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YHA Day 15: SYHA Glencoe - SYHA Loch Ness
    28/06/2013 09:05

Day 15: SYHA Glencoe - SYHA Loch Ness

A drizzly day was ahead of us, but a little drizzle never dampens the spirits of A Biking Good Ride and off from SYHA Glencoe we rode.

First stop Fort William for a spot of lunch and a pit stop at the local bike shop to assess Gareth's suspect lumpy tyre. A little bit of tyre pumping and all was deemed well. Just past Spean Bridge, we came across the Commando Memorial by the side of the road. It's a striking statue of three service men staring up towards Ben Nevis, although on this day in particular they were staring up to the clouds enshrouding the peak, but striking nonetheless.

Day 15 Route: SYHA Glencoe - SYHA Loch Ness
Mileage: 59 miles
Total Mileage: 873 miles
Song of the Day: What's that coming over the hill, is it a monster? The Automatic

From there it was onto the windy A82 to that most famous of Lochs, Loch Ness. Since the first 'sighting' of old Nessie in 1933 the myth has exploded to become one of the world’s most famous examples of cryptozoology. Sightings, hoaxes, no fewer than 10 full-on expeditions, sonar sweeps, ludicrously grainy video footage - Nessie's had it all and, I dare say, helped out a fair bit with tourism. Alas, we cycled a good stretch of the Loch and can confirm... we saw nada. Although, I did find a clue to her hiding place in the grounds of the hostel.

Soon, on our right hand side appeared the now familiar and cockle-warming red triangle of the SYHA logo. SYHA Loch Ness is out of town, perched right on the edge of the Loch with absolutely fantastic views. The focal point is the large communal room with wood burning stoves and fires in every corner, which I can just imagine provide a welcome roar for the weary winter traveller.

When I slightly stupidly fell over at Land's End (seems a long time ago now), I caught a lift the next morning with a very kind couple to the local hospital to have an X-ray. 'Catching a lift' on LEJOG is most definitely not allowed, and so all journey I've had those 18 miles to make up looming over me. With an unintentional detour and a further than signposted toilet stop during the past few weeks, I had managed to whittle the 18 miles down to 12 . However, with only a few days left I felt a now or never situation arise at Loch Ness... it was time to make up the miles and level with Gareth and Tom.

So, in the continuing drizzle and a darkening evening I reset my cycle computer, attached my lights, inserted some earphones and rode off along the Loch road. An hour later mildly more moist, but with a satisfied smile, I walked into the hostel having done a little over 14 miles - that should more than do it. (Thanks to 'Don't Stop - Mustard Pimp Remix by The Subs' for their audio enthusiasm)

To end the day, Tom cooked up a scrumptious Thai green curry which was delicately devoured (READ: devilishly demolished) and a slice each of the hostel manager, Hannah's, homemade cake.

At some point during this chilly day I realised that I'd left my only pair of trousers at the previous hostel in Glencoe. Returning was not an option, and it was to the wonders of aisle 8 in Morrisons that my legs found their new, warm home — a pair of 100 denier tights. Surprisingly water resistant too I might add.

By Harry Hosteller

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