Distance travelled 37 miles
Climb 1600 feet
Average speed 10mph
Falls 2
Submissions 0
In which we have discovered the perils of crosswinds, the pleasure of tailwinds and travelled under the protection of the Windy Budgie.

The best night’s sleep I’ve had in ages at the Harris Hotel in Tarbert, breakfast was lovely too but dinner was a bit hit and miss (we may have chosen badly). Very helpful staff though and they had a special room to keep our bikes safe and dry.
The day started with a climb out of Tarbert,

not too bad but before we had gone a couple of miles both Millie and Suzy got blown off by a BIG crosswind. This is not a good start to the day.
We had a quick discussion and decided that we’ll walk up the hill and see how it is at the top, if it’s still the same then we’ll go back to Tarbert and get the bus – this is supposed to be a holiday after all not some sort of endurance test. As we get to the top it eases a bit and we concoct a cunning plan.

Miners once had pet canaries which they kept in small cages and took underground with them, in the event of a methane gas build up the canary would suffocate and the miner, thus warned, would escape to safety. Inspired by this Suzy is nominated as our Wind Budgie (because when we first coined the name we convinced ourselves miners used budgies rather than canaries) and she bravely rode 50 or so yards ahead of us squealing if she got hit by a cross wind or occassionally getting knocked into the hedgerow. Thus warned, Millie and I would have lots of opportunity to safely slow down or stop.
And this is how we covered the 37 miles to Stornoway.

This nickname was in no way added to by Suzy’s new helmet which makes her look like a character from Battle of the Planets ™.

Tonight we’re staying in the Tower Guest House in Stornoway. “I am Tanya, from the Ukraine” the landlady introduces herself, but I’ve seen enough Hammer movies to know where that accent is from. It’s straight from Central Casting and they don’t sell it as a Ukrainian accent, they sell it as Transylvanian.

I think idiosyncratic probably covers the decor, more carved wooden animals than one would normally associate with anything other than an Abbot and Costello movie, there’s also a wall size frieze of a woodland scene in our room from which I suspect a goblin may emerge in the middle of the night, while we sleep, and take our souls.

But Tanya is very friendly and has agreed to freeze some of our food we’ll need for tomorrow when we are going to the Black House village hostel and I bet she cooks a mean breakfast.

The weather forecast for tomorrow has improved slightly but it is still forecasting heavy rain and 43 knots by 1800 so we are going to try for an early start and maybe a taxi (presuming during the night no creature has stolen our souls).

An Apology
It turns out that making settings changes to the website on a small phone screen is not as easy as it sounds and I may have accidentally spammed everyone on the mailing list. Sorry.
(Special thanks to the very helpful man behind the counter of the Harris Hotel who let me use his PC to fix stuff…)


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