead Takeaway in Fort William for hot pizza, which we ate inside. There was then a 1.4 mile ride to Alltonside Guest House where we were very, very grateful for hot showers and a good night’s sleep.
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View to Rannoch Moor from our sleeper train (08:40)
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Jude and Dillan at Fort William station (10:10)
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Outside the Nevis Bakery, Fort William (11:27)
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Dillan and Jude outside the Nevis Bakery, Fort William (11:27)
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The start of the path to Ben Nevis, from the bridge opposite the youth hostel - 22m above sea level (12:38)
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Looking back to the youth hostel from the the bench (13:19)
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Our first view of the lake - Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe - as the cloud lifts (14:29)
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Dillan fills Jude's glass bottle with spring water (14:38)
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Higher up now with even clearer views (14:42)
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The rocky upper sections of the path (15:30)
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Dillan near the top, with snow lying nearby (16:06)
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Jude can never resist throwing snowballs (16:06)
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Finally, the summit (16:26)
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Waiting our turn to stand on the trig point on Ben Nevis Cairn (16:28)
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Dillan and Jude on the Ben Nevis trig point - 1345m above sea level (16:33)
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Congratulations are in order as we get close to completing our walk (18:20)
HD video footage from today's ride



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