It's 4.30pm, Sunday 19 July, and I'm sitting in the lounge of the SYHA in Oban, very wet! The journey was sunny and dry from Edinburgh until Tyndrum, but then the heavens opened for the last 40 miles. Though the first part hadn't been without it's adventures.
A good friend, Alastair, had joined me on the ride as far as Calander, where we stopped for cappuccino and scones at The Old Bank coffee shop, which we would both recommend. But our way north was blocked due to a major fire in the main street. Traffic was diverted around along a single track road, which would have been fine, but we accidentaly turned left at the end of the diversion instead of right and found ourselves heading south west to Aberfoyle!
But we were glad we had, for the road, called Dukes Pass, was stunning, and a complete joy on a motorbike, what I will call "road of deep joy", with tight twists and turns all the way, and panoramic views of forested valleys. We doubled back only to find once back at Calander the single track road was also now blocked, due to a bus and lorry having an argument! Alastair had to start his journey back to Edinburgh and I had to find a way north.
So we bid each other farewell and headed off on our respective journeys. I decided to go back over Dukes Pass via Aberfoyle again, rather than wait for the road to open, a detour of 25 miles, making a total of 50 added to my journey having just done it once already.
But this proved to be the right choice.
Once I emerged 50 minutes later at Kilmahog on the other side of Calander, all the roads were still blocked! But this also had another joyous outcome becasue as a result for the next 20 miles to Lochearnhead I had the entire road all to myself! Not one other vehicle in sight. Fab.
By Tyndrum I was ready for a break and late lunch. Not just that but due to my jacket being zipped onto the trousers, to make it a one piece for safety, the trousers had slowly ridden up, cutting the circulation to my jewels and forcing my new Calvin Kleins into the old Kyber Pass, a bit of readjustment was needed!
So, Oban fish and chips tonight, a good nights rest, then the Calmac ferry to Mull tomorrow morning.
I'll speak to you again tomorrow evening from Ratagan.