For the past 2 days I have not made any forward – that is to say eastward – progress at all. Ever since the long blast across Moray and Aberdeenshire to Peterhead on Tuesday, I have been making my way back across land and sea to start the next crossing of the country. Other than the 30 miles I had to cycle in the late evening from Peterhead to Aberdeen, this return journey has been made entirely on public transport – 2 trains and a boat – which feels like something of a triumph in its own right. It wasn’t possible to do all that in a single day, so I spent the night in Glasgow’s fashionable West End and got the early train to Mallaig, which takes 5 hours.
The whole journey from Aberdeen to South Uist was done in sunny weather. It was a visual feast from start to finish, with all the key ingredients of rocky coastline, cliffs, mountains, lakes, white sand beaches, castles, churches and islands. Never a dull moment.
I dropped off some baggage in Arisaig while killing time waiting for the evening ferry. I will pick it up again in a week. This made for a beautiful 20 mile coastal ride on the old road from Mallaig and back again. It is a stunning piece of coast, fringed by mountains and dotted with white sandy beaches, with the constant presence of the Small Isles of Eigg and Muck drawing the eye out to sea. Today it was looking close to its best and I enjoyed it over a relaxing pint. But I will be back here soon – in 9 more maps to be precise – so I will leave more to say then.
Tomorrow the miles start to count again. I’m in OS map 31 tonight and I plan to do it justice.