Our sojourn at the excellent Salen Hotel ended with the finest breakfast of the trip. Everything about it exuded quality – bacon, scrambled eggs (on a potato scone), mushrooms, sausage (their own recipe) and Stornoway black pudding set me up famously. But before that, I’d been out to sort the gears – turned out the indexing was way out of whack.
The weather this morning was glorious – sunshine and clouds, but a bit cooler than of late. The road over to Lochailort features quite a bit of climbing (before the biggest climb, over to Loch Ailort, we were hailed by a bunch of sea kayakers) but the roads were splendid, leading us through fabulous woodland. As we approached Lochailort, we spotted a steam train heading for Mallaig, emitting vast clouds of smoke.
Unfortunately, the road from Lochailort to Mallaig has been “improved” and is a fast (at least for motorists), straight and bleak new road that eschews the woodland through which the old road used to go. Additionally, there’s a narrow cycle path that fat man in four by four thinks all cyclists should be riding on. After returning his gestures, we pressed on, pausing only for a brief snack lunch. It has to be said that this road isn’t great for cycling, and it’s probably worth investigating whether the cycle route (which largely utilises the old coastal road) is suitable for whatever bike configuration you have – we decided it might not suit our heavily loaded tandem, particularly with a ferry to catch.
However, we reached Mallaig in plenty of time for the Skye ferry. We rolled off the ferry at Armadale into strong winds, blowing relatively short (but light) showers at us at great velocity. The wind built up as we trundled towards Broadford, at times reducing us to 5mph! We paused briefly to fuel our legs with bananas, then pressed on along the new, soulless and exposed road. It was with some relief that we reached a B&B, then phoned for a reservation at Creelers. Once that important job was done, we got showered and changed and nipped out to the Co-Op for fruit and snack bars for tomorrow. Our meal at Creelers was excellent – we both chose the halibut on tagliatelle with squat lobsters. In my case, I had mussels (in a nice peppery sauce) for starters, while Carol had a king scallop starter. After desserts, it was back to the B&B to check the weather.
53.45 miles; total mileage 262.65
Jump to Day 6 – Broadford to Lochcarron
Return to Day 4 – Ardnamurchan: Tobermory to Salen