The day started with a big porridge order at McDonalds and we all ordered double as today’s route was scheduled to be our longest. 116 miles, with an early climb and a ferry crossing that we had to make sure we were on time for.
Despite the slightly intimidating mileage, the section today has been fantastic. In fact, you know it’s a good days riding when you say ‘this is my favourite part of the route so far’ and then repeat the exact same later on when the scenery becomes even more spectacular. The first time I said this was on the road out of Moniaive and the second was as we hit the coast to the North of Ayr. Awesome!
The views on the ferry from Gourock to Hunter’s Quay were pretty special too and it gave us chance to cram in a few more calories to carry us through the last 30 miles into Cairndow. By the time we got there it was gone 8 o clock, we were all shattered and feeling pretty glad that we had left the Travelodges behind. Our hotel was the Stage Coach Inn, located at the head of Loch Fyne (like the restaurants) and it didn’t disappoint. Tonight was the first time we had cycled straight to the hotel, rather than loading the support van and driving, and it made a huge difference. It saved loads of time and it’s a real psychological boost knowing that as soon as we reach the end point we can begin to relax.
Travelodges have been a cost effective and low research option, but if we did the trip again we all agreed that it would be better to plan it so that we could cycle into the hotel every night.
The room I was in at the Stage Coach Inn had a huge inviting bath, but due to the late finish we only had time for a quick shower before heading down to the bar for last orders. We had some very good food, John and Jordan told some jokes that could only be described as non-PC and Danny got slightly drunk. Very nice!
Then it was up to the room to get some much needed sleep in preparation for a 104 miler to Invergarry.
Goodnight for now.