Sunday, 3 January 2016

Winter Highland riding - Top loop of the Highland Trail 550

It's been a while since we've been this far North in Scotland.

Once we'd closed up the shop on Christmas Eve, dropped Olive the Dog at the minders and had a chip supper we headed 431 miles North to Oykel Bridge. We arrived reasonably early and grabbed a couple of hours sleep before heading even more North, on our bikes of course. It got quite chilly the higher we got naturally.

We bottomed out at -4* and being blown off the hill. Thankfully the wind/snow/hail was behind us.

This was the view from across the valley, not quite so snowy but the wind picked up a bit.

Down into the valley and the continuation of the deserted town/village/everything trip - not a lot open around here this time of year.

The eastern section of the loop and where we were closest to the sea - no filters needed here!

Third night and we hid from what sounded like awful weather about to tear the roof off. If we'd been in our tent it wouldn't have stayed up long. Had no idea the bothy was on our route, just lucky.

Final day was pretty much hike-a-bike for most of it. Once we left the double track the trail was designed for walking...

There's a trail over there - only visible as a purple line on the gps mind you.

Before we hit the road for the last 20k back to the van we sat on a beach.
Ate some, drank some and looked at the view.
It's a long way from Manchester but it sure is worth the trip - if only for the overwhelming sense of bugger all as far as you can see and then some.