Thursday, 26 May 2011

Durness To Tongue

It was time to say goodbye to Durness and the Keoldale Bungalow Bed and Breakfast that had been my home for the last week.
I was actually going to miss this place.
The high I had had and like so many of us here, a place in my heart and a longing to quickly return.
Maybe I should move up here?
But for now, it was time to return to Rutland.

Like the previous week, the nature would throw the ultimate twist in my return to the south.
High winds and heavy rain was forecast, along with the ash from the Icelandic  volcano that had erupted a few days before.
I was still due to complete my challenge, on the bike, down to Inverness.
Back on the bike after a week, I was a little apprehensive on the journey, safety being paramount, but Tongue was only 32 miles away and the sun was out, though that didn`t matter, the weather could change at the drop of a hat..... and it did.
The route to Tongue would take me along the A838 and then A836 a busy route and hilly along moorland and mountains, but I relished the challenge.

The ride started well enough, bright sunshine and some wind and following the half marathon route.
It wouldn`t be long before the change in weather was about to get worse.....
The rain started at a drizzle then the high winds began to push me about to the point I was riding like I was going round corners! 
Leaning at angles I thought I could never do and cycling downhill aswell as up was certainly a challenge!
I kept getting blown about and nearly into vehicles, having to stop, it was getting dangerous, but I persevered, I don`t know how to quit.
Occasionally the rain would subside to reveal the softer side of the mountains and magnificent views.
 The road twisted this way and that and with the hills getting steeper, and the wind against me, I had to get of and push! 
 Not embarrassed to push and some of the hills with the steepness, would I have got up them without the wind?
 Eventually the pouring rain and harsh wind would continue all the way to Tongue, but I had made it, some 6hrs after starting of, slower than anticipated, but at least I was in one piece and even though I couldn`t see alot for the last 5 miles, when I reached Tongue and The Ben Loyal Hotel, yep you guessed it, the sun came out to reveal a wilderness that had the wow factor!

Tongue`s Norman outlook post and The Mountain Ben Loyal.

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