Europe | United Kingdom (UK), Great Britain | Scotland – Day 3 – Invermoriston to Drumnadruchit
Great Glen Cycle Route – Invermoriston to Drumnadruchit. ‘Ouch!’ – that’s the sound of me kicking myself for TAKING the cycle route!
Today should have been postponed due to technical difficulties! I wont go in to all cycling technical jargon but lets just say I changed my inner tube 3 times and my breaks once… covered in grease and gunk! And if I thought yesterday was gruelling! Ha! It took me 5 hours to do roughly 15 miles… I was rewarded with stunning views over Loch Ness that a motorist wouldn’t get to see… layers of grey cloud over the hills on the opposite side of the Loch… I can actually see down into the lush green valleys behind the ‘walls’ of the Loch… must be higher up on this side… I am passed by a couple of walkers (!@%$?!#!~) and say that I know I ought to have taken the road when this happens… they tell me it’s not far now and ‘well done’. Makes me feel so much better because I find it very hard to say ‘well done’ to myself sometimes.
There is a lovely descent through a natural looking pine forest (I say natural looking because most around here are planted for logging), rocks and moss and heather, fallen logs and glimpses of Loch Ness through the trees. Stoped to chat to a walker who was camping out in the wilderness and made a tentative start down a rocky path that could have twisted an ankle had I been walking… the person who designated this a cycle route was obviously a sadist who must wonder to themselves every day if their track managed to hurl someone into the Loch! Well, it’s not that close to the water but it’s a very long drop! the very last bit zig zags (uphill, of course!) through sparse trees and fern and finally hits.. wait for it… a road! I swear I almost kissed it! My advice is don’t do this bit with a loaded bike… in fact, walk it! Though I must say now that it’s all over I am very glad I did it!
I lost count of the number of times up there I wished I were somewhere else but it was a challenge and I came out the other side! Sure am knackered though! A nice gentle ride through farmland with these horrible spiky plants ablaze with yellow flowers… fat bumble bees with white bottoms buzz noisily around them.
It was with much joy that I left Drumnadrochit and headed in the opposite direction to the sign that says ‘Great Glen Cycle Route – Inverness’! Took the A833 and it was a 3/4 mile 15% climb that nearly did me in… nothing to look at on the way but the road in front of me. I reached the top and was surrounded by bleak moor land in all directions, so bleak even the sheep dont live here. Rough hillsides, a dark brown/green heather growing between bare rocks interspersed with dead heather of an almost purply/brown colour. it all sounds very gloomy but in fact the colours were quite intense… no sun to wash them out.
Occasionally the scenery would be brightened with an explosion of yellow flowers on the prickly bracken bushes (will have to find the names of these as they’re everywhere and I have been know to fall in to them and come out covered in spiny things!). then I came to a whole hillside just covered in these flowers… I rounded the hill and kept coasting down, down, down… I could see these dark grey clouds billowing above amazingly blue hills in the distance… further down I was among lush green fields with a few scattered houses… and then I saw my first highland coos! (cows to those of you who don’t speak Scottish!) I am camped in a farm off a side road in a bright light green field with crows and a view of those blue hills.