Day 6: Are we in France?

080 Ferry in Tarbet, HarrisIt was with something of a heavy heart that we left Harris behind as it had completely captivated me and I wish we had spent another couple of days there to go and see the west coast, which we were told was also very beautiful. But leave we did on the ferry to Skye.

Skye was more of a getting us from A to B part of the ride. We weren’t going to stay on Skye and we had heard that after the other islands, Skye could be a little, well, crowded. We had a ferry to catch to get us across to Raasay so we kind of had to drop out of tourer mode and get our heads down and got on with it. Which was actually a bit of a shame as the snowy peaks ahead of us, the courtesy offered by drivers (we were on the main road for a lot of this) made me think we were somewhere in the Alps in France.

We were making OK time and so took some diversions off the main road which were more hilly but just lovely. Once we were back on the main road it was long gradual climbs followed by swooping descents. I have to say by this point I was beginning to rather like my bike. I know this sounds obvious, but it was doing what it was built to do, and it was doing it superbly. It had no problems with full panniers, and in fact I would say it felt far better to me loaded up than empty. I was confident descending as the bike felt so stable and so I whooshed down the hills with Adam spinning away like a madman on his 66″ gear.

Not only did we make our ferry, but a final push at the end meant we got the earlier one, which we had never expected to make. As we arrived at the ferry port, it was just lifting up the ramp, but when they saw us coming, they generously lowered it again. Nice chaps those CalMac blokes. This push however cost us a broken spoke on Adam’s bike.
086 Skye to Raasay ferry
We took the ferry across to Raasay and although out hostel was only 2km away, it was almost vertical – thanks Adam! But it was another delightful place and was being run by a chap I know from the Friday Night Ride to the Coast events so we chatted about this and that. We went for a walk and I got more WINE – yay! Which I enjoyed whilst taking in the views of Skye.

wine

Raasay was lovely and it had been our intention to go and explore a bit more, but apparently a lot of the roads are potholed and not in a great condition, so with a slightly b0rked fixie we decided not to risk it. Instead, we went out on foot and Adam wanted to go exploring and we ended up going the wrong way and it involved hills and silent swearing.
088 Raasay hostel
When we got back to the hostel, there were a couple of university students there who were “geological mapping” which seemed to involve colouring in and not going outside the lines, proving that this is all that geography and geology students do 😉

Miles cycled: 37. Islands visited: Harris, Skye, Raasay

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