None of us slept well in the tent though it was a very quiet and friendly site. We spoke to a chap who’d cycled to Durness in 1948 after being demobbed – he told us there were no proper roads north of Ullapool in those days, only tracks… nice! Yet again we endured a chilly start with low mist over the mountains but it started to clear as we rode south and by the time we’d covered the five miles to Gairloch it was hot and sunny.

We enjoyed a lovely run along Loch Maree after an early lunch overlooking Loch Bad and met a Geordie cyclist at Kinlochewe before turning off on what proved to be one of the highlights of the holiday. This was the ten mile stretch to Torridon past awesome mountain and loch scenery, by Loch Clair with the majestic peaks of Liathach and Beinn Eighe towering above us in the bright midsummer sunshine.

We arrived at the SYHA hostel before 16:00, giving us plenty of time to stock up in the village shop, including bottles of Red Kite Ale from the Black Isle brewery and Kelpie, an organic seaweed ale… I preferred the former, a beautifully balanced ale. The Kelpie was a pleasant dark ale though I couldn’t taste the magic ingredient. The warden was the jovial Neil, sporting a seventies Kevin Keegan style perm.