Cycling the Atlantic coast of Europe from north to south during the summer of 2017. View the archive, the route so far, or donate to MSF.

Blue Skye

By Stuart Lowe on

I woke to a warm, still, tent. That meant it was sunny and the wind had died down. Drat. I could see the midges sat between the inner and outer waiting for me. I donned a full ETA (extra-tent-activity) suit consisting of full waterproofs, neoprene gloves, mesh head covering, and cycle helmet. I got everything packed in the inner then girded myself. A quick exit and taking down the tent and I was off. A little way down the road I was able to remove it all as it was boiling hot in the glorious morning sunshine.

View from my tent

I stopped at a recently opened community centre for tea and a breakfast bagel with scrambled egg. I had plenty of time because I knew I wouldn't make the mid-morning ferry. It was a lovely spot to sit and admire the mountains on the mainland.

Tea with a view at An Crùbh

view of the mainland

At Armadale there was quite a queue already. I bought my ticket for the price advertised in the ferry timetable. See Norway, it is possible. I had a brief chat with a fisherman, who hadn't caught anything as he'd got the tide times wrong, before pushing my bike onto the ferry. Up on deck a man from Huddersfield, spotting my Yorkshire Grand Depart top, askedif I was indeed from Yorkshire. I replied that I was and when we disembarked he gave me three quid to "get yourself a pint to keep pedalling".

Leaving Skye

In Mallaig I found the Coop. Always dangerous. I bought plenty of food and then sat on a bench to eat some of it so that I didn't overload my bags. Food in me would soon burn off and I could dump packaging here in the bin.

I bought a replacement Saltire to replace the one with the broken pole.

Thomas and Madeline from France

It was late in the afternoon when I finally got going again. It has become a habit now to do lots of cycling in the evening. After 6pm the tourist traffic tends to reduce as the camper vans have started parking up for the night. It makes the narrow roads more bearable.

looking out to sea

As I rode along though I did keep an eye out for a campsite. I'd done a couple of nights of wild camping and could do with a shower. Campsite after campsite was either "full" or only took caravans. I passed seven of then. On I rode. Over more hills and along more Lochs. Even the rare little parking sports where you could fit a tent, by the side of the Lochs, had camper vans in them.

Bonnie Prince Charlie left from here

Eventually, along Loch Moidart, I found a little spot in the wind. Thank goodness for wind. It could be seen from the road in one direction but it was a quiet road so I decided not to care. It would be midge free. It wasn't far above the water and it wasn't high tide yet. However it was grassy so I decided that meant the tide didn't get this high. I was even able to find a stick to prop my tent flap open as a rain shelter. To sit with my tent doors open making dinner was so pleasant. Even with a bit of rain.

Camping on Loch Moidart