Mike & Anne Wesson
and
Harry & Mary Rae's
"End to End"


by Mike & Anne Wesson

2nd to 23rd June 1998
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The Journey - 3rd Week

 Day 15 - Wednesday, 17th June 1998

 Tarbert, Glen Kilmichael, Loch Awe, Dalmaly
Loch Awe
Loch Awe

Waiting
Waiting for a hair cut

What can one say about the most perfect day's cycling ever? "This is like cycling in a picture postcard" - "This is like a dream".

First along the edge of Loch Fyne followed by 25 miles along Loch Awe and between the two lochs along Kilmichael Glen with hardly a car to be seen. Lunch on Loch Awe where we met a couple on a tandem trike.

B & B beside river Lochy. A sheep called Polly in the garden and numerous animals. Anne received a severe insect bite on her ear.

Mileage today 57. Cumulative 827.

 Day 16 - Thursday, 18th June 1998

 Dalmally, Glenorchy, Bridge of Orchy, Rannock Moor, Glencoe, Loch Linhe, Fort William

Yet another beautiful day. Along Glenorchy cycling beside River Orchy with numerous small falls and quietest of roads. Over Bridge of Orchy to Rannock Moor. A long climb but not as bad as we expected. To Glencoe and along Loch Linhe to Fort William. Saw my first mountain - just unreal. At lunch we were grabbed by some oriental tourists for a photo session - must have thought we were in local costume. Saw a pair of Osprey and a bird of prey - not sure what. A lady dashed from a car behind to donate to CLIC.

B & B run by Ian in a kilt with a great sense of humour. Another great day and the mountains were awesome.

Mileage today 55. Cumulative 884.

Rannoch Moor Summit
Rannoch Moor Summit

Anne's mountains
Anne's mountains - Buachaille Elive Mor & Buachaille Elive Beag

Glencoe and Loch Leven
Pap of Glencoe and Loch Leven - Kinlochleven

 Day 17 - Friday, 19th June 1998

 Fort William, Loch Lochy, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, Whitebridge, Foyers
Spean Bridge
The Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge

Loch Ness - evening
Loch Ness - evening

The rain was back and obscured the top of Ben Nevis. Midges very bad and ear (bitten on day 15) growing nicely. A long climb to Commando Memorial where we were grabbed for photos again. The climb to east side of Loch Ness was quite something but scenery at top was very different - rugged open moorland. Great swoops down.

A good B & B with Scottish food overlooking Loch Ness.

Mileage today 50. Cumulative 934.

 Day 18 - Saturday, 20th June 1998

 Foyers, Inverness, Beauly Firth Bridge, Dingwall, Invergordon

Another lovely day and a switch back ride along Loch Ness to Inverness where luckily we met a very chatty parking meter attendant and while we were asking for the nearest bike shop (we'd found a split in the front tyre) told us the Cromarty - Nigg ferry didn't run at the weekend so he saved us a long wasted ride. Instead we took a pleasant route along the Beauly Firth. Very flat and a head wind again - my rear end really suffered.

Found the best B & B yet - en suite. Seen first signs of John O'Groats 108 miles to go.

Mileage today 56. Cumulative 991.

Loch Ness - early morning
Loch Ness - early morning

Dingwall
A nice welcome to Dingwall

 Day 19 - Sunday, 21st June 1998

 Invergordon, Tain, Golspie, Brora, Helmsdale
Helmsdale
Helmsdale

Helmsdale Harbour
Helmsdale Harbour

Terrific thunderstorm at night but beautiful day. Made our way to Tain and passed 1,000 mile mark. Although on A9, roads were quiet and fairly flat. Crossing the bridge over Dornock Sound was a nightmare. The wind so strong we had to walk and Mary lost the sponsor money so we had to scrabble to get it all among the traffic. Had lunch by the beach at Golspie.

B & B had sandpaper sheets and everyone was called Dears. Best meal yet - in a sea food restaurant.

Mileage today 47. Cumulative 1031.

 Day 20 - Monday, 21st June 1998

 Helmsdale, Strath of Kildonan, Forsinard, Strath of Halladale, Thurso

Decided to take the long route via Melvich and Thurso despite my problematical rear end. frequent stops had been necessary for a few days. This was another dream of a day. The cycling was easy over very uninhabited terrain. saw red deer and many oyster catchers and their young.

Coffee at Forsinard Hotel. Had a good downpour that came upon us in an instant. Apart from that, weather was good. Picnic lunch at 1914-18 war memorial.

Mileage today 56. Cumulative 1097.

Loch an Ruathair
Loch an Ruathair

Thurso
Thurso - with the end in sight

 Day 21 - Tuesday, 23rd June 1998

 Thurso, Dunnet, John O'Groats
John O'Groats
Entering John O'Groats

The finish
The finish

Last day and the weather awful with a strong head wind. A real battle to get there and then a bit of an anticlimax but

WE MADE IT

and enjoyed it - even the bad days - they made the good days seem even better and even with the broken collar-bone. My carer Mary deserves a vote of thanks and I apologize for all the kicks I inflicted. [Mary had to help Anne mount the tandem as the pain in the shoulder prevented her from doing it unaided]

Mileage today 21. Cumulative 1117.


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