Day 16 - Sunday 26th August – Callander to Aberfeldy
Daily Distance = 50 miles (expected = 45.5)
Total Distance = 877 miles (expected = 803.5)
Weather: Mainly dry and sunny, but turning overcast and cold just before lunch, then sunny again.
Contour: Up-up-up through pass, then down-down-down. Up-down-up-down round Loch Tay, and then flat for the last 10 miles.
A good breakfast of fruit salad and boiled eggs. The owner also gave us scones for the journey.
We dropped down the drive and met the NCN route 7. Again NCN have insisted on covering the track in gravel. Most of this is fine, but some parts of the track (including steep climbs and descents) are covered in a thicker layer, which makes it very treacherous. One part was particularly unpleasant when there were large rocks sticking out of the ground on the descent. The countryside is gorgeous but it is difficult to enjoy it while watching for pot holes and rocks in the floor.
We rejoined the main A road, and climbed up one pass on the main road. This was hard going, and very dangerous. Cars and lorries get very close and don’t seem to worry about knocking you down the side of the mountain. At the top of the climb, which was about 4 miles long, we stopped at a mobile café for a cup of coffee and our scones.
After the stop, the drop back down was nicer, following the off-road route through the forest. Part of this is very nice, with smooth tarmac, but this soon changes back to gravel, grass and mud. Again some parts are dangerous on bikes with no tread.
We joined Loch Tay, and cycled along the south side of the water. The road is only just wide enough for one car, and has passing places. Unfortunately Bank Holiday Sunday is not the day to cycle by a loch. Everyone else seemed to want to use the road as a racetrack. It is also difficult to see the loch for much of the journey as there is a screen of trees between the road and the water. The road is very undulating, with short sharp climbs and falls. These are made more difficult by the need to stop and let cars past every few yards.
We stopped in Kenmore for Sunday lunch. This was only about 10 miles from the B&B, and so we stuffed our faces with soup, roast beef and lemon meringue pie. The hotel in Kenmore is reportedly the oldest hotel in Scotland.
Cycling to Aberfeldy was lovely, and a nice flat road. We stopped in Aberfeldy and bought bread and cheese for tea, eventually arriving at the B&B at 3pm. The rooms weren’t quite ready, but the owner gave us tea and scones/cakes to eat while we rested in the conservatory.
Lovely B&B, West Park Farm, off the main road, quiet, single rooms with a shared bathroom. I washed my cycle clothes in the bath and hung them on the towel rail to dry. Television in the lounge downstairs which is for the use of guests. Had difficult staying awake until 10pm to watch the end of Midsommer Murders, but I had to find out whodunit. £20 per person.
No punctures or breakdowns.