Monthly Archives: August 2003

LEJOG – Equipment

The Bike

The most important bit! The bike was custom built around a Giant OCR “Compact Aluminium frame and forks.

The OCR on the road to Tongue, fully laden.

Chainset

Shimano 105 Rear mech, Front mech and 105 Triple chainrings.

Gearing

Shimano HG70 25-12 tooth cassette and 30 – 42 – 52 chainrings. (We were very glad of those low gears for some of the hills in Devon & Cornwall especially, and at the end of a tiring day sometimes just to give the legs a little less stress.

Wheels

Mavic Cosmos 700c

Tyres

I used Continental Hybrid Bike Ultra Gator Skin 700 x 23c Tyre TYC18357 for the trip, although I have now changed to Continental GP 4 Seasons Vectran Tyre 700c X 23c, Black

Pedals

Shimano 520 Spd Pedal with Specialized SPD shoes.

The Rest of the Kit

Clothing

As far as cycle jerseys and padded shorts are concerned, there are plenty on the market and they are worth the money for the comfort and there quick drying properties. Some other items that I persoanlly find useful are:

Buff Headwear – These are tubular seemless pieces of material in various colours, including some with fleece that you can model into various forms of head and neck wear. Lightwight and worth the money in my opinion. Quite often I just wear mine around my neck as it helps to stop drips of rain getting in and they do have fantastic heat retaining properties.

Cycling Arm Warmers – Lightweight & take no space in your bag, can add that extra warmth when you need it without having to pack another jumper. Used inconjunction with a Gilet give you lots of options with minimal space required.

Cycling Leg Warmers – As above, saves you carrying a pair of long trousers for cycling meaning you can keep a pair purely for sue in the evening saving them from potentially getting wet.

Luggage

Travelled lightweight with just a single Altura Arran Bar Bag   and Atura rear rack bag (See picture of bike fully loaded.) The rear bag was carried on a seat post rack as my roadbike didn’t have the lugs to fix a full rack. Seat post rack  work very well but you just have to be careful regarding the weight carried as seat post bags come with maximum weight limits. We stayed at YHA’s mainly so no bedding was needed and used the excellent compact trek towel from Lifeventure  to keep space and weight requirements to a minimum.

Tool Kit

Consisted of puncture kit and spare tubes, chain links and link tool, spoke key, multitool (inc allen keys), pliers, spare cables. We shared the tools between us to keep weight down, although we each carried our own puncture kits and 2 spare innertubes. Over the course of the trip repairs between us consisted of the tubes and puncture repair kit, the chain tool / spare links (as we had 2 broken chains), 2 spare tyres, and one wheel replacement. Keith and I also had our spokes retensioned at Chester.

Sundries

Other stuff we took was the usual such as first aid kit, camera, spare set of cycling kit, sunglasses

Food and Snacks

Hydration is very important and you need to keep topping up your fluid levels all the time. Each of us had 2 bottle carriers each mounted on the bike frame, and bottles that carried 750ml of liquid each. I carried one bottle of water and the second one had either water or a carbohydrate drink in it such as Lucozade Sport, depending on what we could find. Food snacks were generally made up with what was available and consisted of either fruit (bananas and the like) or chocolate bars. This supplemented our refreshments stops at café’s or supermarket restaurants which we did at mid morning, lunchtime and mid afternoon. Little and often is the key.

Mapping

My main source of mapping was using the Memory Map  electronic maps based on the OS 1 250 000 road atlas of Great Britain. I printed and enlarged the bits appropriate to our route. I also had loaded the appropriate 1 50 000 Landranger sections of the route onto my Compaq IPAQ (times have changed since then!)  linked to a bluetooth GPS so if we really were stuck coming into a city like Carlisle or Chester for instance where the 1 250 000 map doesn’t have enough detail, we could call on the fifth member of the team, Gladys the GPS!

I have now moved on from the Compaq iPAQ and have Viewranger OS maps on my Android Mobile phone. This gives me OS maps of the UK and I can buy the map tiles I need for a particular area of the whole of the UK. Failing that you can also purchase a Memory Map GPS device that comes with a handlebar mount in the box.  Personally however, I would avoid these as my experience of them is not great. Read my blog, a link follows in this paragraph.  You can also buy cycle computers with GPS functionality built in, such as the Garmin Edge 800, although I think the mapping maybe a little bit limited although they do give other cycling related features. If you want a GPS not just for cycling so that you can use it in other activities and maximise its use & investment, a GPS built into a cycle computer may not be the best option for you. I personally use a Satmap Active 10 GPS, in addition to the Android Viewranger app, for walking and in my work with the Mountain Rescue Team. It’s, in my opinion a fabulous piece of kit and very well designed. I did purchase a Memory map Adventurer 3500 GPS before the Satmap, but it is an awful device. Over priced, badly designed and poor follow up service as the forum demonstrates. I have posted a review of both devices on my blog should you wish to look into either device. If you do decide to purchase a GPS, make sure you do your homework first and thoroughly research the features and have a clear idea of how you wish to use it.

Safety

We all wore helmets for a majority of the journey, and Keith and I also had small Handlebar end cycle mirrors which are superb for keeping your eye on whats coming up behind you. Added with lights (including LED safety lights) reflective strips and reflective cycle clothing, this formed our key strategy in staying alive

LEJOG – Our route

Our Full End to End Route

Below is a map of our complete route End to End. This is broadly based on the CTC Scenic Route with our own modifications, especially in Devon & Cornwall to avoid some of the worst hills and of course, the holiday traffic.

Our End to end LEJOG route map

Our End to end LEJOG route

 

 

LEJOG – Day 15 to John O’Groats

Final Day, Day 15 – Tongue SYH to John O’Groats – 64 miles

(Previous Day 14)

We stayed at the Caberfeidh Guest House at John O’Groats. There was a Youth Hostel at John O’Groats but it appears this has now closed.

Lejog, the finish photograph at John O'Groats

The finish!

The day’s events

It seemed strange that having gone through various pain and psychological barriers, and that cycling for 6 – 7 hours each day was now our “days work”, that today would be the last day. We’d been travelling fairly light for the whole journey but today with Glenis being a “support vehicle” we were able to offload everything except water bottle and puncture outfits. This made a huge difference but some of this advantage was offset by a strong Easterly head wind hitting us in the face for most of the day.

The final day of our LEJOG between Tongue and Thurso

Between Tongue and Thurso

The first 35 Miles of the day’s ride was along switchback roads across moorland like scenery, following the sand-duned coastline. The scenery reminded us very much of the north Cornwall coast around Portreath/Porthtowan/Perranporth/St Agnes. The remaining half of the ride to John O’Groats was flatter but not quite so scenic, especially past Doonreay Nuclear Power Station (apparently they have a good selection of luminous marker pens in their gift shop!).

Last day stretches at Borgie

Last day stretches at Borgie

Despite the headwind, we still made good time into Thurso. We stopped for our mid morning tea and cake in a very ordinary bakery before taking the road again for the final leg towards John O’Groats. To let our welcoming committee catch up, we decided to stop at a Pub in Huna for a quick pre-celebratory beer – just 6 miles from the finish.

We arrived at John O’Groats at 1:30pm and crossed the famous Start/Finish line to cheers, party poppers and bottle of bubbly from Glenis and the kids.

After the obligatory photographs, we got talking to a small group of motorcyclists from Barnstaple in Devon. They were feeling proud having ridden their 1000cc motorcycles from Lands End to John O’Groats (with a support van) in 7 days. They were somewhat deflated when they asked what we’d been doing.

Thurso

Thurso

Food

We only stopped at Thurso for refreshments and the bakery we went too was very ordinary and not up to the standard we were used too.

The Route

The route was pleasant from a cycling point of view and scenery today – especially the part before Thurso. After Thurso although ok, it wasn’t stunning. The big negative was the gale force head wind we had to endure, and I can imagine in bad weather, this section would be very bleak.

Climbing Profile

Tongue SYH to Reay

LEJOG day 15 part 1 climbing profile

LEJOG day 15 part 1

Reay to John O’Groats

LEJOG day 15 part 2 climbing profile

LEJOG day 15 part 2

Statistics

From To

Day Distance (Miles)

Running Total (Miles)

Height climbed (Metres)

Height descended (Metres)

Tongue SYH John O’Groats

64

1066

1456

1474

Directions

The approximate route we followed for Day 15 is listed below (1:50 000). For an electronic route that you can load on to a GPS or mapping application go to  GPS Waypoints.

I used the Memory Map 1:50 000 Ordnance Survey electronic maps for route planning. Note: – Don’t however buy their Adventurer GPS units as they are rubbish in my opinion.

Out of Tongue SYH turn R (not L) and R again on minor road (and NCR1) that runs north alongside the kyle before beginning a gentle ascent of a hill before joining the A836 where L. Follow A836 through Strathtongue, Borgie Bridge, (still on NCR1), Bettyhill, Strathy, Reay, Thurso, Dunnet, all the way to John O’Groats.

 

LEJOG – Day 14 a stunning day to Tongue

Day 14 – Carbisdale SYH to Tongue SYH – 49 miles

On the road to Tongue

On the road to Tongue

(Backwards to Day 13 or Forwards to Day 15)

Recommendations

An alternative accommodation stop to Carbisdale YHA is in Altnaharra. The Altnaharra Bed and Breakfast has been recommended in 2010 by Twitter users @cyclingbob1 and @cminors.http://www.altnaharra.net/

For somewhere to eat at Bonar Bridge, there is the Crannag Bistro. No recommendations from End to Enders yet but they do offer End to Enders a free Dram!! The following description is from the owner Kathy Smith “Would you be kind enough to let everyone know about us please?  We are situated in the centre of Bonar Bridge, 7 miles from Carbisdale Castle (but only 3 as the crow flies and if you come via Invershin bridge!)  We are a small family run restaurant, 24 covers, fully licensed and serving honest
local fare.

The day’s events

Sustrans Route at Carbisdale

Sustrans Route at Carbisdale

Today for me was without a doubt the best day’s cycling of the whole journey. On the home straight now with a relatively short and easy ride across the moors to Tongue on the north Scottish coast. We set off in a light and cool morning mist at 7am and after the first few miles passed through the village of Lairg. From here there was little civilisation marked on the map on the 40 mile mountain road to Tongue except for a very small village mid-way along called Altnaharra and an intriguing landmark called the Crask Inn.

We arrived at the Inn at around 9:15am and asked the lady in the back garden if there was any chance of a pot of tea. She turned out to be the landlady and invited us in to serve us with tea plus 2 slices of home-made cake for £1.20 each. She then told us that she was just taking the dogs for a walk and if she wasn’t back by the time we left would we mind leaving the money on the bar. Not only did she trust us to pay but also left us in charge of an empty bar!!

We cycled the remaining 20+ miles across beautiful rolling moorland roads through scenery very similar to Dartmoor (but without traffic or ice cream vans), and arrived at Tongue just in time for a pub lunch.

Leaving the Crask Inn

Leaving the Crask Inn

My wife and 2 children met us at Tongue as they were also staying in the hostel that night. They were on route to John O’Groats to welcome us in, and afterwards we were going to take a few days break in the Orkneys before heading South. We took the kids to the beach as its not often you have 28 degrees of heat on the north Scottish coast. However we were quite surprised to find we were sharing the beach with a herd of cows who seemed to be taking it in turns to promenade along the shore.

Our food parcels of chocolate bars we had sent to each hostel, were not something we looked forward to as by now we had built up our own chocolate mountain as we couldn’t keep up with the supply. The very thought of a chocolate bar made me feel sick, let alone eating one!

Food

A brunch bar too far

A brunch bar too far

Today was a short ride and so we didn’t stop for food that often. The 2 main stops were the Crask Inn (highly recommended) for a cup of tea and slice of cake, and the pub in Tongue for a pub lunch. There are a couple of convenience stores in Tongue just down from the pub. They are all situated where the A road takes a sharp hairpin and a minor road carries straight on. The convenience stores are almost opposite each other about 100 Metres on the minor road as it leaves the A road.

Delia does Brunch Bars

Delia does Brunch Bars

The Route

This was the most impressive ride of the whole trip. Quiet roads, steady gentle climbs / descents, and wonderful scenery. Fantastic!

When you leave Carbisdale SYH, you turn R at the end of the drive and almost immediately L along NCR1. Despite being an official cycle route it appears to be more like a public footpath. The route takes you on the railway bridge over the river straight on to the A836 to Lairg. This saves you the trouble of cycling back to Ardgay.

The SYHA

After the disappointment of Carbisdale SYHTongue SYH was the complete opposite. Small, clean, well equipped, in an absolutely idyllic setting right by the Kyle, and superb wardens (husband wife and young child) who had some delicious home-made cakes for sale and were very friendly. Unfortunately I think they were only there temporarily for the 2003 season.

Climbing Profile

lejog day 14 climbing profile

lejog day 14

 Statistics

From To

Day Distance (Miles)

Running Total (Miles)

Height climbed (Metres)

Height descended (Metres)

Carbisdale SYHA Tongue SYH

49

1001

883

931

Directions

The approximate route we followed for Day 14 is listed below (1:50 000).

I used the Memory Map 1:50 000 Ordnance Survey electronic maps for route planning. Note: – Don’t however buy their Adventurer GPS units as they are rubbish in my opinion.

When you leave Carbisdale SYH, you turn R at the end of the drive and almost immediately L along NCR1. Despite being an official cycle route it appears to be more like a public footpath. The route takes you on the railway bridge over the river straight on to the A836, where you turn L to Lairg.

At Lairg carry straight on the A836 towards Tongue. Pass the Crask Inn, Altnaharra, and eventually begin to drop down off the plateau towards Tongue. Just as you pass the radio mast there is a minor road L which you take to the village of Tongue. You carry on through Tongue and the SYH is on the right side of the road just before you cross the causeway.

LEJOG – Day 13 sunrise at Loch Ness

Day 13 – Loch Ness SYH to Carbisdale SYH – 64 miles

(Backwards to Day 12 or Forwards to Day 14)

For somewhere to eat at Bonar Bridge, there is the Crannag Bistro. The following description is from the owner Kathy Smith “Would you be kind enough to let everyone know about us please?  We are situated in the centre of Bonar Bridge, 7 miles from Carbisdale Castle (but only 3 as the crow flies and if you come via Invershin bridge!)  We are a small family run restaurant, 24 covers, fully licensed and serving honest
local fare.”

The day’s events

Sunrise over Loch Ness

Sunrise over Loch Ness

Set off early to get most benefit from cooler temperature and traffic free roads. There was a beautiful sunrise over Loch Ness and at 6:30am the air was still (and midge free!). Leaving the shores of Loch Ness at Drumnadrochit, we climbed our steepest hill at 15% (1 in 6) gradient, but thankfully only for about a mile. The good thing about climbing is you always come down and we enjoyed a quiet gentle descent more or less all the way into Beauly. We stopped for a 2nd breakfast at Dingwall and then took to the hills again after Alness to avoid A9 traffic, providing us with a spectacular mountain road with stunning views over Dornoch Firth towards Bonar Bridge.

View to Bonar Bridge from Cadha Mor

View to Bonar Bridge from Cadha Mor

We arrived at Carbisdale Castle early afternoon after a jacket potato lunch at Ardgay, near Bonar Bridge, which gave us plenty of time to rest and chill-out. The castle is quite a building and difficult to believe it’s a youth hostel! Unfortunately it is let down however by being very impersonal with under equipped and poor kitchen facilities which were certainly not good enough for 170 guests trying to self-cater!

Food

Keith on the road to Bonar Bridge

Keith on the road to Bonar Bridge

Again plenty of food stops available today so no real problem. We stopped at a friendly café / chip shop at Dingwall and we also stopped at Ardgay for a lunch and beer in the pub. There is also a small convenience store at Ardgay where we purchased our tea. If staying at the YHA, try to avoid peaktime in the kitchen as it is very poorly equipped and you will be fighting other hostellers for cutlery, utensils and pans! The bike shed is downstairs in a locked part of the cellar.

The Route

We all enjoyed the route today. There was one incredibly steep hill of Cornwall and Devon proportions but longer as you join the A833. However the effort is very well rewarded as the road gently descend all the way to Beauly. The second climb past Alness to Bonar Bridge, is not as steep as the first climb and a superb very enjoyable part of the day. It probably ranks in the top 5 most enjoyable parts of the whole trip.

Climbing Profile

Lejog day 13

Lejog day 13

Statistics

From To

Day Distance (Miles)

Running Total (Miles)

Height climbed (Metres)

Height descended (Metres)

Loch Ness SYH Carbisdale SYH

64

953

1764

1741

Directions

The approximate route we followed for Day 13 is listed below (1:50 000).

I used the Memory Map 1:50 000 Ordnance Survey electronic maps for route planning. Note: – Don’t however buy their Adventurer GPS units as they are rubbish in my opinion.

Turn L out of Loch Ness SYH and continue along A82 until Drumnadrochit where L on to A831. Next turn R on to A833 and follow until R on to A831 into Beauly. Follow A862 through Muir of Ord, Conon Bridge and into Dingwall.

At Dingwall continue under railway bridge, the A road takes a sharp R and take the next L up a side residential road to join the minor road to Mountgerald Ardullie (runs parallel to A862), and into Evanton where it joins the B817 where L. Follow B817 until it joins the B9176 where L.

Follow B9176 (also NCR1) until it joins the A836 where L into Kincardine.

At Ardgay, take L along minor road and follow to Carbisdale SYHA.

LEJOG – Day 12 looking for monsters

Day 12 – Glencoe SYH to Loch Ness SYH – 66 miles

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis

(Backwards to Day 11 or Forwards to Day 13)

The day’s events

Early morning reflections on Loch Leven

Early morning reflections on Loch Leven

The Great Glen is a magnet for tourists and hence the main A82 through the Glen is a very busy road for traffic. There are really few other alternative routes for bicycles north of Fort William other than the new Great Glen Cycle Route that picks its way through the Glen. Ideal for Mountain Bikes but unfortunately of very little use if you are travelling on light weight road bikes. Therefore we would have to take our chances with the tourist traffic for a majority of today’s route.

South of Fort William there is however a superb diversion with next to no cars at all offering wonderful views of the tallest mountain on the British Isles. Ben Nevis at over 4048ft.

To pick up the diversion we cycled the short distance to the Corran ferry on a bright still morning, taking the ferry across to the West side of Loch Linnhe. We cycled along the very quiet B road to Camusnagual where we had to lie in the sun for a couple of hours waiting for the passenger ferry to take us the short distance across the Loch to Fort William. From Fort William, we followed as much as possible the Caledonian Canal Tow path that is part of the Great Glen cycle route. This wasn’t particularly well surfaced, ok for mountain bikes, but with our very narrow tyres, we needed to take it very carefully.

Fort Augustus and Nessie

Fort Augustus and Nessie

Another very hot day, significantly hotter than yesterday so must have been into the 30’s. As we climbed the modest hill from Gairlochy towards Spean Bridge we suffered from the 2pm sun on our backs and deep lung-full’s of hot air rising from the hot road surface. We decided that from now onwards we should get up early in the mornings and be on the road before 7am to avoid much of this heat.

We stopped off for a well deserved ice cream and some essentials for our tea at Fort Augustus and cycled the final 12 miles to Loch Ness Youth Hostel.

Loch Ness Youth Hostel proved quite entertaining with a very laid back Scandinavian assistant warden who wouldn’t do anything until he had got his “boost juice” sorted out. (Coffee to you and me). His laid back approach however was counteracted by his boss who resembled a female commandant who modelled herself on a 3rd world dictator.

Food

Ferry at Camusnagaul

Ferry at Camusnagaul

Food stops were not an issue today. We shopped in the large supermarket at Fort William and carried our provisions for a couple of miles so we could picnic beside the Caledonian canal. After that we stopped for a tea break at the Letterfinlay Lodge Hotel on the banks of Loch Lochy before shopping again in Fort Augustus at the Spar for our tea which we had at the SYHA.

The Route – The detour off the busy A82 across the Corran ferry (frequent vehicle roll on / roll off ferry on which foot passengers and cycles go free. and back across the Loch to Fort William from Camusnagaul, was a very worthwhile detour that gave us an almost unused practically flat road with stunning views across to Ben Nevis. The only negative being the frequency of the Camusnagaul ferry that means you end up possibly waiting a couple of hours to return across the Loch, and if it was raining, there is little shelter. The best thing to do in bad weather is to take refuge in the hotel (I think it’s a hotel) once you’ve crossed at Corran by the ferry slipway where you can at least buy refreshments out of the rain and plan your trip to minimise the time you have to wait at Camusnagaul.

The A82 through the Great Glen however is far from pleasant and if you can avoid it all for the better. It is very busy not only with local traffic, but heavy commercial traffic and tourists as well. None of use enjoyed that part of the route at all. There is the Great Glen Cycle Route but all advice we received was that this was suitable for Mountain bikes only and not at all suitable for narrow racing cycle tyres. We did follow parts of the cycle route where it followed the Caledonian Canal as a respite from the A82. We did get through but very slowly as the surface is very rough indeed.

Ferry times – Corran Ferry times are as follows: – Depart Nether Lochaber every quarter past and quarter to the hour. Passengers and cycles free. Journey time 10 mins

Camasnagaul Passenger Ferry times are as follows (these times were valid for Monday to Saturday summer 2012 so check for changes): – 0815, 1015, 1230, 1635. A single costs £1.50 with a £1.50 charge per bike.  . It takes about 15 – 20 mins (see photo).

Climbing Profile

Glen Coe SYHA to Laggan

Lejog day 12 climbing profile

Lejog day 12 part 1

Laggan to Loch Ness SYHA

Lejog Day 12 part 2

Lejog Day 12 part 2

Statistics

From To

Day Distance (Miles)

Running Total (Miles)

Height climbed (Metres)

Height descended (Metres)

Glen Coe SYH Loch Ness SYH

66

889

1462

1472

Directions

The approximate route we followed for Day 12 is listed below (1:50 000)

I used the Memory Map 1:50 000 Ordnance Survey electronic maps for route planning. Note: – Don’t however buy their Adventurer GPS units as they are rubbish in my opinion.

 From the SYHA we retraced our steps through Glen Coe and back to Ballachulish where we crossed the A82 bridge and headed north towards the Corran ferry. We took the ferry across the Loch turned R and headed up the Loch towards Camusnagaul.

Catching the passenger ferry at Camusnagaul, we landed at Fort William. After the supermarket we took minor roads to join the B8006 where we turned L until it joined the A380 where L and almost immediate R to join the Caledonian Canal and the Great Glen Cycle Route. We stayed on the west bank of the canal until Gairlochy where we turned R on to the B8004 and followed to the A82 where L.

Stay on the A82 past Laggan, Invergarry, and at Bridge of Olch turn L follow cycle route alongside Caledonian Canal to Fort Augustus. Turn back on to A82 and follow past Invermoriston to Loch Ness SYHA.

LEJOG – Day 11 the longest day

Day 11 – Lochranza SYH to Glencoe SYH – 99 miles

Dunstaffnage Castle

Dunstaffnage Castle

Backwards to Day 10 or Forwards to Day 12

The day’s events

Claonaig Ferry

Claonaig Ferry

On paper, today was our hardest day. Not only in distance but also in height climbed. We were up and out the youth hostel and down at the ferry terminal ready for the first (08;15) ferry of the day over the causeway to Kintyre. With the grey skies, the ferry bouncing over the slight swell and the drone of the diesel engine, our “Longest Day” would have been complete if we had landed on the beaches of Normandy.

Our cycle began with a steady 4 mile climb along a pleasant single track road. before passing over the top and down into Tarbert. The road between Lochgilphead and Oban was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, a series of long challenging hills but some very fast alpine-style descents which Keith and I especially very much enjoyed. We made good time with a slight tailwind enjoying the beautiful scenery and, unusually for A roads, a good smooth low friction cycling surface without the nuisance of lots of traffic.

South of Tarbert

South of Tarbert

As the morning progressed, the early morning greyness had gradually been burnt off by the sun. By the time we reached Oban at lunchtime it was hot. Very hot. Apparently 29C! It was clear that the heatwave that we’d heard about down south had reached us.

Climbing out of Oban and along the busy A85 in the afternoon was not much fun. Mark especially was suffering with the heat and counteracted his discomfort by steaming off at a cracking pace. Turning off onto the A828 to Glencoe was fortunately quieter and we enjoyed a superb scenic route along the Scottish Westcoast through to Glencoe. At the end of the day, despite 99 miles and nearly 9,000ft of ascent, we were not so tired as we expected and were in very high spirits now that our longest and hardest day was behind us. Having done that we could do anything We also completed this leg of the journey with our fastest daily average speed so far. 15.2mph!

Food

Oban

Oban

Although traveling on a potentially very quiet part of the British Isles, we didn’t really have any problems regarding food stops. We stopped for a brunch at Ardrishaig at a roadside café, and at Oban for our main lunch stop. Although Oban was busy, it was still a nice place and had plenty of options for lunch stops, including a large supermarket. After that we carried on all the way to Ballachulish where we stopped for a beer at the hotel bar just beside the bridge. There is a well-stocked Spar shop in Glencoe and the YHA also has a range of provisions.

Just in case it rains

Just in case it rains

The Route

The route was excellent. The scenery stunning and the roads a nice combination of A road tarmac quality without the volume of traffic, or for that matter the steep ascents associated with lanes. This combination of the 2 probably accounts for why we hit out fastest average speed of the trip. The only stretch of road that was busy and not that pleasant was the A85 out of Oban to Connel. Once we turned off the A85 on to the A828, traffic died down significantly. A good day.

Climbing Profile

Just in case it rains climbing profile

Lejog day 11

Statistics

From To

Day Distance (Miles)

Running Total (Miles)

Height climbed (Metres)

Height descended (Metres)

Lochranza SYH Glen Coe SYHA

99

823

2717

2690

Directions

The approximate route we followed for Day 11 is listed below (1:50 000). .

I used the Memory Map 1:50 000 Ordnance Survey electronic maps for route planning. Note: – Don’t however buy their Adventurer GPS units as they are rubbish in my opinion.

Out of SYHA and turn L follow A841 short distance to ferry port. Catch ferry to Claonaig.

From Claonaig follow B8001 out of port over hill and turn R on to A83. Follow A83 through Tarbert, Ardrishaig, and just before Lochgilphead turn L on A816 past Bridgend, Kilmartin, Kilmelford, Kilmore to Oban.

From Oban follow the A85 through Dunbeg and L at Connel over bridge on A828 past Benderloch to Ballachulish where you join the A82 before turning L on local road into Glencoe and on to the SYH.