Day 25, 11th June 2011, Glasgow to Tarbet

We decided that we would head up Loch Lomond, and then make a decision when we got to the head of the Loch.  We could go on up to the Caledonian Canal before turning west to the islands, or ride more directly west.

After the sort of just adequate breakfast we expected from our cheap hotel we spent a bit of time doing a few odd jobs in Glasgow that included drinking a large cup of excellent Costa coffee.

So we got away very late.

The ride out of Glasgow was shaping up to be pretty ordinary, when after only 5km the route turned onto a rail trail.  From there on, the route was pretty much excellent.  We moved from the rail trail onto a canal path, and finished up on an obselete road patched together with bits of narrow footpath up the side of the Loch.

The Loch, as you would expect is extremely photogenic, on a sunny day, which it wasn’t.

The weather forecast was pretty good, but around lunchtime the temperature dropped to 11C and we were in drizzle for the rest of the day.  Not enough to get really wet, until we hit a shower shortly before we stopped.

We only got to Tarbet, about 70km or the day.  The decision we had to make at 4.15pm was whether to continue for another 35km or so in the cold drizzle, or stop here.  So we stopped.  We asked the tourist Information Centre ladies to find a B&B for us.  We have had a couple of good experiences with them now.  We only found out today that they will book ahead for you.  This is very unusual in Europe where they are fiercely loyal to the local community.  This may be a huge advantage for us, as it could allow us to make a booking fairly late in the afternoon for a place some distance away with the knowledge that a bed awaits.  We don’t have a feel in this lightly populated area as to what may be available.

We still have to make a decision as to exactly where we go from here tomorrow, but it will be to the west islands one way or another.

The Scottish farmers have been out doing there shit spraying, and it is quite different from farmers to the south.  We usually like the nice earthy compost smell of the spray, but here the shit has an appalling sulphurous smell.

Tonight’s nice B&B is the first good one we have come to without WiFi.

Our host has just driven us to a local pub (with WiFi) on a neighbouring sea loch.  The rain has stopped, the mist is low on the hills, the loch is glassy smooth, and the outlook is exquisite.  The weather forecast for tomorrow is even improving.

As usual, zoom to see the track.  IN this case you will need to zoom out, then centre the track.  I don't know why that is.


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