Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Westernmost Point!

I'm really very, very happy right now. I've finally made it to the westernmost point: Ardnamurchan.

I met my Human Sat Nav, Scot, this morning at Fired Art in Fort William, the starting point for Day 27:


The nature of my journey - between the four corners - means that sometimes I have no choice but to retread some parts of it. This morning was a great example because I had to start by heading south on the A82, the same road that had carried me north the day before.

But it took us down to the Corran Ferry and a trip across Loch Linnhe. Scot was an amazing guide - he's a marine biologist, so knows his wildlife and was able to point out all sorts of creatures and geological features along the way. We saw porpoises playing in the water before the ferry journey. Ace.



The landscape on the headland was so varied as we scooted around the edge of the sea loch, Loch Sunart. As was the weather. It was hot and humid, cold and rainy, windswept and everything in between.



Our first tea stop came in Strontian, courtesy of Olivia, Scot's wife who caught up with us in their campervan. Ace fruit cake too.

I think this was one of the toughest rides of the lot. As well as some stiff climbs...

we also seemed to be heading into an energy sapping headwind for huge chunks of the ride.
By the time we made it to a great little visitor centre (with a grape vine sprouting out of the floor and all over the window) we were in dire need of some calories.



The hills kept on coming and the wind kept on hurting us but eventually we passed the Sonachan Hotel - and the barn out the back which would be my venue for the night - and continued for another three miles out to the westernmost point and the Ardnamurchan Lighthouse.

Here I am with Scot...

and here I am with my bike as far west as it was possible to put it...


I wish the day's cycling had ended there but of course we had to go back over those last three miles to get back to the venue where our journey ended some eight and a quarter hours after it had begun...


It meant I was arriving at the venue at 6.30 and with this one being an earlier-than-normal 7.30 show there was very little time to prepare... but, I managed to do an interview for Radio 4' Front Row, shower, change and eat before hitting the stage on time. I don't think I've ever played a barn before but I'm very glad to have done so tonight.



I can't believe I've got this far. It's been an incident packed 28 days that have taken me from the southernmost point to the easternmost point to the westernmost... and now the end is in sight. Just 5 more shows and 6 more rides and I'll be at the northernmost point.

I hope tomorrow's guide is as good as today's. Oh, hang on. It will be. Scot's taking me to Glenfinnan as well...

5 comments:

getting stuff done said...

It is truly an impressive and an amazing journey. I LOVE the photo of the Barn audience. And I love that you are doing wee teeny interesting venues like that. You go feller!

Lydia said...

What an amazing journey from concept to reality, and you have achieved it with such panache too! I'm sure you'll have no problems reaching the end and bet your stamina is off the scale now :) Congratulations.

coastkid said...

well done on an awsome trip!

jumbly said...

Fantastic achievement Dave, well done!

Maisy's slave said...

I was in the crowd at the back. How do you manage to cycle so far in what was really crap weather, then entertain us for the evening? Who do you buy your batteries from? I must get some. Thanks for a great evening, it was worth the drive from Acharacle 100 times over. Do come back!