Torvaig – Broadford
4203 feet climbed
3011 calories burnt
It was bitterly cold last night; I don’t think many of us got much sleep. I was that chilly, I put two jumpers on and my all in one fox suit (long story!) and still couldn’t sleep. At least it meant we were all up relatively early so we could make the most of the sunny weather we woke up to.
Mum had thankfully washed all of our biking gear, but we were finding it difficult to dry it all so over breakfast we plastered it on the outside of the motorhome in the sun and wind. Dad checked our tires and lubed the chains; I filled the water bottles and got the bananas and flapjacks ready. I think we all were so tired this morning that not much was said between the four of us, it’s definitely a test of relationships if you can survive living peacefully in a motorhome with such limited space!
As the weather forecast was good, well it was sunny, but still windy – we used the day to get back on track with the mileage. Dad was well rested after the difficult past couple of days we’d had, in terms of climbing, bad rain and wind – so we were ready to plough on.
As we set off out of Torvaig campsite the A855 started to climb straight away, this combined with the wind and some tired legs we felt pretty demoralized. But, as the sun was shining the demons went away!
We planned to do the northern loop of the Isle of Skye in the morning, so as the A87 cut across to the west and hit the end of the loop we would cycle, the motorhome stayed put and didn’t follow us again. I have to admit, it is nice when it follows us because I set myself a little target of reaching a certain amount of miles in the morning before it passes us, and again after the afternoon stop (it’s the little things in life…).
The headwind did hit us quite hard and it was pretty chilly, but again the sun and the views kept my spirits high. We cycled along the west shore of both Loch Fada and Loch Leathen, the terrain was smooth, the road must just have been re-surfaced so that helped. For the first ten miles because the sky was so clear we had a fantastic view of the Old Mand of Storr, a column like piece of rock. The A855 continued to undulate along the east coast of Skye, and it was hard going with the long climbs but the views got better and better, with Raasay Island and the mainland over the Sound of Raasay and Inner Sound to our right.
Dad and I stopped for a pitstop in Staffin, about 15 miles from when we had set off. Tiny little village with nothing much to speak about in it, just miles and miles of fields and mountains in the background. The view didn’t change much after Staffin, all the way along the north east coast. It got quite hilly towards the north shores of Skye, but it wasn’t until we turned the corner, past Duntulm that we had a big climb. Again, the views were spectacular, looking out over to the Isle of Lewis so the ascent didn’t feel too bad!
As we’d also turned the corner and were heading south again the wind was behind us, so we whistled along to our next pitstop at Uig, where there was a small port for the ferries that go across to the islands. After our quick stop, there was a lovely swooping down hill to Kingsburgh where the motorhome had camped up for lunch. We arrived to Mum sewing up one of Dad’s overshoes and Harry making lunch (cheese and chorizo sandwiches!) and the laundry Mum had been trying to dry hung up all over a fence! I treated Harry, Dad and myself to a cyclist’s coffee (secret ingredient = condensed milk!).
Dad and I set off again and really ploughed to cover a further 36 miles to our final resting place just half a mile outside of Broadford. The A87 was busy, but for once we had very courteous drivers so it was a pleasant cycle. We had a very long climb out of Portree, but it wasn’t too steep and we had The Cuillin Hills out in the distance to look at. We’d also done this stretch before when we come across to Skye the day before, so we knew what we were in for.
Dinner was what we had yesterday, beef casserole, with brown rice – lovely as ever and I was even treated to an ice-cream for dessert, blooming spoilt! We’re roughing it tonight and not staying in a campsite, so it will be an early night for all I think.
It will be our last night on Skye as we will be taking the A851 down to the south of the island to take the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig tomorrow. The weather doesn’t look good for tomorrow but we can cross our fingers and hope!