Speed bonny boat…! Downwind rapid sail from North Uist to Uig, Skye today. Passed the Ferry Inn where we had a family holiday many moons ago. Looks the same, road just got bigger. Few pictures to follow now I have some super wifi. This was being laid alongside the lanes of S Uist as we rode through earlier. But until then! Charming islands with a messy agricultural feel and lots of wildlife including seals, corncrakes (heard not seen), cuckoos (seen ! and heard ) short eared owls and lots of sea birds. Sad to leave. Back again one day.
Oban to Barra after a drive through the mountains and views of Ben Nevis. Flags at half mast on another sad day. Black armbands this evenings ride in respect of a Barra family mourning one of the Manchester lost.
About the machair, a beautiful coastal feature we’ll see in the Hebrides next week. Can’t wait: hope the sky is as blue as this photo!
35 miles up and over the Blackdown Hills via WW2 airfields at Dunkeswell and Smeatharpe. And we got to hug a Spitfire!
OK, so I needed some reassurance I’d get my new Schwalbe tyres on and resorted to watching Merlin (cheeky from a fellow fungus face) literally magic a tyre on to a wheel: its all about pushing that bead hard into the wheel all the way round. And having some toe straps to keep it in there, apparently.
Tyres, tubes, shorts and leg warmers (midge proofing!). And I only went online looking for new ‘boots’. Love this part of the trip prep.!
Taunton Flyer on Saturday: need to get these bad boys unpacked and fitted after work tomorrow. And eat some pasta!
In just under four weeks we will be heading across the water to Castlebay on Barra. From Castlebay we will cycle up through the Hebrides then back over to Skye. Our route takes us over high ground, around lochs across rivers and on ferries. Our longest days will take us 40 miles or more. A week of fresh air, companionship and memories in gorgeous scenery.
So it’s done ; the die is cast. This year’s odyssey is a coast to coast..of Ireland! I’ve booked my tickets back from Westport on June 19th, with 4.5 days to get across there from Belfast, where I have a day’s work to negotiate at the beginning of the week. I have a great route translated from the Dutch by Paul Benjaminse, spiral bound. I will be travelling very light this year. Maybe I said that last time, but this will be different! No time for blogging right now, this is just to whet the appetite. More to follow.
I heard with great sadness today of the passing of a local cycling hero. I don’t claim to have known Ian well but know he contributed to the enjoyment of cycling in many, including me. He worked as a bike mechanic both locally in Somerset, and on cycle holidays. He was also an important member of Wellington Wheelers CC. My memory is of a cheerful efficient man, always quick to help and thorough in his work.
Rest in peace.