Scotland: Mountain biking with six eggs

At 4am I wake up as Alex crashes about in the tent. At 5am I’m still awake, give in and get up to pee, and it’s already getting light. I wonder if the tent will dry out before we have to pack it up – it seems like a dry and sunny morning. Alex and Finn are snoring.

A little later on, we’re all awake and lying in the tent. Someone comes by and yells out “Hello Australia!” It’s the farmhouse lady; she offers to cook us breakfast and bring it to the tent. It’s tempting, but we decide we should not be quite that lazy.

She gives me six fresh chicken eggs after taking our photo for their new website: “We’re on a thing called facebook”. I bundle them up, but cunningly don’t put them all in the same basket. Three in my front pouch, three in my feed bag. We’re about to ride a rough rocky descent – it should be fine?

We set off along rough roads and through logging areas. Waking up as we climb uphill, then thoroughly enjoying the descent to Loch Ness. Except for the gates. So many gates in Scotland! Not that many sheep or cattle, definitely many many wooden gates that we have to open and close behind us. But the track turns smooth and narrows to single track, and blue sky starts peeking out between the clouds.

Drumnadrochit is a Loch Ness monster tourist town. It’s a bit scary. Scrounging groceries from a convenience store, Finn gets icecream, we get toasties (woo, toasties everywhere in this place!), then we keep heading on up and out of town.

The path we’re travelling along is also one a lot of hikers travel – the Great Glen Way. And we spend a good chunk of today leapfrogging with a couple of hikers. It’s nice and friendly and all, but serves as a humbling reminder of how slowly we’re travelling.

We wander onto a proper car-road to visit Corrimony Cairn. A chambered cairn for collective burials, from the Bronze Age or so. It’s surrounded by standing stones, and the cairn has a central chamber and a crawl through entrance.

Scotland, like the rest of the UK, seems a little wild. Not the wild of mountains and bears, but an old kind of wild, of land lived in forever, with faeries and pixies and other worlds that you could fall into.

Arriving in Cannich, we decide to stop for the afternoon, staying in a highly civilised dry and grassy camprground. This pleases Finn, as it has a playground, and he finds a new friend to play with (a Portugese girl named Alice).

We’re all tired still, maybe we do have some jetlag. Everyone is suffering from lethargy legs. On the plus side, my trick of running my seat low seems to be reducing irritation in my injured left knee, and it’s feeling ok so far.

Oh, and I didn’t break any of the eggs – I got them all to camp safely and we had scrambled eggs for pre-dinner.

Distance: 35km
Elevation gain: 480m
Location: Abriachan Eco Campsite to Cannich

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