Riding Under the Shadows of the Northern Mountains!
Staying a night in the hostel in Ullapool was fun. I met a mountain biker from Germany there. We are both cyclists so we talk about so many things while cooking in the kitchen. The hostel owner heard our conversation, who is a cyclist himself. He got attracted by us and joined us in the kitchen. A very nice guy, he offered me free food that night! We then had dinner together and exchanged our experience. And as usual, the conversation leads to by asking me how do I plan to fund my traveling. I then told them that I’m filming my journey and sell my footages, videos and photos, also writes articles for travel magazines etc etc. They got really interested in it and wanted me to show them the short intro for my travelogue documentary. I was glad that they love it the first time they saw it. And the hostel owner, went out to call his staff and other people in the hostel to the lounge area to see my film! Hehe… so ended up many people were there to watch my film documentary on the screen.
I woke up early the next day getting ready for a long ride. Before leaving the hostel, everyone were wishing me good luck on my journey and my filming project. They were so impressed by it and we exchanged contacts and hope to see my film someday. I was planning to ride to the very north of Scotland, to a small village called Tongue which is around 150km away at least using the west coast road. Again, I underestimated Scotland. I checked the altitude for the whole country, none of the roads touches 500m altitude, Scotland is flat and it gonna be an easy ride. I was wrong. Even though the roads never touch even 400m altitude, but it was never flat! Just a few kilometres after Ullapool, the big climb started for me! The problem is, after every big climb, the road goes down again to almost sea level and there will another big climb afterwards! It is never flat! It really slows me down and I can never complete more than 100 kilometers in a day with this kind of terrain. Usually I will smile when I see the road goes downhill after a tough climb, but this time, I was cursing when I see the road goes downhill because I know that I will have to climb again after that. Hehehe…
I was progressing really slow, and the big mistake I did was, I didn’t bring any food with me… again… hehe. I thought that there will be villages in between for me to get food but I was surrounded by nothing but hills and moreee hills! But the day was pleasant, it was very very beautiful! The weather here is really unpredictable. It rains for 20 minutes followed by sunshine for another 20 minutes. It keeps changing and because of that, I saw rainbows, double full rainbows everywhere, maybe like 10 times on the same day! Now I know how to describe Scotland, it’s the realm of rainbows! Some appeared only for seconds and some lasted for 20 minutes or more! That made my progress even slower, since I kept on stopping to watch this beautiful phenomenon.
I kept on riding through the steep hills for about 8 hours and realized that I can never reach Tongue on the same day. I then reached a small village called Durness. I found a nice campsite and decided to pitch my tent there since Tongue is still another 30 miles (50km) away. It was one of the best campsites here in Scotland with a very beautiful view of the white sand beach. I pitched my tent at the corner to get the best view of the ocean. This is the very north of Scotland, there are no land here between where I stand and the North Pole except the Faroe Islands. And its very pleasant, since the weather here now is much better compared to when I was in the Isle of Skye or in the West Highland Way.