Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Day 10: Inveraray to Fort William (72 miles)

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We started the day by taking the A819 north out of Inveraray. This started with a steep climb followed by an enjoyable descent to Loch Awe.

The weather forecast for today was sunshine and showers. Ominously the forecast was also for a wind from the north, which would mean a headwind all day. However in the event the wind was quite light and wasn't much of a problem, especially in comparison to the two previous days.

The rain wasn't much of a problem, either. It was quite cool and I wore my rain jacket all day, but the day remained mostly dry and we only had a couple of short rain showers.

When we reached Dalmally we turned left onto the A85 and continued to follow the shore of Loch Awe. After a few miles we stopped for coffee and scones at the visitor centre for Cruachan Power station. When we emerged we found that it was raining - our first proper rain of the entire trip. However donning full rain gear, including overshoes, had the desired effect: after twenty minutes the rain stopped and the sun came out.

After crossing the Pass of Brander we dropped down to Taynuilt and continued to Connel where we turned right onto the A828. A few miles further we stopped to eat our sandwiches beside the bridge over Loch Etive. This was a chilly event due to the cool breeze so after lunch we paused for at the Creagan Inn for coffee and to warm up whilst we phoned ahead to book our accommodation in Fort William.

The remainder of today's ride was straightforward and quite fast, following the A828 and then the busier A82 along the banks of Loch Linhe to Fort William. We were still going strong when, about a mile south of the town, we stopped at our guest house where our rooms enjoyed superb views over Loch Linie.

Overall, today's ride was rather easier then expected due to the reduced wind. It was also perhaps the most scenic yet, along the wooded shores of lochs for most of the day and over low moorland passes for the rest.

Vital statistics: Distance: 72 miles. Average speed: 13.5 mph. Total distance from Land's End: 761 miles.

Tomorrow: Day 11 Fort William to Beauly


  1. Errm - fixed the typo but not the larger error! ie ferry from Dunoon to Dunoon. (and it's Taynuilt not Taynuil)
    Anyway, glad it's going so well! Bec is already making plans for a congratulatory tiramisu. I acquired Rob's Brompton yesterday - a three-gear wonder, definitely not a bike to do the End to End on!.

  2. Ah yes. Hope I'e got it correct now.

    As for riding the End-to-end on a Brompton: Ian was contemplating exactly this. However he decided to buy a Dahon (folding bike) instead. The eight-speed hub gear has got him up all the hills just fine...Nigel

  3. The Brompton I sold Tim is the one I picked up in Japan. It was made under licence in Taiwan; these are very rare now and are collector's items, partly because they made them for such a short time, partly because all the other ones have fallen apart.

    (Only joking, Tim...!)

    In my experience I'd say doing the End to End on a Brompton is an especially good option if you intend taking public transport most of the way.

    (Perhaps with an Over-60s Universal Bus Pass?)

    Good luck with the winds today!