The breakfast to start the day with was really wonderful. I have to admit that I often had the feeling that the people
running hotels or B&B's really care about people who spend their holidays cycling the highlands. After breakfast I
left my baggage at the hotel and rode back down to the Glenfinnan monument. It was cloudy again but this time the clouds
were hanging high up in the sky so I had a beautiful sight of Loch Shiel. I went up the monument, took a couple of
pictures and after picking up my baggage back at the hotel I set out on the Road To The Isles with a great feeling
because the first rays of sunlight started to shine through the clouds.
The ride along Loch Eilt and along the Sound of Arisaig was beautiful. It wasn't too warm but it didn't rain and the
landscape was magnificent. One thing that started this day and never would leave me on the rest of my tour was the wind.
And I learned the rule #1 for bicycle riders in Scotland:
The wind in Scotland only comes from one direction: The one you're going to.
But I enjoyed the few moments of sun and the fast changing landscape: mountains and lakes as well as sandy beaches and
cliffs. In Arisaig I stopped to go shopping and about 2.00pm I arrived in Mallaig.
I bought a ticket for the ferry to Skye and spent the hour I had to wait at the harbour. Just when the ferry came in
another guy came along with his fully loaded bicycle. He was German as well and already had been on the road for two
weeks. All the time on the ferry we were talking about where we've been and where we're going. When we arrived on Skye
he headed for the Youth Hostel in Armadale. I went on and at the Clan Donald Center took the small road that crosses
Sleat to get to the other side to the Cuillin sound.
The road was a small single track with steep climbs (a sign at beginning of the road said 20%) but when I arrived
on the other side of the Sleat mountains I had a great view over the sea where the isle of Rhum is lying. I went on
along the coast already looking for a place to put up my tent. But as it nearly hadn't rained all day long it now
started to pour down. Within a minute my clothes were all wet, but only from the outside, and 5 minutes later the rain
had stopped again. So I decided to ride on for about half an hour trying to dry the clothes (they never dry over night
in a tent).
The road took me through very small villages lying at the coast and the sight with the already sinking sun was
marvelous. But just as I had to climb another steep hill the rain started again, this time even worse than before. And
with the bag of luck I had that evening, without warning my front tire went flat. So I left the road and in a small
forest (rather some bushes) I put up the tent, cooked something to eat and waited for the rain to stop. Of course did it
stop as soon as the tent was ready. But when I wanted to mend the tube I really was surprised: The tube looked like
somebody had cut it with a big knife with no chance to mend it again. So I put in my spare tube and hoped for more luck
and better weather the next day when heading northwards on Skye.
One thing I have to mention which started to bother me: I had never problems with my leg muscles or feeling exhausted or
things like that. But from this day on until nearly the end of my tour my knees were aching. Some days it was worse than
on others, sometimes I woke up in the morning without knowing how to keep on lying in my sleeping bag. But, there can
only be one, and anyway giving up just because of aching knees? Never!