Thursday, August 30, 2012

Highlands Coast to Coast day 2 (Eventually ) !!

B&B with Marion

If you remember I had found a fantastic B&B in Invergarry. Marion had excelled herself with most comfortable accommodation and a super breakfast and all for £25.  I set off at about 9a.m with the Corrieyairack Pass paramount in my mind. Would there still be loads of snow up there? Would the eerie sounds of the lost piper announce themselves? Would I be strong enough to scale the heights ?

These thoughts soon left me as the body started working again and I approached the Caledonian Canal and cycled beside it to Fort Augustus.

This is a lovely few miles-----perfectly flat of  Fort Augustus for some reason is a mecca for tourists ---mainly the type who drive and then exit the car to walk to a cafe and then go home and say they have been walking in the Highlands. It is selfishly quite satisfying to see this sort of behaviour but not brilliant in reality for the people who live like this.Last time I was here the staff in the very compact tourist information centre were extremely kind and helpful and this time they not only remembered me which was flattering but they also did me a great favour by charging up my Garmin and also my new friend the Go Pro Camera.  Thankyou !!

General Wade would not approve  !!

No point in hanging around any longer. Lets take a look at this pass and cycle up to and over it !!It was with trepidation and then disappointment as I approached the initial 10-15% climb. Modern man is here again and is preparing a road over the top of General Wades !! Sort of sacrilige really.....rather like taking down beautiful man made buildings which were constructed with skill ,sweat and tears and replacing them with breeze block and chipboard. Funny how we think we are advancing as humans.

I move on and see how bad this climb is. 3000' of supposed leg straining torture. It is steep and it is long and if you stick to the new road it eventually disappears and one realises how hard it is to push a bike through boggy, tussocky undergrowth with a steep incline.I saw a couple of backpackers and therefore located the path !! Embarassingly the climb was so steep that it was not much quicker than walking pace .......but I didn't get off !! At the top it was very, very cold and windy and snowing AND lots of snow on the ground. Great really !! I love these sort of conditions .......the photos of course never do justice !