Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 17: Loch Lomond to Glencoe

A day of sun and jaw-dropping scenery, which will be further concern to my NHS dentist back in York. It started with a beautiful cloudless dawn over my wildcamp on the shores of Loch Lomond (picture). The only sound was the mallards gang-mating, which made me think the jet-skiers weren't so bad after all.

There's a traffic-free cycleway all along the west side of Loch Lomond up to Tarbet, sometimes on the old road sometimes on the footway, which gave some heartbreakingly lovely scenes (picture). Typical Sustrans route: you only average 3mph, though in this case it's because I kept stopping to take pictures.

After Loch Lomond ran out, there was some hackwork, tussling with a headwind, to climb through Crianlarich and Tyndrum and Bridge of Orchy on the A82, which was full of tourist cars in a hurry to get somewhere to relax.

En route there was more outstanding scenery. I was intrigued by the sign welcoming me to the Highlands (picture), because the scenery evidently knew this was the exact point to change from being Lowland to Highland.

There was a lot of slow going against the headwind across Rannoch Moor, which tops out at 1142 feet (picture). A benefit of cycling is being in the fresh air. Well, I had a lot on Rannoch Moor, most of it trying to send me back to Loch Lomond.

I also joint-hailed about a dozen fellow End to End cyclists today, all of them going south.

Finally there was a glorious descent into Glencoe (picture). I drove this road in 1987 and didn't think the scenery was all that remarkable. Eh? It's astonishing, and Glencoe itself is awesome. See? Proof that holidaying by car messes with your mind.

Miles today: 71
Miles since Mull of Galloway: 222
Miles since starting at Penzance: 1140

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