Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Day 3 - Fort Augustus -> Tyndrum

Knitwits Yarns

We're getting into the daily routine now - alarm goes off at 6.30am to general moans and groans, I go off and shower as the boys get up and get breakfast (a box of Strawberry Crunch between the three of them every morning!) and then I knit as they fiddle (amazing how much fiddling goes on with bikes) and then on the road for 8.30. This will amuse friends who know us well as the Hopsons aren't generally renowned for getting up early but, you see, we can do it, if required!

Day 3 dawned misty and muggy but, as with most of our days so far, it improved as the day went on. On the way out of Fort Augustus they looked down on the campsite - the camper in the foreground is ours:

There were some very sore legs and other areas this morning so they were grateful for a relatively gentle start along Loch Oich and Loch Lochy:

En route they met some Highland Coos so there had to be the obligatory photograph - T is looking a little worried!:

At Spean Bridge they passed the Commando Memorial:

Here they met some bikers (of the motor variety, not pedals) who were waiting for a mate who lost 3 limbs whilst in Afghanistan and has only 2 fingers on his remaining hand. They have built him a trike which he can ride and he was on his way to the Memorial. It was a very emotional moment for everyone and really brings home how many people are affected by the current deployments in Afghanistan.

After meeting up in Fort William and the (now) customary lunch in a supermarket car park the route went down Loch Linnhe and then turned left along Loch Leven:

before heading up Glen Coe. Glen Coe is so ridiculously, spectacularly, unbelievably, stunningly, beautiful that I'll let the photos do most of the talking:

This was taken by G, whilst cycling:

This was taken by FB:

These were taken at the top - after a 3.5 mile climb - how do they have the energy to smile?! - or maybe it's just pure relief (also they didn't know what was coming next):

At this point I would like to thank the car which overtook the boys on the way up the Glen and then pulled over into the next layby and cheered and clapped the boys as they went past. It gave them the most fantastic boost and brings a lump to my throat just thinking about it.

The Glencoe Mountain Resort does, of course, include ski lifts and cable cars so it gives you some idea of their altitude - as T said, "we're cycling past a ski lift for heaven's sake". Following on from tinebeest's comment of last night, in this photo G (on the left) does actually look like he could have a steak down his shorts but I gather he hasn't. We've also been told that bananas do the trick but the boys have declined from trying either of these remedies. They're going to stick to eating the steak (and, indeed, bananas).

From there it was on to beautiful Rannoch Moor:

Now - you would have thought that, having passed that sign, it would be all downhill from then on. Ha de ha ha ha. No - there was a lovely downhill bit and a bit of (relative) flat and then there was a really, really nasty and unexpected 5 mile uphill slope which really, really pissed them off! But then there was the most fantastic downhill drop to Tyndrum where we spent the night.

Our campsites have gone from the ridiculous to the sublime. We're staying at Pine Trees in Tyndrum and I can't recommend it highly enough. It's beautifully laid out, every spot has fresh water and electric next to it, the showers are hot and immaculate, I washed a load of clothes (the camper was starting to smell of a combination of testosterone and feet with just a hint of armpit) and it's got free wifi over the whole site! (this is the fastest connection we've had over the entire trip and we're in a valley just south of Glen Coe!!) not to mention a play area for the kiddies (G&T decided to pass on this) and brilliant little huts you can hire if you're walking. And all this for just £19.00 per night - brilliant!

On the knitting front - well, I'm behind schedule. There's not denying it - things are going to have to speed up. The schedule said the back should be finished at the end of Day 3 and it isn't. I don't want to take anything away from the boys aches and pains but the top of the first finger on my right hand is slightly sore from the moss stitch - just saying. Knitting has its own dangers too, you know. The good news is that both Knit Today magazine and Let's Knit (both August editions) featured our challenge with a nice pic of me and Tina and links to this blog - thanks guys - really appreciate it and welcome to any knitters now following us.

I shall end with a small rant. Actually, no, I won't rant - I'll just give you one more picture - taken near the top of Glen Coe:

Morons. Complete and utter idiotic, stupid morons.

Miles today - 80. Total miles - 234.

Tomorrow it's Loch Lomond and then Glasgow, including crossing the Erskine Bridge!


  1. Great photos and text Julia! Keep up the good work - all of you. Still mystified by "FB" - fat bottom?

  2. Great going guys! This is our neck of the woods. Watch out for the Loch Lomond road - its very narrow in places!