Sunday, 12 June 2011

The colour purple

This is Thursday's Blog - no Internet since then!

Earlier on the ride the predominant colour was yellow; now it's purple. The most common is the purple foxglove, which lines every verge, along with campion, clover, ragged robin, orchids, rhododendrons and the occasional wild rose. Also to be seen today was a purple face - mine - from all the hills. Not that I pedalled them all. Some short sections must have been about 30%.

The island of Seil is linked to the mainland by ther famous Clachan Bridge, 'The Bridge over the Atlantic'. It acquired that epithet long before the Skye Bridge was built, of course. Perhaps it should now be called 'A bridge ....'. Seil's neighbour to the south is Luing, a grown-up version of Lismore, more rugged and hillier. Both islands have delightful conservation villages - Ellenabeich on Seil and Toberonochy on Luing. Both owe their existence to the slate industry and the white-washed cottages were once lived in by the quarrymen and their families.

The big challenge today was the moor track between Ardmaddy and Ledaig, some three miles of off-road track of unknown quality. This saved about 12 miles of busy A-road, so I was determined to make it work. It was tough going uphill - I changed into trainers for a better grip and pushed the bike over rocks and large stone chippings. The views either side of the summit were stunning and the sun stayed out most of the time. This section woiuld have been most unpleasant in the rain. As it was, it was difficult, but enjoyable.

I reached the target of Arduaine at 7.30, only to find that the campsite no longer existed. I pressed for on a couple of miles and found a suitable off-road place to pitch the tent. No internet signal though.

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