Friday 30 August
What had taken us six days on the trip so far took us the best part of a day to virtually match in a southbound direction. Friday was a long, hard slog, the biggest riding stretch, which would pay dividends in avoiding two drawn out riding days.
Since leaving Scourie, we had a quick pitstop for breakfast at a ‘kiddie book corner’, encountered an innately grumpy old man, who asked us ‘Who felt their toast was burnt?’ upon bringing out fresh toast, which was comical. We then circumnavigated our way up to the top of Scotland to Durness, came back around and down along the almost never-ending A9 to Inverness. Past Inverness, we refuelled the bikes and our empty bodies with some nourishment, and pressed back on the road.
Hideous wind continuously pushed on the side of our front wheels, driving rain smacked against the visors and a damp cold in the air tried to chill our bones – our longest day proved testing and wearing on us all. Glencoe was the saving grace of the day; we rode through an incredible entrance into the village with intimidating mountains making us feel insignificant and small.
Gone 7.30pm, we finally made it to Tyndrum again. I was flooded with relief when the group opted for two wooden, heated cabins over a couple of grass pitches for the tents. Just prior to entering the campsite, I gently dropped Pearl when turning her around in a lay-by; lost my balance along with every last grain of strength in my body and down she went. I was cream crackered, tandrum-prone and some!
We celebrated this epic day in all weathers by treating ourselves to another tantalising fish supper and glass of chilled ale. A perfect end to a momentous trip.
It warmed my heart when the chaps all confirmed that I rode better in the difficult conditions that day than I had done all week – keeping the pace on the entire way. I smiled realising that Friday was the first day I had listened to my music, which had obviously relaxed my riding style giving me the extra confidence I needed to ‘get a wriggle on’