Kyle to Aviemore

So having just got a new laptop and NAS setup for the flat I was cleaning up some hard rives for moving files etc over to the new drives and came across the pics of the trip from Kyle of Lochalsh back to Aviemore a couple of years ago! Entirely forgot about the pics and never got around to posting up here. With that in mind, here is a bit of an image dump and brief description of the trip, mainly as the details are (mainly) long lost.

The trip was an interesting one for me as it was the first time I tried touring on the fattie. For the most part it was a little overkill, feeling a little over tyred, the only exception was passing over the pass into Glen Affric form the Glen Lichd side. Though it was clear that for that type of terrain it was the perfect tool, the route as a whole was 95% ridable on 40-50mm tyres, if a little bumpy at times. For the majority of the trip I found the bike a bit of a drag (literally) rather than a help. YMMV as they say.

The other issue I had was that I was really struggling on the hills, slow and steady on the flat, but as soon as I started to climb (at all!) I would pretty much grind to a halt. I put it down to a combination of not having been out on the bike much and the tyres of the fattie at the time. Several weeks later, of having much the same issues overtime I went out, I finally went to the docs and was diagnosed with Graves disease. About a year of meds finally sorted it, I was finally taken of the meds in Jan of this year……

The trip itself was great: scenic and remote, enough supply points along the way with a few good passes to cross from glen to glen. A nice mixture.

The weather was fine for the most part, though I was slightly under equipped in the sleeping bag department, fortunately I had enough spare clothing to get away with it.

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Sat in the cafe at Kyle looking toward the Skye bridge. Cloudy but clear, rain never appeared so all good.

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Eillien Donan castle obligatory shot. Was great to see the faces of the tourist/coach parties trying to figure out what the bike was all about.

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Start of the ride into Glen Lichd, the route goes left through the pass under the snow covered hill. Short HAB and then some rough single track into Glen Affric proper.

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Route goes right at the back of this pass, if you look hard you can just make out the path snaking along the left hand bank.

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Bridge over the burn before the start of the HAB.

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Off the bike, on the bike, even with a fatback it was a mixture of ride and hike. Scenery was a welcome distraction.

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Looking back to the pass through from Glen Lichd. Just after Camban bothy. Spent the night with a couple of ladies walking through to Loch Affric car park. They were laughing at my tiny meths stove while getting their Whisperlight going, not so much when I had had 2 brews and started eating my camp meal as they were just getting the water boiled finally….

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Small bridge between the bothy and the hostel. I am a bit of a sucker for the whole “low rolling cloud” thing. I just love the look of the hills in these conditions and can never resist photographing numerous variations!

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Hostel at Alltbeithe, despite riding through here several times I have never managed to get a bed as it is always either full or booked up as a private use! very popular spot, not unsurprisingly.

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Looking down Glen Affric. Again, my kind of light. I find that as nice as it is to ride on a warm blue sky day, photographically it does little for me. Most of my acquaintances thing I am a little strange for having a preference for “inclement” weather!!!

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Looking back, we see a common theme now, right?!

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Crossing the bridge before joining the road to Tomich, and lunch.

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Sunday lunchtime, it seemed rude not to try and get a roast at the bar. Was half expecting to be frowned at given my attire, not so. Roast beef, apple crumble, coffee and an interesting ride back through the village to pick up the track over the Denny power line road. Bit of a struggle to bend over the bars properly TBH!

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Local laird built the well in the middle of the village for the estate workers, there is a plaque somewhere listing the improvements etc the family made to the local living conditions etc. The details long gone from my memory I am afraid, though that’s a good excuse for you to go ride out there to have a read  yourself.

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Heading up and over the Denny road, just above Tomich. I was really struggling at this point, hence the lack of pictures between here and Fort Augustus. Camped just above the village, heading into town early next morning for breakfast. Given how poorly I was climbing, the Correyairack pass was looming pretty large in my mind by now!

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The bridge at the foot of the pass proper, from here the climbing starts in earnest. Again the lack of images is a good indication of my state of mind. The wind was also an issue, once I finally got to the head of the pass I could barely stand, strong wind and an extremely exposed spot up there. The improvements to the track due to the line works made the descent a great distraction, even the water bars were a pretty easy hop over.

The road one joins after the track peters out felt like it went on forever. I was starting to thing I had managed to take a wrong turn (despite there being nowhere else to go) such was the distance. Bye the time I got to the Laggan junction it was pretty late in the afternoon.

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Local town map in Newtonmore!

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As with the map in the previous picture, there are several murals painted around the village high street in Newtonmore, inc some nice mosaics of local activities such as shinty.

 

All in all it was a pretty good trip, despite not feeling great. he scenery was absolutely amazing and as part of a longer C2C trip would be about 4-5 days of mainly remote riding. At some point I plan to have another go at the whole thing on the Gravel/Gnarmac tourer.

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One Response to Kyle to Aviemore

  1. Hi Gari, a good read and what looked like a great route through the hills. I’ve tried to contact you by phone and email without success ( have had some spam back from your mac address). I’m hoping to head your way very soon for some r&r ( and a bit of photography). Following my dads death last February the rest of the year was pretty much wiped out with helping my mum relocate etc. She’s about to do it again but I can’t wait around for other people anymore and want to crack on again with my mountain walking etc. I would like to have another crack at Braeraich with the intention of camping high later this month or in June and would hope to tie this in with a longer stay in your neck of the woods if you’re around. Could you let me know the best way to get in touch direct. Would be great to catch up. Cheers, Richard

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