Day 34, 20th June 2011, Foyer to Spean Bridge

We had a great meal last night, sitting in the bay window of the dining room overlooking Loch Ness.  The meal was prepared by a chef, with considerable care.  It was a set menu of three courses, and a couple of little appetizers, and beautifully done.  It cost 70 pounds, or around the fuel cost of driving for a day, but was a very special experience.

For the last few days before this we have been eating supermarket dinners, bread, cheese, cold meat and the like for around 14 pounds, and staying in B&Bs for around 50 pounds.  Tonight’s B&B is 44 pounds, and we are going to have fish and chips at the local pub for around 7 pounds each.  Plus beer.  The local minimart is not up to even my low standards.

We only rode around 60km today, but that is not reflective of the day’s riding.

We started out with a 400 vertical meter climb, only in Scotland it is more.  We were on a very minor road, so minor that at some stages it was only single lane, with bays to pull off so people could pass.  The road rose and fell, so the gross climb is a great deal more than 400m.  It felt more like the 500 or 600m climbs we have done in France, where the climb is a consistent 6%.  Our climb today varied between -14% and 14%.



From Port Augustus we joined the Great Glen Track, which follows the Caledonian Canal and the chain of lochs interconnected by the canal. 


This is all off road and on quite rough gravel tracks and beautiful but muddy single tracks.  There were even a couple of points where we had to get off and push our bikes up a bit of a hill.


While the track is rough, the country is extremely beautiful, particularly on a day like today, when the lochs are mirror calm.  The dense forests most of the way come to the very edge of the lochs, so sometimes we were riding without a view, and then there would be a clearing and the views would come into sight including Ben Nevis with snow still visible.  There were a lot of people out walking on this track.

So, we have effectively recrossed the country, and now will have to turn back to the south east towards Edinburgh.



None of this was really planned.  We had discussed riding the Caledonian Canal path, but in the other direction.  Try zooming out to get a perspective on how this fits into Scotland,

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