67 miles and 910 metres climbed
There are few British men who are not delighted to receive a Full English breakfast: eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, mushrooms, grilled tomato and maybe a hash brown plus buttered toast. However after 10 mornings and probably eight cooked breakfasts the thrill has gone.
I asked our landlady, Amanda, if all the cyclists on our long distance jaunt still ordered the ‘works’ or opted for something lighter. “Och aye” she started in her beautiful Paisley accent “there’S plenty that just want porridge and toast”. We’d nearly reached that stage.
We were quickly onto the reviled A82 that would be our companion all day. The road is the main artery to get north and west. It took all types of traffic: cars, trucks, buses, camper vans, motorcycles etc. All usually on the road at the same time.
I stopped to take a number of photos of Loch Lomond. It looked quite tranquil unlike the road beside it. That being said the road surface was sensationally new and smooth.
When I was 17 years old I came to Scotland on an A Level Geography field trip. We did lots of things including a visit a hydro electric power station. I doubt it was this one but when I visited in 1972 this station would have only been 22 years old. Today Loch Sloy Hydro Electro Scheme is 71 years old. The Queen Mother, when Queen, opened it. This is sat on the west side of Loch Lomond. (Apparently 21 people died in its construction.)
We reached Crianlarich and had a sandwich and some Cullen skink. This is a Scottish soup of smoked haddock, potatoes, onions and gallons of cream. Delicious. When leaving Peter saw the portly chef and complimented him on the broth. The chef commented on our cycling and mentioned his brother was driving the Mavic wheels service vehicle at this year’s Tour de France. We were impressed again. If that was a surprise he went on to say he had an ex-Sky Pinarello bike. Frankly his weight issues demanded a three wheeler!
The following photos, hopefully, show a wonderful landscape, however, from the road we rode it was often a ribbon of speeding vehicle not allowing any drinking in of the view unless you pulled off the road and well out of harms way.
As the sun played on the slopes the definition of the rock became more majestic. It is certainly one of Britain’s most wonderful terrains. If I had to sum things up then imagine eating a brilliant sumptuous meal at the worst restaurant possible.
It was a toil to get to Glencoe and the YHA. But it was quite a quick day on the road. A local pub sufficed and we returned to a very hot hostel to get our 40 winks