After a considerable period of planning and preparation we were ready. We left 25 minutes after our planned departure time, but what’s 25 mins when our challenge is going to take 8 and a half days?
We took a couple of photos of ourselves with Rubes and Roberto (our trusty steeds) and then began what Google maps estimated would be a 8 hr 4 minute journey to Fort William.
We felt as if we were making significant progress when we passed the ‘Welcome to Scotland’ sign. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t very welcoming, but wet, windy and miserable. Our thoughts were that it would be extremely miserable if we were cycling!
From this point onwards the route we were to drive would be pretty much the route we would cycle in the opposite direction. This wasn’t a positive thing for us as we prefer to not know what’s ahead. However, as we drove northwards we obsessively noted every hill, potholed road surface (definitely no worse than Oxfordshire) and points where there’d be limited opportunity for vehicles to safely overtake us. We began to have some doubts.
By the time we reached a sign advising we were in The Highlands, the sun made a brief reappearance along with a rainbow.
After 11 hours we finally reached our home for 3 nights – Brevins Guest House. We were warmly welcomed by Vincent the owner, who showed us to our accommodation and where we could stable Rubes and Roberto.
There’s been a lot of logistical stuff to sort out over the last couple of days, so no time for us to worry about the physical challenge ahead of us. However, having seen what we’re going to have to do over the first few days of cycling, it does now seem a little bit daunting. That can wait though, as the focus is now the safe ascent and descent of Ben Nevis on Sunday.