Torridon SYHA is an excellent hostel. It was just after 8am when we set off in sunshine and light winds.
We cycled along Glen Torridon below the towering Beinn Eighe and through ancient Scots Pine forests.
The cuckoo which had been stalking us since we crossed the border back at Gretna was still in good voice.The gentle descent brought us to Kinlochewe and the A832. The road had little traffic and we had superb scenery along Loch Maree with views over to Slioch.
The ascent away from the Loch brought us to a different environment of Lochans and open moorland. The A832 was now a single track road. The descent was beside the tumbling River Kerry and brought us to Loch Gairloch.
As we climbed out of Gairloch the views down to the beaches and across the Loch were superb.
Another long ascent with the reward of a wonderful view down Loch Maree back to Slioch.
We had a lovely long descent into Poolewe where, these days, nothing much happens. Today, however, it was all happening and there were several coach loads of people descending on the village hall. There had been a Russian Arctic Convoy Memorial Service at Cove on Loch Ewe. We got the info from two Royal Marines from Portsmouth who had played the Last Post.
Full details can be found at www.russianarcticconvoymuseum.co.uk
Inverewe Gardens was the next stop. Today’s mileage was a modest 60 miles to allow time for a couple of hours in these wonderful gardens.
We climbed up away from Inverewe and could see the suitability of this secret location for the Arctic Convoys to be based.
It is a deep water harbour with a narrow easily protected entrance and in a secluded area.
Once more we had a long draggy ascent away from Loch Ewe and a new view of the mountains ahead opened up with the distinctive shape of An Teallach dominating the scene.
It was here that our accompanying cuckoo put in an appearance. Just a brown bird with a long tail, but he has been cuckooing away at us for days.
There were lovely sandy beaches at Gruinard and the Gruinard River tumbled down to the sea in a series of falls, accelerated by the rain earlier in the week.
Our third biggest ascent so far on our journey from Lands End to John O’ Groats (after Shap and Goat Fell) was next up. It was fine – we have our cycling legs. The view from the top over Little Loch Broom was breathtaking and some Russian tourists took today’s ‘flag’ picture.
On the long descent we stopped to look at The Allt Airdeasaidh as it cascades into Little Loch Broom in a series of waterfalls.
Our destination is the Sail Mhor Croft hostel in Dundonnell. This is the view from where I am writing this.
The GPX file for today’s ride is here.