Stage 2

"Holy cow batman, its quite a long way isn't it?"

Stage Stats

Distance 138.7 km
Time 5 hours 41 mins
Elevation 1318m
Pain Factor 7/10

The day started a bit later due to breakfast only being served from 7:30am. Full English again, and James had his 1st taste of Black Pudding. Nothing like letting an American try it and then tell him what it is. I believe the response was along the lines of, "You are f%&*ing kidding me". We set off about 8:30 and made reasonable progress to Bonar Bridge where we had to stop for the obligatory silly photo (fnrrr fnrrr).

Over the bridge and things start to go up and down again, and the beautiful weather of yesterday had morphed into a light drizzle. Nothing too awful but just enough to make the road surface a little bit perilous on the downhills. Slow it down and keep it safe - live to ride another day.

We pressed on to Dingwell for coffee and brunch (this is essential to keep the fuel up) There was some tough hills to get over before we eventually dropped down to the shores of Loch Ness where we met up with the support driver Jimbo for a few coffees.  At Tore we did a food / coffee stop and discussed the route. Originally we were going to take the cycle path down alongside the A9 down to the Kessock Bridge. Then cross over to the South side of Loch Ness and then follow the military road, to Fort Augustus.

This is the "scenic" route which is supposed to be very nice. The problem was, looking across the Loch was a bunch of "scenery" that looked pretty "gnarly" - I believe the youth call it. The weather was not getting any better and the alternative was the northern shore of the Loch which was more direct but involved the more touristy route with possible traffic. We sacrificed the moutain pass for the sake of progress and took the faster option.

The road down to Fort Augustus was pretty hectic (loads of tourist traffic and timber trucks) but it was a nice 20 mile ride along the Loch where we checked into Morags Hostel – very cheap and full of interesting people. We have a 6 man dorm which seems to be to ourselves. If there is another one sharing, I pity the poor individual that has to wake up the smell of us lot (and the sight of his Lordship applying more butt butter)


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Next Stage: Stage 3