No sea fret this morning, we were woken at 05:30 by the light and heat of the sun which easily penetrated the thin light curtains to shine directly into the bedroom. So we got up at six, prepared our sandwiches, breakfasted and were off ot 08:15 before the road to the Skye Bridge got busy though there were still a few brexit brained motorists belting along, possibly tourists with long drives back to England.

There’s a cycle path over the bridge which continues to Kyle of Lochalsh, the end of the railway from Inverness and the location of the ferry made redundant by the bridge. We soon turned off to Plockton, the road fairly busy with tourists, some of whom were clueless about passing places and the etiquette of single track roads. The coastguard we’d met a couple of days ago had complained about such drivers.

We stopped for coffee and cake at 10:00 in Plockton then we rode back and onto the main road at Stromeferry, which lies next to the narrowest part of Loch Carron and used to host a ferry service across to North Strome. This provided a link with the first road built in 1809 along the north side of the loch but completion of the Stromeferry bypass (A890) along the south-eastern shore of the loch made the ferry service redundant and it ceased operating in 1970, a pity as it would have shortened our journey. At that time, there were two vessels providing the service. The larger of the two, Pride of Strome, measuring 16m long x 5m wide, was built in 1962 by Forbes of Sandhaven, the smaller, Strome Castle, measuring 9m long x 3m wide, was built in 1958 by Nobles of Fraserburgh. Both boats now lie wrecked on the shore of Loch Carron between North Strome and Lochcarron. The village sign announces itself as “Stromeferry (No Ferry)”, the shinty team once competed as “Stromeferry (No Ferry) United”.

It was very hot by now and the road was busy. We saw the Belmond Royal Scotsman luxury train at Strathcarron station waiting for the service train to Inverness to clear the single track section so it could continue to Kyle of Lochalsh. The road was level from here to Lochcarron village where we bought food for our two night stay at the well stocked Spar. I had to use my rucksack and set off very heavily laden with food in our panniers and on my back, toiling up a long hill in the heat and down to the Sanachan bunkhouse.

I collapsed into a chair with a drink and we chatted with two retired hikers who’ve been there a few days. We shared a dorm with them, the other dorm being taken by a group of five Chinese men.

Distance cycled : 40 miles

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