Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beginning of the Great Glen

Finally had some time too write.

Another day with a few hour sleep and I am off from Edinburgh.  Wish I had gotten there earlier so I could talk to any of the other occupants of the room as they were five girls.  But I need to catch a train so no time to socialize.  Did stop into another hostel to reserve a room for my return.  Waiting for the train found that were additional bolt to adjust the brake and was able to fix the rear brakes so they fit.  This not my first time biking in Scotland.  Last time was many years ago on a five speed with rear brakes.  When the rear rack came down on the brakes and kept me from stopping on nice downhill I ended up splitting a ten foot wooden gate in two.    Gate cost 15£ and I got 5£ for the remains of the bike from the same place.
In Inverness I arrive at one and am ready to go.  I plan to stop by a store at the edge of town so I. pass by the store near the train station.  Pick up the Great Glen trail right off.  The trail    does wonder down a few stairs and across mowed lawns.  Of coarse if you look in the right direction as you pass you can see markers showing the next turn.  Then the trail climbs straight up out of town and I am a little thirsty as I did not find any stores.  The Great Glen trail go through the hills above Loch Ness while the road goes along the edge of Loch.  It is a forested trail with big trees and then it opens up into heather covered moors.  The Scottish thistle is in full yellow bloom with lots of wildflowers about.  Fifteen miles along I reach a marker noting the highest point on the trail and 9 kilometers to Urquhart Castle and water.  I am now pondering the advantages of not having water as motivation to push on and there is less weight to carry.  The bike and gear bag on the airport scale was 92lbs minus 5lbs for the bike box. Plus then there was my carry on of a pannier and that was not light.  With me weighing 14 stone the bike is fully loaded.  As I zip down towards to loch I remember reading it was a mountain bike route.  The mountain bike trail becomes more evident and only once had the back tire leave the ground on a 50 degree slope.  Only needed to walk once when a farmer diverted the route down a steep hillside with large loose rocks.  This was because it was lambing season. Where are the. coyotes when you need one.  Into the town of Drumnadrochit by Urquhart Castle for food and drink.  Decided to push on to Fort Augustus. Took to the main road to make better time and look for Nessie along the way.  At eight pull into Fort Augustus an found the hostel fairly easily.  Staff their provided wine and life was good. But no sign of Nessie.
38.6 miles
Love & kisses

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