Skye’s the limit . .

25 Oct

To Broadford (2)I’d suffered from deflating tyres on the way over to Broadford, so I resigned myself to having to fix that.. but in turns out that the Slime in the tyres had done its job so I set off on the first of my little rides out – a straightforward 50km out and back to Elgol. My ride the previous day hadn’t really prepared me for what was in store. Absolutely unbelievably Elgol Ride (12)stunning scenery that kept me on the edge of tears all day. The first 15km was fairly straightforward in the shadow of the Cuillin hills, and it descended gently into Loch Eishort and Loch Slapin, both estuaries into the Atlantic and with the island of Rùm glinting across the water. A food van was plying its trade on the banks of the water and it would seem rude to cycle past without a breakfast roll and a cup of tea.

Elgol Ride (7)Thus fortified, I began the climb up towards Elgol. Alternating between wild downhills and tough climbs, I finally made it past the sheep and cattle that littered the road and into Elgol (more properly Ealaghol – it does seem rude that we have anglicised the original Gaelic place names). The village proper is at the top of a hill (the word ‘hill’ does not really do justice to the brake-shredding descent to the harbour below). But down the hill I went, recognising that the brake-shredding on the way down was going to do serious damage to my legs on the way back up.

The harbour was offering trips across the water to Loch Curuisk and to the Small Isles, but I was content to just gaze out across Loch Scavaig and to the Black Cuillin over the water, just in awe of how beautifully tranquil this spot was.

Elgol Ride (3)Eventually the ride back had to be faced. I made it half way up before I had to surrender.. I think the locals were watching to see how far I made it. Apparently ‘to the cattle grid’ is good performance. The return trip seemed gentler than outbound, although as my tour had made special note of the Blue Shed café (now, bizarrely, purple) it was essential that I stopped off for coffee and cake before gently finishing my trip off and coasting into Broadford (apparently ‘Broadford’ is a more original transliteration of the original Norse ‘Breiðafjorðr’ than the Gaelic An t-Àth Leathann).

Soup and a roll finished my day off.. tired and happy again. This trip is turning out to more than exceed my expectations. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

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