Scotland – Coast to Coast (half) Day 1

April 2015, the sun shines and it’s time to get on the bike. A plan is taken off the shelf, do I attempt the whole route from Kyle of Lochalsh or, half? The whole trip is five or six days including travelling so to keep things simple I decide on three days and start from Kingussie. I book hotels and the overnight train from Crewe and hurriedly prepare my bike. On Wednesday night I cycle to the train station feeling anxious about whether it will all go to plan. 

 

After a few delays I settle down on the train and look forward to tomorrow. 7.45 am, the train pulls up, its cool but calm and I cycle off toward Glen Feshie forest tracks. I was navigating using a gpx file loaded on my garmin together with maps on the iPhone, this combination has proved successful although I do not trust the garmin. Once through the forest I reach the river Feshie and cross a bridge to pick up a track heading north. All these tracks are used by cyclists you see tyre marks. The track becomes a road and heads towards Rothiemurgus not before I misread the map and end up carrying my bike through a bog. After an hour or so the sun warms the air and I arrive at Glenmore Lodge for a welcome cup of coffee.  

 The next section follows a popular track up to the Ryvoan Bothy and into Abernethy Forest. This feels more remote but no serious navigation challenges as even when I leave the established trail the topography helps. The photograph below is taken by a walker as I traversed the belach in the Braes of Abernethy.

  
   

The final section from Dorbach Lodge to Tomintoul wasn’t without incident although it started off quite pleasantly. A battered sign points in a direction with the words “to Tomintoul ” which is good but, you enter this small river valley Glen Brown where you have to cross the river numerous times before exiting right onto a forest trail and final descent to your destination. Quite a day, feeling committed and having not experienced any serious physical or mechanical issues.

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