Scottish trip: Epilogue

The Scottish trip was a very different animal to the Irish trip due to my not having the company of a friend, and having to carry everything myself.  The dogs in Scotland were very different animals as well, as not once was I chased by one, although a few barked, and one Rottweiler expressed more than a passing interest in my lunch.  It was I who surprised one old sheepdog, who visibly jumped as s/he became aware of my presence as I cycled by.  Sorry about that.

Being on my own did allow me, or perhaps compel me, to speak more readily to strangers, a trait which developed as the week went on.  In doing so, my journey was immeasurably enriched.

And what of that tiny Scottish elephant in the room – the midge.  I am happy to report that I was scarcely bothered by them.  Occasionally I would pass some woodland, and would pass through a cloud of them, spitting them out for the next wee while.  Once when I stopped, I became aware of a series of black specks spattered on the front of my legs and entangled in the hairs of my forearms, but I suspect that the almost constant breeze, combined with a route that kept more to the coast, was the largest factor in my lack of torment, with the citronella-infused sun screen lotion coming a distant, but still useful, second.

Would I do it again?  Absolutely, but I would make more of the journey and less of the destination, allowing myself more time to see places and chat to people.

Trip statistics

a) Home to home

Miles ridden: 620.6
Feet climbed: 26245
Total time moving on the bike: 40 hours 23 minutes
Average speed: 15.36 mph
Calories burned:  31285 (that’s 182 Sainsbury’s Eccles cakes!)

b) Mull of Galloway to John O’Groats

Miles ridden: 531.4
Feet climbed: 23060
Total time moving on the bike:  35 hours 14 minutes
Average speed: 15.08 mph

Accommodation

Stables Guest House, Corsbie Rd
Newton Stewart, DG8 6JB
www.stablesguesthouse.com

New Lanark SYHA
Wee Row, Rosedale Street
New Lanark ML11 9DJ
www.syha.org.uk/new-lanark

Perth SYHA
Perth College, Crieff Rd
Perth PH1 2GA
www.syha.org.uk/perth

Aviemore SYHA
25 Grampian Rd
Aviemore PH22 1PR
www.syha.org.uk/aviemore

Morven Guest House
70 Nover Rd
Alness IV17 0RG
www.morven-house.com

Ruard Guest House
Stafford St
Helmsdale KW8 6JR
www.ruard.co.uk

The Weigh Inn
Burnside
Thurso KW14 7UG
www.weighinn.co.uk

 

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One Response to Scottish trip: Epilogue

  1. Jonathan says:

    Amazing trip. Very inspiring, and sounds like you’ve got so much out of it. Looking forward to hearing more next week. Bravo!

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