32 miles (but the hardest miles of the trip!)
Today was the best weather of the trip so far, and we spent the cycling the length of Ardnamurchan. The eastern part of Ardnaurchan has some of the most glorious native broadleaf woodland – and is pretty tough cycling as the road rises and dips repeatedly from the shores of Loch Sunart. We stopped to talk to a couple of girls packing up camp to head back to Glasgow (train from Fort William), then carried on, to stop at a tearoom/wildlife centre with an RSPB person – tea and icecream, enlivened by the aerobatic antics of swallows.
Shortly after, the landscape becomes quite bare, and the road climbs up – a long but steady climb that eventually descends to Kilchoan. In this section we saw numerous red deer.
From Kilchoan we rode onwards to visit Ardnamurchan Point, which is the westernmost place on the mainland. This was 6 of the toughest miles of the trip, and we still had to ride back to Kilchoan! After walking up to the lighthouse, we rode back down the road a short distance and stopped to heat up some lunch. Checking our watches, we wondered whether we’d make the 15.15 ferry from Kilchoan to Tobermory. In the event the ferry men saw us whizzing down to the ferry and waited for us! The crossing was terrific, warm enough to sit outdoors.
Once in Tobermory, we finally found a B&B – most had no vacancies (something of a pattern on this trip). This involved cycling the loaded tandem up some of the steepest streets we’ve ever ridden up. After a hot shower, we wandered around Tobermory, stopping for scallops and chips and then a beer.
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