Sunday, June 04, 2006

Day 24 June 3rd Applecross

Day 24 June 3rd Applecross Originally uploaded by rhesus42.
Today's Track I had a little trouble with the GPS this morning so the first 5 miles of the track from Broadford are missing. Today's picture is a view back down part of the major climb for the day up to Bealach na Ba. Apologies for this being delayed and out of sequence. There was no mobile signal in Applecross. Also, for some reason, Blogger did not like my original post. Wow. Any disappointment that the weather affected yesterday evening's ride to Elgol was forgotten today with the section of the ride from Lochcarron to Applecross. Today's picture is a view back down the road from near the top of the climb. To be honest, I was a bit worried about today's ride. It was the way peoples eyebrows raised when I told them I was cycling to Applecross. That and the maniacal laughter. The day started with really dreary weather, light rain and low cloud. I fully expected to be cycling in fog later in the day when the route climbed. I crossed the Skye bridge, finally saying goodbye to the islands. The section up the south edge of Loch Carron was actually quite challenging. There are a number of steep climbs leaving the Kyle of Localsh and the route continues to climb past Stromferry. Althought the route eventually follows the railway, it still manages to climb away steeply from time to time. At Strathcarron, the route crosses to the opposite side of the loch and heads south west to Lochcarron. For this whole section, it was raining and the cloud was very low on the peaks opposite. From Locharron, the route climbs steeply crossing over to Loch Kishorn. The road to Applecross is marked with a large sign pointing out its challenges, its peak altitude of 2053 feet, its steep gradients and sharp bends. I headed up with some apprehension. Actually I needn't have worried. Although the road climbs continually the gradients, while steep, are ok. I did need to walk up for a little way, but only the section just before the series of hairpin bends near the top. The bends themselves actually have reasonable gradients for cycling, though a number of motorists and motorcyclists were very circumspect on their way down. While I was getting my breath back at one of the hairpins, an open top Audi came down with the driver profering a donation for the charities I'm supporting. I continue to be overwhelmed by people's spontaneous generosity A number of the people I've stayed with have sponsored me. I'll post a full list once the ride is complete. It took a couple of hours to get to the summit. As I was going up, the weather gradually improved, the cloud lifted and the rain stopped. The view point at the summit offers staggering views over Skye and the other islands. From the top, the route descends steadily to Applecross, and I hardly had to turn a pedal until I reached the village. The sun was out as I arrived. Biggest disappointment of the day was that I disturbed two deer at the side of the road before I realised they were there and lost the opportunity to photograph them.

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