The grey start improved by mid morning to reveal blue sky, a perfect day, warm with a slight breeze. Breakfast in the Ariundle cafe made a nice change from the normal hostel routine, after which we were on the road at 09:15. We enjoyed a lovely ride along the north shore of Loch Sunart and called into the Jetty Shop at Salen for bread. It incorporated a good cafe so we lingered for coffee and cake.
I just exceeded the 30 mph limit descending into Acharacle, then along to Lochailort and the left turn to Mallaig. We dropped down to Arisaig for ice cream on a picnic bench, the day having turned very warm, and rode the lovely coastal route past white sand beaches.
Booking train tickets isn’t easy in northern Scotland. Scotrail don’t offer e-tickets and there are no ticket machines. This isn’t a problem for foot passengers but bike spaces are limited and advance booking is recommended. I’d checked on line and found a train for the first leg of our journey home but couldn’t book. Mallaig is one of the few highland stations with a booking office but with restricted hours, though in summer it’s open until 18:00. It opens at 10:00 in the morning which would be too late with a 10:15 ferry to catch. So I rushed on ahead to book our return tickets from Strathcarron but took a wrong turning. It took me along the shore of Loch Morar, a lovely run but a dead end, I was in too much of a hurry to check the map. After regaining the correct route I met Christine and Rowan at the booking office in Mallaig, arriving at 17:55, just in time except it was closed. It’s closed all day on Sunday. A driver was on the platform though, and he told us the booking office opens at 09:30 rather than the advertised time of 10:00, which makes sense as there’s a departure at 10:10, this would give us sufficient time before catching the ferry.
We checked into the hostel, only dorm rooms were available but they weren’t busy so we slept well.