day 9

Wednesday 26th June 2013

Another day following route 7, which was mostly on very quiet roads. Great weather. The planned stop was at Aberfeldy, but arriving there in good time I decided to press on, only to find that the next one didn't exist (campsite, not the next Aberfeldy), and so I continued on to Pitlochry.


Loch Voil.

The climbing, and traffic-free section of the day was through Glen Ogle. While I can't say that I "stared in a lecherous manner" it was certainly worth taking time to admire the views. It started with a hideous (in the sense of being steep and bendy) chicaned section, which I had to walk up on occasion, but the benefit was that the remainder was a pleasantly gentle gradient. This section is an old railway, and it's amazing that track was laid and trains were pulled and pushed (both required I'm sure) up here.

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The well-prepared cyclist is always equipped with a spare tyre. Loch Earn and the A85 through Glen Ogle.

I stopped in Killin for coffee and a takeaway baguette for later, which impratically came with coleslaw and salad which I managed to eat using a bit of crust as cutlery.

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The apparently hazardous expired MacNabs and the Falls of Dochart at Killin.

After this there was a long stretch following the southern shore of Loch Tay. Being next to water I thought this would be fairly flat, but there was a reasonable amount of undulation. Here I saw my first bit of snow, on Ben Lawers, as well as a red squirrel and a young deer.

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Ben Lawers from Loch Tay, and what must have been a tiny two room cottage some time ago.

Then there was a nice flat bit through the wonderfully named Appin of Dull. The wisdom of the internet suggests that "Appin" refers to an abbey's estate. Dull really is twinned with Boring, Oregon, USA. I was hoping to camp a little further on at Strathtay but there didn't seem to be a site - a shame as it would have made very nice spot, but a bit too public to just help myself.

After the anticipation of the day's end, having to go a few more miles is always hard work, but when I finally found the cycle route to Pitlochry it was worth it. On-road but very quiet, there must have been a cycling event along this way recently as the road was decorated with such gems as "Go Dougie" (obviously meant for me) and "last hill" (which was a bit of a lie).

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Almost other-worldly light through through the broom and the trees. And a bit of encouragement.

The campsite was a big one with lots of caravans, and just a handful of tents. I spoke to the guy on the pitch next to me the following morning while he was having his breakfast fag. He was from the Netherlands, and was walking from Land's End to John o' Groats. He had been going for 9 weeks and thought he had another 3 to go. He had an impressively small rucksack and was sufficiently tall that I imagine his feet would have been poking out of his coffin-style tent.


Rosé and lentils.

55 miles - View Route - Download .gpx