View Full Version : Scottish Highlands

Karen in NY
07-30-2004, 12:49 PM
April 2003 I cycled in the Highlands - not really on a tour but my friends parents acted as our SAG wagon and transported our luggage for us. We stayed in B&Bs half the time and camped half the time.

It's more challenging than Ireland because the mountains are bigger and the towns are much more far apart. But it is so gorgeous. The most I went in one day was 71 miles and keep in mind the first 5 hours were up hill! That was allaround Loch Awe. We lucked out and had lovely weather. It was Easter week and they were having sunny warm weather. At night it was chilly in the tent and I had never really been camping before. Going to sleep with wet hair was a bad idea, one night I thought I'd give myself pneumonia. It was fun though.

One day we cycled 15 miles then caught a train with our bikes - and got off in Rannock Moor. This is in the middle of nowhere, there isn't even a train station there. Just a path through the moor. We cycled from there and it took maybe an hour and a half before we even came to a farm. It was so peaceful and unspoiled. We saw some baby lambs and they looked like they had never seen a human being before. We ended up at a campsite and my friend's parents were there with the camper and equipment.

I'm about to go back to the UK, to the Yorkshire Dales and to the Lake District again. This time we will use pannier bags and only see the friend's parents after 5 days of being on our own. The panniers will be on his bike mostly because I'd never get up the hills with the extra weight. Pack light he keeps saying! We can leave some items in the parent's camper. I sort of wish I was going back to Scotland though, there is so much more to see. I'd like to see more of the Western Highlands and some of those islands too.

07-30-2004, 04:25 PM
Sounds wonderful !

Had you ever considered towing a small trailer rather than using panniers? I have no experience with panniers or with trailers so I couldn't say which was easier, although I gather a lot of cycle tourers use the trailers so I guess they can't be that difficult to tow.

At any rate, have a wonderful time, and thanks for sharing your experiences!

- Jo, who lives vicariously through reading about others' adventures. :D