Photographs – Day 19 – Friday 31st August

Friday 31st August 2012 – Day 19

Broadford (Isle of Skye) – Lochailort (back on the mainland)

33.84 miles

1463 feet climbed

1516 calories burnt

Cumulative miles cycled round the coast = 1,220.60 miles

Please remember that Kirsty Medlock and her Dad, Stephen cycled the 4,000 miles round the coast of Britain to raise £10,000 for Clifton’s Children Society (CCS) Adoption, the agency that facilitated an adoption for family friends. Please follow this link to donate as much as you can

Many, many thanks in advance!

Diary – Day 19

We had stayed in a lay by last night, which generally means we wake up early, as the weather was forecast to get pretty bad today we wanted to get away as early as we could. The motorhome was not following us again as we had a ferry to catch so they would go back over the Skye bridge and we would take the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig back on the mainland.

Dad and I set off in all of our wet weather gear and it started drizzling from the get go. It was also incredibly windy but as we had an 11:10am ferry to catch we had to plough on through. The only saving grace was that the A851 road we took was remarkably quiet so we could just concentrate on getting the riding done as opposed to being run over. As we approached the ferry terminal we could see it coming back across, we had about 20 minutes to spare.

At the ferry terminal I was approached by a man wondering what the two of us were doing out in such bad weather, I explained and he said we were mad. He also came and chatted to us on the ferry whilst we were dripping water all over the furnishings. Once the crossing was over, we landed in Mallaig and set off on the A830, but now the rain was absolutely hammering down. We thought we didn’t have that far to go until Lochailort, where we were stopping for the evening. We chose to stop in Lochailort, as it was on the junction with the A861, the road we would need to take tomorrow and where Gareth (my brother) and Joana (his wife) would be joining us, all the way from Aberdeen!

Mum and Harry with the Motorhome had traveled the long way round, crossing the bridge so they didn’t have to negotiate the ferry. Even though we wanted to stop once we had landed in Mallaig because of the torrential rain we couldn’t, as there was no Motorhome to pick us up.

Once on ‘dry’ land, I realised we had about 15 miles remaining – this was not a pleasant thought combining the atrocious weather and horrifically busy A830 that we had to cycle on. Thankfully the A830 had a rather wide hard shoulder that we could cycle on – however I felt particularly unsafe as I had no lights on me. This was definitely one of those moments, that if we weren’t cycling the coast and we didn’t have family to meet we definitely wouldn’t have been cycling in such appalling conditions.

We managed to negotiate our way to Lochailort, where Dad and I hid up in a bus stop trying to find signal on our phones to ring Mum and Harry. The motorhome was still some distance off, as they had to go the long way round on land, they still had about 20 miles to go.  As Dad and I were drenched and it was getting cold, we spotted the Lochailort Inn and went to see whether it was open. Approaching the Inn, we spotted to crazy men up on the roof, re-tiling it in the worst weather possible. We left the bikes outside and headed in, luckily for us we were greeted by a kind gentleman who took pity on us and let us take up most of the bar trying to dry our soaked clothes.

In the end, Mum and Harry turned up and we all had lunch in the pub. Whilst we were waiting for the food the bartender struggled to light the fire, so Harry got involved and managed to get it roaring in no time. Whilst we were eating lunch, I decided to buy a room, and this gave us the negotiating power to ask whether we could park the motorhome in their carpark, thankfully they agreed.

Buying a room, also meant it was a lot easier to sit in the pub for the WHOLE afternoon and evening waiting for Joana and Gareth to arrive. The time moved pretty slowly, but as we had a strong wifi connection we could at least Skype people, meaning Harry could Skype Marisa, his daughter who has moved all the way to New York for a couple of years.

It was great seeing Gareth and Joana, they’d had a long journey so we didn’t hang around for too long. We said our hello’s, arranged what time we would meet in the morning, and I went off to the comfort of my room, whilst the rest (who had been asked if they wanted a room) went back to the Motorhome. I guess for visitors, it’s quite exciting to see what it’s like sleeping in the van, and if I were there it would have been too cramped (well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!).

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