Mini Tour of Scotland – The Aftermath and the Metrics

As promised,  here are some metrics for those analytical types.  Total distance travelled is 1,205.30 KM. Cycled 681.7 KM, Ferry 163.6 KM and Ground travel with bus and train is 360KM. Elevation gain and loss? No idea. I guess some up and some down.

You can check out the route map below link and photo attached  Mini Tour of Scotland https://trackmytour.com/z2Rqg

Also below is the picture of the total cost summary of the trip.

Total cost was £269.60. Food was £104.05, Accommodation was £94, Transport was £48.15 and Entertainment was £23.40.

Mini Tour of Scotland – Day 17, The Final Day, Inverness

My tour officially ends today in Inverness. It has been a wonderful experience. I will blog a recap and review of the ride after this. So do look out for it.

Today, there will no riding but lots of exploring Inverness and the surrounding. I am also doing some research on Social Enterprise and Community based program in Scotland. David who is a Social Enterprise Academy colleague here in Inverness graciously hosted me today to show me around Inverness.

We started with a hearty Highland breakfast of Oat porridge at cafe that is a Social Enterprise. They provide on the job training for youths that are having difficulties in the school system. The profits of the operations goes back into funding its operation and another part goes back to their parent company which is a charity and the profits would be used for charitable causes. That’s what we call a meaningful enterprise.

We really had a full on day, I followed David to pick up his cats from a pet hotel and then went for a walk in a national park Later we pick up the cats again to sent them for a quick check up and subsequently went to visit a Woodland that is community managed and then to have a nice lunch at a cafe near by. David had a meeting with the Highlands and Island Enterprise which is an agency under the Scottish government tasked to promote community programs in rural Scotland. I was able to tag along to the meeting and it was a great experience for me.

I am told that in Scotland the rural areas have the most Social Enterprise per capita compared to urban areas. How interesting.

Statistic shows in rural Scotland there are perhaps less than 1000 people per Social Enterprise vs more than 3000 people for urban areas. Wow.

The bonus of the day was after a chit chat about my touring bike which I bought in Edinburgh, David decide to buy it off me for £120. I am grateful to David for this. So thank you David and thank you for a great day.

Tomorrow I will return to Edinburgh by bus. Will spend sometime to explore Edinburgh some more before returning to Basel on 5th October.

Traditional Highland Breakfast
A Social Enterprise Cafe

That’s one huge mushroom
That’s David

Community managed woodlands park

Cullen Skink. Traditional fish soup.
David and me at his office in Inverness
Another Social Enterprise Cafe. This time a hike themed cafe with bike workshop

Mini Tour of Scotland – Day 16 , Invermoriston to Inverness, Last chance to spot Nessie.

What a great night of camping. Windless and calm. A few drops on my tent not from the rain but rather the moisture from the tree above. The morning started somewhat gloomy but things cleared up pretty fast. I decamp and started on my way to Inverness.

Wow my last riding day today. Already ? Since I have time. I wanted to explore the Great Glen Way but again on checking it out it was not suitable for my load so I decided to keep on the A82 along the Loch Ness.

Overall the ride was pleasant and the weather was good. If did rain a bit but did not last too soon.

Decide to stop at a small village called Drumnadrochit for a hearty breakfast.

Continued along the Loch Ness and had the opportunity to just get down to the lake and touch the famous lake water.

I arrived in The Youth Hostel at Inverness in good time and had to wait awhile before I could check in.

Tomorrow I will be meeting David Bryan who is a tutor for SEA and we will spend sometime out to check out the Social Enterprises in Inverness.

My burner breathing it’s last breath. Just as well my tour ends today.
One more last look at my enchanting wild campsite

Sun is bursting out. That’s great !
Very scenic along the Loch Ness.
Urquhart Castle

Decided to splurge on my breakfast.
Nice place to chill for breakfast.

I am at the beach of Loch Ness
Summoning Loch Ness Monster.
Iron Cow
Canal route to Inverness.

Inverness castle

Mini Tour of Scotland – Day 15, Shield Bridge to Invermoriston

Another crappy start, rain and pounding winds till 930am. It quieten down after that and I quickly took the opportunity to decamp and pushed off. It was light rain so it was not too bad. But after awhile it got heavier but not as heavy as previous days.

I passed by the famous Five Sisters mountain range meandering along the valley. I could make out vaguely how stunning the views were even with the light rain and fog covering most of it. On a clear day it must be spectacular.

It was quite a grind in the beginning but the last 30km was a pleasant blast mostly downhill.

I was hoping to buy some provision at the only store in Invermoriston but it was closed. Luckily I have enough to get me by tonight. I was looking at wild camping tonight and wanted to get into the Great Glen Way route but the climb is way too steep for my loaded bike, so I decided to take the main A82 road instead. The A82 is very scenic as it hugs the famous Loch Ness. Spotted a side road and found a nice spot to camp next to a stream and a waterfall. Nice.

Tomorrow I will try to join the Great Glen Way if I can to get to Inverness.

It will be my last day of riding as I intend to spend a couple of days meeting up with SEA colleague and visit some Social enterprises in Inverness. I also want to try to sell my bike in Inverness. I will leave for Edinburgh on 2nd October and then fly back to Basel on the 4th.

Gloomy but dramatic
The day is going to be like this. Deal with it.
Yet beautiful

Stop by a shooting club to kaypoh

Just wow
This is my spot. It will do.

Mini Tour of Scotland- Day 14 ,Malliag to Skye to Shield Bridge. Sun Shiny day

Forecast cloudy but a great sunny day instead. Pleasantly surprised. I am not complaining. Took the 940am ferry crossing to Skye. The 35 minute sail was smooth and spotted a few dolphins along the way. The sky begins to break into sunshine as the ferry approach the southern port in Skye. Energised by the great weather I zoomed off northwards along the coast towards the Kyle bridge where it connects Skye to the mainland. After that I cruised all the way to the campsite, stopping by a incredibly scenic castle called Eilean Donan Castle. Lots of tourist there. I left after taking a few photos.

After setting up my tent, I went for a short walk around the scenic area. I checked the forecast and it showed it will rain the whole day. Oh well. Let’s worry about that tomorrow.

Morning has broken and it looks like a good day for cycling today.

Another new distillery. This one started production only in 2017. Gotta wait at least till 2027 before can buy a bottle.
Inside a the Distillery repurposed courtyard

Blue Yellow Green. I like !

Getting darker by the minute but who cares the scenery were stunning!

The view from Kyle Bridge.

Castle on the Loch. Why do the build castles by the lakeside ?

Just took pictures from outside the castle would do. No need to pay tourist price for entrance.

Very scenic campsite. I like.

Mini Tour of Scotland – Day 13 ,Arisaig to Maliag Decisions, decisions, decisions.

It has been wet the past few days and my clothes are all damp and not really smelling great. The day was suppose to be rainy till 10am. I have a choice of making a dash of 13km to Malliag to catch a ferry to Syke and ride as far as I can and camp again or stay the night at Malliag in a nice BnB or Hostel.

In the morning, the wind was still brutal and it was bashing my tent violently. This lasted till 9am. Somewhere between 8am and 9am I decided to stay for the day T Malliag.

Started to decamp after the wind and rain died down. As I start my ride to Malliag, the weather cleared up and the sun begin to creep out from the cloudy sky. Some patches of blue give hopes that it will be a great day to be outside.

On reaching Malliag, I started to look around for a place to stay and saw a really quaint and centrally located bistro that offered accommodation. I asked about the price and it was reasonable so I went for it. The stay was hostel style but they have only 2 rooms and only for 10 pax. It’s not cheap at £21 but I get to share the room with one other person only and they have a huge well equipped kitchen, a very comfortable living room and big bathroom.

First thing was to dry my clothes. Just a place to hang near the heating was sufficient to dry all of them. Happy days ahead.

After that did a big of shopping for dinner and walk around town. The sun was already up and skies are blue so I decided to take a hike around the hills nearby. It was a short but spectacular hike.

I really enjoyed the day at Malliag and winded down the day with a few dram of my Jura single malt and finally crashed into a dry, comfy and cozy bed. Goodnight.

The famous Malliag to Fort William historical steam train ride passes over this

Quaint Malliag. Used to be an important fishing port

My stay for the night
Skies are blue so let’s get outdoors.
Lots of wild flowers blooming. Late bloomers?
The short hike starts with this view. Wow!

The views are getting spectacular by the minute.

Can we say Wow! Again
This was at the peak of the hike.
More autumn colours.
This sums up my experience of Scotland so far

Mini Tour of Scotland – Day 12, Kilchoan to Arisaig campsite. Rain Dance

Basically rain the whole day. Waited for the rain to subside before decamping. I have heard that the landscape is dramatic along the coast to Arisaig. However the view is kinda dampened by the heavy fog and rain. Still with rain and heavy fog it offers a different kinda of dramatic landscape. Sometimes eerie sometimes mysterious but stunning no matter. Don’t be fooled by the photos. They are captured when Mother Nature takes a breather from her piss.

Not a nice day for riding I admit but must push on. Part of the experience. I was properly soaked wet arriving the campsite. I quickly set up my tent and had a quick dinner. Strong winds are expected tonight. Winds battered the tent basically the whole night. Oh well. Scotland.

All smiles despite the weather
Moody foggy wet
Another rock star Scottish cow
Mysterious
Eerie
Stunning quiet roads
Whisky only ready in 2021

Love the colours of transition Autumn
Early Autumn colours
I have time for this.
Wow where am I actually ?

Private castle
Cuppa tea ?
Final stretch of the ride
Moody is drama. Drama is beauty.

At last my campsite.