Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Day 9: Largs to Inverary (52 Miles)
View Larger Map
Today had always been planned to be a short day, due to the paucity of settlements between Largs and Fort William large enough to allow us to find a room at short notice. We're also well ahead of schedule, mainly because of some very long days further south. And we fancied a bit of a rest day, given how tough yesterday was.
So we weren't too disheartened to discover that today was just as windy as yesterday. We left Largs after the customary visit to Morrison's supermarket and headed slowly up the A78 and A770 coast road to the ferry port of Gourock, about 16 miles north of Largs. Despite the headwind this was a beautiful road along the shore of the Firth of Clyde.
I passed at least two local buses going in the opposite direction to "Largs via IBM", a reminder of the large computer factory in nearby Greenock.
As we rode into the small ferryport at Gourock the boat to Dunoon was just loading, and we wheeled our bikes straight on. The fare was £3.50; the bike went free on this 15 minute crossing.
After lunch we continued down to the shore of Loch Fyne. We spotted a pub serving coffee and called in for a post-lunch coffee where we had an opportunity to warm up.
Then it was back on the road: first the A815 to Cairndow and then the A83 to Inveraray. This entailed riding up one side of Loch Fyne and then back down the other.
Although it threatened to rain on several occasions it stayed dry all day, with outbreaks of sunshine from time to time. However it remained very windy all day, which meant we were pedalling in low gear most of the time, even when going downhill. We had a headwind when riding NE along the south side of Loch Fyne. And we still had a headwind when riding SW along the north side of the loch. This ability of the wind to blow in both directions simultaneously is probably due the same local geo-tectonic irregularity seen on Electric Brae in nearby Ayr, where rolling objects move uphill.
At a very early 3.30pm we arrived at the attractive lochside village of Inveraray where we quickly found accommodation. The photo shows the view from my window.
Vital statistics: Mileage: 52 miles. Average speed: 12.7 mph. Total distance from Land's End: 689 miles.
Tomorrow: Day 10 Inveraray to Fort William
Posted by Nigel at 20:09