Scotland bike tour: Day 5 (Thursday, July 18)

Lots of pics of this day of the tour are here.

This morning's breakfast was really something. We had a better variety of food to choose from than anywhere else on the trip. Among the offerings were yogurt, porridge, and potato scones. The latter looked like pancakes made of potato flour.

The weather was nie today: cool, but sunny. I wore just my T-shirtfor a few hours around nooon, but needed my long sleeve shirt in the morning and later afternoon.

the little loch

Today the route was straightforward: ride a few miles to Newtonmore, then pick up the A86 and follow that all the way to Spean Bridge. In fact, it was a little too straightforward, so Neil suggested a detour. From Laggan we could pick up a little road that went along a small loch, and then we could take a Landrover track back to the A-road. We all decided to do this, and it was definitely worth the detour. The loch was still and beautiful, with a bunch of wading, squabbling birds at one end. We had lunch here, although we'd had tea just a bit earlier at Laggan.

From the little loch, about half of us took the Landrover track back to join the A-road, while the others retraced their steps along the little road we came in on. The track turned out to be perfectly rideable, even by Simon & Greta who don't like offroad riding, so I think those of us who took the track made the right choice.

From there there were no more detours, it was straight along the A-road to Spean Bridge. There was very little traffic for an A road, but still more than e would have liked. However there was no choice, as this was the only road going in the desired direction.

The scenery was great, with lochs on the left (Loch Laggan and a reservoir) and huge mountains off in the distance (including Ben Nevis, which at 4406 meters is the tallest mountain in the UK). There was a light but steady headwind which made the going a bit tedious, but we made steady progress.

We were hoping for a place to get some tea, but we didn't come across one (a hotel/restaurant) until we were nearly in Spean Bridge. Simon and I were going to pass it up until we noticed some bikes by the entrance to the hotel and recognized them as belonging to Sue, Neil, and Greta. So we went up and joined them for tea and scones.

Finally we tore ourselves away and headed on into Spean Bridge, where from the window of our room in the B&B we can see snow at the top of a tall mountain.

Miles for today: 43.5.

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