Saturday, October 22, 2011

Scottish Highlands . Day 3.

Pics show me at Carrbridge
arriving at Kingussie
and stopping to look at Dunkeld Cathedral.

Today was unplanned really. I had not expected to be back in Inverness. But I was and therefore had to make the most of it. I then realized I could still achieve my goal of cycling coast to coast across the Highlands. There is a Sustrans route 7 which appeared to follow the course of the A9 south towards Perth. I decided to take this initially as far as Carrbridge . From there I could decide whether to carry on to Tomintoul and join up with the original route or continue on route 7.

The ride along route 7 was an eye opener because the tracks or old roads creating the sustrans route were very much traffic free and I would really recommend it to you as a lovely ride. It was very hilly but although cold the rain held off !

At Carrbridge it was around 0 degrees C and I decided to head down to Aviemore and then onto Kingussie. I had never been to Aviemore before and now was a good opportunity to have a quick look. The mountains surrounding the town were covered in snow already and it looked truly wintery there !

I pushed on to Kingussie in the rain by this time. Rain turned to snow as I arrived in Kingussie and was told it was approx 45 miles to Pitlochry.

At least I thought this would be a good 100 plus mile ride to make up for the fact I was not climbing up the mountains but cruising through them.As I passed through Blair Atholl and Blair Castle it was getting dark and after one more final climb ---the Killiecrankie pass ---I was in Pitlochry where I found yet another lovely B & B.

It had actually been quite a hard day. The Garmin had recorded over 100 miles --I would estimate 107 as I kept forgetting to turn it on, 6286' height gain and 6192 calories burnt on the ride. Average temp. had been 36.1 F just above freezing !!