P>Saturday 27th May 2006 â€“ Aberfoyle to Drumnadrochit – 154 miles
Mildly encouraging dry start to the day, but looked very overcast. Had breakfast in the hotel and got packed up. We headed back south toward the bottom of Loch Lomond. We had stayed in the Trossachs, about 20 miles or so east of the Loch and about parallel with half way up it. More are less as we set off, so did the rain.
Once we had gone north of Glasgow yesterday, the scenery changed and became really pretty (from what we could see through the mists). About 5 miles along the country road, a little deer darted across the road in front of us.
We road through Drymen (pronounced Drimmin, don’t you know), and then onto Balloch which is at the Southern tip of Loch Lomond. I must admit I was excited to be finally visiting the shores of the Loch that I had heard about in song since I was a wee wain. We stopped on the shores, and picked up a couple of pebbles to take home. The drive up the west side was really beautiful with the rain stopping and starting continuously. In fact the rain did that all day – we did have one or two patches of sun even, but never for long. Stopped again for some more photos before we took our leave of Loch Lomond.Â
Rode up to Crianlarich, then on to Tyndrum. Stopped at the Green Welly Roadside Cafe, filled up the bikes then went in for lunch had a traditional Scottish fish broth called Cullen Skink. Delicious. As we went back to the bikes, a massive downpour nearly drowned us. Headed north again past Loch Tulla and Loch Ba (no humbug here though). We headed up into Glen Coe – The name means narrow glen, and the views were nothing short of stunning. High snow-tipped mountains all around, and wonderful crags and valley sides, covered with heather. At the highest point of the valley we encountered some roadworks. All traffic had been stopped in both directions, so we rode past about 2 miles of stationary traffic. Sometimes it’s great to be on a bike. As we got to the front of the queue they let the first lot past, so on we sailed. Some people had been waiting over an hour in their cars. A bit past the roadworks we stopped again for more pictures.
Rode on to the town of Glencoe, then up the side of Loch Linnhe to Fort William. Again a fabulous ride but bloody wet n wild. Stopped in Fort William for a rest, and a hot chocolate. Maybe you can see a pattern emerging here – get wet, ride past lochs, stop for fuel and hot chocolate and pictures. Thats about it!
We set off about an hour later still heading north. Joined a long line of Harley Davidsons from the Netherlands who were on tour, and rode 15 miles or so with them. Rode past Loch Lochy and Loch Oich then on to the southern tip of Loch Ness. Again more excitement for me – another one of the places I wanted to visit in my life ticked off the list. Loch Ness is massive – 26 miles long. It’s also very deep, about 775 feet at its deepest. One statistic that I was told is that if you emptied the loch, you could fit the entire worlds population in it without filling it completely. Again, superlatives fail to describe the views.
We stopped at Castle Urquhart – an old ruin (just like me), and took some more pics. The rode on last few miles to Drumnadrochit (I warned you about trying to pronounce some of the place names – my spell checker is going mad here). Drumnadrochit is about two thirds of the way up Loch Ness. Stayed at the Springburn Bed n Breakfast, which was run by two lovely ladies, Sheila and Dot. They were very welcoming, and took all of our wet gear to hang up and dry. Dot gave us some cake, and then sorted us out a restaurant for the evening.
The restaurant was about 6 miles away, way out in the middle of nowhere. Dot gave us a lift there (it was still raining and we couldn’t be bothered to get geared up and go on the bikes). An excellent meal in a lovely rustic restaurant called ˜The Steading”. Had a Haggis starter, nice venison steak, a few whiskies, and felt very Scottish indeed.
Dot picked us up again and took us back to the B&B. Sean and I sat and played guitar and sang til 11ish. Rick went off to bed. We all shared one room, and the other two were snoring by the time I was ready for sleep so popped in my earplugs and slid off to sleep myself.