Day 14: Torridon to Dundonnell – Cuckoos, Convoys and Cascades

Torridon SYHA is an excellent hostel. It was just after 8am when we set off in sunshine and light winds.

Setting off from Torridon SYHA, a bit later than planned.

Setting off from Torridon SYHA, a bit later than planned.

We cycled along Glen Torridon below the towering Beinn Eighe and through ancient Scots Pine forests.

Cycling along Glen Torridon

Cycling along Glen Torridon

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.

Loch Maree with views over to Slioch

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.

Loch Gairloch

Loch Gairloch

As we climbed out of Gairloch the views down to the beaches and across the Loch were superb.

Loch Gairloch

Loch Gairloch

Another long ascent with the reward of a wonderful view down Loch Maree back to Slioch.

The view down Loch Maree back to Slioch

The 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.

Royal Marines at Poolewe

Royal Marines at Poolewe

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.

Inverewe Gardens

Inverewe Gardens

We climbed up away from Inverewe and could see the suitability of this secret location for the Arctic Convoys to be based.

Wartime Loch Ewe

Wartime Loch Ewe

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.

Beaches at Gruinard

Beaches at Gruinard

The Gruinard River

The Gruinard River

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.

The flag at Little Loch Broom

The flag at Little Loch Broom

On the long descent we stopped to look at The Allt Airdeasaidh as it cascades into Little Loch Broom in a series of waterfalls.

Allt Airdeasaidh

Allt Airdeasaidh

Our destination is the Sail Mhor Croft hostel in Dundonnell. This is the view from where I am writing this.

The view from Sail Mhor Croft Hostel in Dundonnell

The view from Sail Mhor Croft Hostel in Dundonnell

Dundonnell Sunset

Dundonnell Sunset

The GPX file for today’s ride is here.

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3 thoughts on “Day 14: Torridon to Dundonnell – Cuckoos, Convoys and Cascades

  1. Steve

    Gruinard looks idyllic today but the island offshore was used in WW2 to test anthrax as a biological weapon. It made the island impossible to access for decades. Nasty stuff – glad we did not use it. Google for details.

    Reply
    1. Ian Post author

      Steve…if you can survive the gargantuan 2nd breakfasts that you have consumed, I’m sure that Anthrax wouldn’t touch you! Link to Wikipedia article on Gruinard HERE>>
      Ian (Mission Control)

      Reply
  2. Aileen

    Lovely to meet you on this day in Gairloch! Just found your card that you gave us and looked you up 🙂 We went on to have the best day that day! The weather was fab wasn’t it. Glad you finished your trip safely. All the best, Aileen and David.

    Reply

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