Ullapool to Scourie, via Lochinver

Day 45  Tues 12 April:  Another day of statistics. One day’s food consumption: banana porridge, scrambled eggs, 2 slices of bread & butter, 2 fig rolls, Mars Bar, tea & 3 Garribaldi biscuits, more tea & choc Swiss roll, large bowl of pasta & meatballs, mini malt loaf, another Mars bar, more tea, crisps, large chicken rogan josh curry & rice, potato salad, 2 large beakers of red wine, 1 peach, many mini chocolate eggs, chai tea. + 500 ml of fresh water. That’s what it took to fuel up, regularly top up and then recover from today’s ride.
According to Garmin, that was 58.4 miles in 5 hrs 4mins of cycling. My slowest average speed, for two good reasons. First, this was my biggest climbing day so far, at 1,588 metres of ascent. Second, this was the hardest day so far in terms of head wind. The relentless northeasterly was at its keenest and meanest along the edge of Loch Assynt.
But what a day. No rain. Enough sunny spells to get those lochs, rivers and waterfalls sparkling. Mountain peaks so sharp, some still snow capped, looking as exaggerated and fictional as a child’s painting. It also dawned on me that those huge murals (or “our Murial” as Hilda Ogden proudly described hers) of a Scottish Highland scene on restaurant walls in the 1960s & ’70s were real photo prints.
Today’s thanks go to those very few motorists for their patience and courtesy on those slow, twisty climbs and white knuckle descents. I don’t mean most were not courteous. There were just very few of them around. Just two cars and one minibus on a 17mile scenic detour. Oh, and of course the occasional welcome sight of a strategically parked silver camper. Thanks Phil.
Also, many thanks to David Macaskill, the Cox’n/mech at Lochinver, for the guided tour of his immaculately maintained Severn class Lifeboat. It’s hard to say which moment gave Phil the biggest thrill today. Was it the Lifeboat tour or the RNLI Lochinver cap, which is probably still on his head as he sleeps?
Finally, watching the stunning sunset over the Minch whilst arguing over the precise species of silhouetted diving birds in front of us will be a brotherly moment to remember for ever.

2 thoughts on “Ullapool to Scourie, via Lochinver

  1. Phil Bestjan April 13, 2016 / 9:21 pm

    Steve, hope you are well,

    You are on the Portpatrick page of the RNLI website.The local press also gave good coverage. I’ve asked the RNLI Scotland press guys to try and get you decent coverage in the next RNLI magazine.

    Sorry I couldn’t get you on the Portpatrick lifeboat for the exercise when you were here, but if you are down this way again let us know, and I will organise a place for you on one of our training days. ( and a good session in the Harbour house afterwards !)

    Keep up the good work,

    You are an inspiration,

    Phil Bestjan, LPO Portpatrick.


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