Day 7: Skye and Bye

090 Islands from MallaigWith his broken spoke it was decided that I would carry more of Adam’s stuff, so I filled my panniers and off we set. My bike still did great, with even more weight and I’m sure it could take a lot more.

We took our penultimate ferry from Raasay back to Skye and made our way along the main road towards Armadale. It wasn’t quite as sunny and blue skied as previously, but it was still warm and only a very light drizzle. Once again, with a ferry to aim for, we just sort of got on with it.  Continue reading

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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.

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Day 5: The tweed run

056 North UistIn the morning as we were getting ready to leave Berneray, Adam donned his yacf jersey at which point we discovered that the bloke on the orange Salsa Veja who had been stalking us all the way was in fact billplumtree.

We left the delights of Berneray behind and took the ferry across to Leverburgh on Harris. We had two choices here; the main road on the west coast, or the more interesting looking road on the east. We opted for the latter, aka the Golden Road.  Continue reading

Day 4: Where Pippa looks miserable in a bus shelter and gets some wine

8925204103_c8aceb5238_zWe had established last night that most of the cyclists staying in the Gatliff (and there were quite a few) that were heading north were all headed for the same place as us – the Gatliff in Berneray. The Gatliffs don’t take bookings and operate on a first come first served basis, so in my head at least it was kind of a race to try and get there before the others in order to secure a bed.

So we were upski, offski and outski before 8am and today was the longest day with 60 miles ahead of us. Thankfully the wind was still being windy and pushed us along. We didn’t go straight up the main road as Adam needed to fulfil his explorer’s gene so once again we went off onto the small lanes at the side, which were lovely. Continue reading

Day 3: Gone with the wind

017 Monday on South UistWe woke up and padded round the tiny room with the other two people we had just slept very closely with. It was still windy and raining so we tried to delay leaving for as long as possible but eventually had to accept our fate. I put on most of the clothes I had with me.

We set off into the rain and after about five minutes it stopped. We battled on along the tiny lane until we reached the main road at which point I thought we might turn onto it and head north with the wind at our backs. Adam wanted to go exploring so instead we carried straight on and cycled on the little roads to the side of the main one (which to be fair were lovely, but hard work with the wind).  Continue reading

Day 2: Hebrides or Maldives?

009 VatersayWe set off from our B&B and as we had a while before our ferry to Eriskay, we decided to go and explore Vatersay. We winched ourselves over a 12.5% hill and I was super glad the B&B had let us leave most of our luggage there for us to pick up later as I couldn’t envision how I could manage this fully loaded.  The sun came out and we saw beach after beach after beach. Golden sand, glimmering seas, we could have been in the Maldives. Continue reading

Day 1: Am I on an audax?

8924449411_78b436d77cWe packed up and left in the evening of Friday 24th May 2013, cycling across London in rush hour traffic. I soon got used to pulling away on a fully loaded tourer, and probably did this more times in the 6 or so miles to the station than I did in the rest of the week. I was a bit wobbly at first but eventually it became second nature. Continue reading

Our tour of the Scottish Outer Hebrides in May 2013

In early May 2013 we decided that over half term we would head up to the Scottish Outer Hebrides for a wee cycle tour of some of the islands. The idea of camping was suggested and rejected, on account of neither of us really having cycle-camped before for more than a few nights at a time (and even then we had got to our destination in a car). So instead we opted for hostelling. Continue reading

Day 8: Scherpenzeel to Utrecht to Den Haag to Hoek van Holland

And so the final day of our tour was a functional day, getting us from Scherpenzeel to Utrecht to catch a train to Den Haag before the final few km to Hoek van Holland.

Once again, we followed the Knooppunts to get us there. It was pissing down with bloody rain all morning, but luckily our route took us through forests so we had some shelter. The forest tracks were all absolutely fine to cycle on. They weren’t always concrete tracks but they didn’t cause us any problems. Continue reading

Day 7: Zwolle to Scherpenzeel

Today we were sort of venturing into the unknown. We didn’t have paper maps and we didn’t have any routes on the garmin, as our original tour was going to end in Zwolle and from there we were planning to take the train to Den Haag to cycle back to HoH for the ferry. So instead we used the knooppunt network (knot network) to navigate. Continue reading