Saturday, 29 May 2010

Day 9 Wed 12th May Inverary to Invergarry 97 miles

I awoke early yet again, this time with a bit of a hangover and decided to clear my head with a walk in the bright sunshine before breakfast. Walked up to Inverarry Castle and back along the shore. There were great views. It was good to spend a bit of time seeing the scenery whilst limbering up, rather than spending all of ones waking hours in the saddle.
The castle is quite a new one, built in 1720 in nice grounds.
After breakfast we set off over quite a hill up over moorlands then down into scenic Loch Awe, past Ben Cruachan and Lochawe village where we had an unscheduled coffee stop, before the official coffee stop at Connel. It was around this time that Alice decided to join our group of four, so 'The Four Tops' became 'The Famous Five'!
I know this area quite well as I spent some time here in the summer of 1975 with my first proper girlfriend when we were both at Aberdeen University. Susan lived on an estate near Taynuilt where her parents were caretakers and we used to travel to Oban where I worked as a jobbing gardener and Susan sold fresh fruit on the street from a converted pram, earning enough to travel by by rail to Greece. So the sights and smells made me quite nostalgic and romantic.
We cycled on up the coast of Loch Linnhe through Fort William and up a hill over past a Comando Monument. I cycled on cycle paths where I could as they were generally well surfaces, and just before the monument I came across a woman's orange scarf, that I decided would be worth keeping to provide extra warmth and as it was my colour!

What do you reckon?
We then travelled on to Invergarry Youth Hostel where Andy and Kenny cooked us a BBQ. It was a little midgy but ok, and we retired to the lounge, where I played a few songs on guitar with the aid of a couple of songbooks. We had a good sing song and lots of ale and whisky was drunk.
As the trip progressed the team seemed to give up their ideas of watching what they ate and drunk in the interest of keeping fit. Eating and drinking what you feel like at the time I think is the best policy anyway. That night we were all in dorms each with 3 bunk beds. Aided by super strength lager Jim woke people in our dorm speaking in tongues, even though he only claimed to speak East Yorkshire. It sounded to me like a political speech in French or Spanish, by President De Gaule or someone - interspersed with 'Shut up'. I nearly shouted 'You shutup' but didn't want to start an arguement! Jim thought it could have been his Norman ancestors!

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