LEJOG Day 11 – Fort Augustus to Tain

LEJOG day 11 : the day the rain came! Today we cycled 65 miles and actually climbed a little more than yesterday at 3432 ft, heading along Loch Ness and up to Tain. Arriving back at the hotel earlier than any other day at around 3 we actually felt a little guilty, having ‘only’ cycled 65 miles – something that would in any other circumstances seem like a decent ride!

Smoked salmon for breakfast – what a good start to the day!

This morning started with a lovely breakfast of smoked salmon while we watched the birds in our B&B garden. It felt cold outside and with rain threatening we all donned multiple layers before setting off! I was glad I’d packed that ski thermal! The ride out alongside Loch Ness was great – smooth and fast, and we raced through the first 15 miles in about 58 minutes, before turning off for Drumnadrochit. Loch Ness itself is so big, as with everything in the Highlands it seems – I can easily see how Nessie and all her family can hide away in there!

Here she is!

We headed out of Drumnadrochit past Nessie World and up a huge hill – 15% for 3/4 mile! And it turns out that 3/4 of a mile is a long way! Sneakily the hill even flattened out half way to lull us into a false sense of security, but at least when we arrived, panting, at the top we were rewarded with great views! Our 5 miles to 25 took us around 28 minutes, while the 5 to 30 took around 15 mins as we rushed down off the hill in search of a café for much needed hot drinks and cakes!

Views on the road
Happy at the top of the hill
The descent to Beauly

Arriving in Beauly we spotted some cyclists by a café so headed over! Those locals knew what they were doing as the carrot cake and hot chocolate were excellent – enough to power us on until dinner!

Well we all knew it was going to happen at some point, but while we were enjoying the cake it started to rain heavily outside, destroying my impression of Scotland as a sunny holiday destination! For the last 30 miles we pushed on through the rain and cold and were very happy when we arrived at the warm hotel! Just that little bit of rainy riding today has really made us all appreciate just how lucky we have been with the weather. Cycling in the rain, wrapped up against the cold just isn’t the same and we’ve been so lucky to have clear views the whole way up the country. I guess the Scottish landscape is meant to be admired in the rain and it was still good to see. I particularly liked the cheery yellow Scottish broom that lined the roads lighting up the scene and the bright purple Rhododendrons we have seen so many of really stood out in the gloom this afternoon too.

All things bright and beautiful!
I didn’t have any more layers so sheltered under the tailgate while everyone else layered up!
Pretty Scotland, even in the rain.

So that’s it. 11 days of cycling and just 1 more to go! 846 miles of cycling done, 85.5 to go. Tomorrow I think we might be in for all the crazy weather we might have missed in the last few weeks in one go. 40-50mph winds and heavy rain are forecast, but we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t like a challenge would we?

Thank you all so much once again for all your support and interest! I look forward to sharing tomorrow’s adventures with you too! 😊🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🚴🏼‍♀️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿


Here’s the day’s ride on Strava:

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