Monday 6 June 2016

Day 14 -16 Mountain Bike Madness and a Welcome Home Cake

The final day of the trip. Durness to Cape Wrath: 24 miles on Mountain bikes

Little Rhino had to be put away for this day as the road was too rough and pot holed for its little wheels. We used a small ferry to carry us and our bikes across to the Cape Wrath Head land and track leading to the light house that marks the most North Westerly point on the UK mainland.

Still smiling after a 1000 miles of cycling and 60000 ft of cumulative climb

Cycling into the mist

Distant dramatic views as mist lifts and then falls again.

 And finally we arrive at the Light House!

The tide was out and an even smaller shallow draft boat had to be used to pick us up four by four.

Our trusty skipper who had been enjoying a drink in the same bar as us the night before.

More waves of boat people.

 And yet more just scraping over the sand bar.

 A final celebratory meal in Inverness Scottish style.

My Little Rhino folded up and reverently put into my bag ready for the flight home.

I took the opportunity to visit my old friend Bill in Elgin near Invernes. His son Alex, a stone mason, took this picture of me holding one of his old training pieces next to Bill. It shows the amazing muscle development, anti aging, hair regrowth and tanning effects  I experienced as the result of moderately longish distance cycling.

Possibly the most sensible way to travel one end of the country to the other,

Sadly the rejuvenating effects of moderately longish distance cycling had largely worn off by the time I got home on Sunday: The two bags with me represent all that is needed for one middle aged man to cycle from Dover to Cape Wrath. They contain My Little Rhino and enough lycra to cushion a chaps nether regions. Although as the stance suggests perhaps more padding is needed in future. In addition a massive dose of help, support and encouragement from all at Peak Tours made it possible and so enjoyable. I cannot recommend Peak Tours enough.

Making valiant efforts to overcome the side effects of the padding deficit. Must remember to pull my trousers up more often especially before pictures are taken.

Rosie my lovely wife , honest she can be, made this welcome home cake so that I can regain more of my previous body shape lost on the road somewhere between Dover and Cape Wrath.

A memorial plaque in Inverness Cathedral sums up why doing seemingly stupid things makes a lot of sense to me. Such is the unpredictable and fragile nature of life.

Day 13 Slow Cats and P Stops

Ullapool to Durness: 67 Miles

Wide open spaces get even wider and more open!

This is seriously north now.

The lamb shot of the day.

 Small houses that speak of a time where life was harder in these parts.

Place names that defy pronunciation.

Organic free range deer.

Bleak castles and strongholds.

This really means we are far oop north. Not seen one of these signs in the New Forest!

Perhaps I got the meaning of this sign wrong but where needs must...  The bent posture is something other male cyclists who wear bib bottoms will associate with in order to get at their wedding tackle. Such is the price of looking fantastic in lycra.

Pink granite.

Grand views litter this landscape and are waiting around each bend.

The summit of one the last climbs of the tour. One man and his LIttle Rhino stand and survey all they have conquered at an admittedly slow pace!

The view from my B&B in Durness. Blink and you are through Durness one of the most isolated places I have been to in the UK. Winds up to 150mph have been recorded here with spray from massive waves clearing 100m high cliffs, thankfully not at this time of year.

And that was the day that was from the Peak Tours Front line.