Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
gloomyandy
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby gloomyandy » 12 May 2013, 9:52pm

Hi Folks,
have just got back from 10 days touring the inner Hebrides, Kintyre, Arran, Bute etc. Had a good time but the weather was not kind. Very strong winds (which caused problems with some ferry sailings and resulted in me giving up on going to Oransay), and lots of rain. Gigha, Jura and Coll were magical, but the weather can have a huge impact on a trip like this with shelter hard to find. Fingers crossed for your trips!

Andy

donnieban
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Joined: 21 May 2011, 10:39am
Location: Isle of Skye

Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby donnieban » 13 May 2013, 6:51am

Just back from a weekend tour of Uist, Harris and Lewis. The Outer Isles make for very hard cycling when the wind is against you. Pushing 3mph cycling against the mother of all head winds yesterday afternoon in lashing rain. Not nice. Arrived in Skye to moderate headwinds yippee!! Lightweight tents would have struggled to survive.

Stopped at Horgabost Camp site on Friday afternoon, cold and wet. Facilities seem uninspiring- unless you want to feed an electric meter with pound coins. A drying room is provided but its metered!

We pressed on to Rhenigadale Hostel which is excellent. But be warned its not for the faint of heart, Rhenigadale will give Bealach na Ba a good run for its money!

Lesson learnt - Western Isles head winds deserve huge respect.

Hope you all have better weather than we did.

donnieban

windy

Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby windy » 16 May 2013, 11:09am

Richard Barrett wrote:There is a stunningly good guidebook on touring the Hebrides just published.......... (well I would say that wouldn't I? We are having a launch event at Cotswold Outdoor, Westend Glasgow from 2-5 on Saturday 7th July with whiskey tasting courtesy of Isle of Jura. Drop in a say hello - probably have to shoulder your way through a crowd of drunks though



What book is that, Richard? :wink:

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Tigger
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Location: Isle of Lewis

Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby Tigger » 16 May 2013, 9:28pm

donnieban wrote:We pressed on to Rhenigadale Hostel which is excellent. But be warned its not for the faint of heart, Rhenigadale will give Bealach na Ba a good run for its money!

I wish you hadn't said that last bit Donnie! (Though I had spotted the elevation profile when I was BikeHiking :shock: Mind you, going there is on my Plan B, not the 'good weather master plan (A)'.

gloomyandy
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby gloomyandy » 17 May 2013, 12:38pm

The road to Rhenigadale is steep but it is much better than the old way of getting there. Many years ago I met someone pushing a bike along the coastal path, I was a little worried on some sections just walking! I really wouldn't fancy taking a loaded tourer over that path. In some ways Rhenigadale has lost some of the mystery and magic (when I first went there they had a pay phone that used a radio link!), and it no longer has the feel of a place right on the edge. But it is still a wonderful place to visit!

Have a great trip Tigger and the rest of you. Hope the weather is kind to you all, enjoy what for me is a very special place...

Andy

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Tigger
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby Tigger » 17 May 2013, 9:28pm

gloomyandy wrote:The road to Rhenigadale is steep but it is much better than the old way of getting there. Many years ago I met someone pushing a bike along the coastal path, I was a little worried on some sections just walking! I really wouldn't fancy taking a loaded tourer over that path. In some ways Rhenigadale has lost some of the mystery and magic (when I first went there they had a pay phone that used a radio link!), and it no longer has the feel of a place right on the edge. But it is still a wonderful place to visit!

Have a great trip Tigger and the rest of you. Hope the weather is kind to you all, enjoy what for me is a very special place...

Andy

Yes, I had read that the road was relatively new. Rather amazed to see it has a regular bus service. But thinking about it, why not!... guess I'm comparing it to rural villages round these parts, with no busses. But that may be due to car ownership levels here? Or a different interpretation of Public Service!

Thanks for your well wishes Andy :D I shall update you in due course!

But having taken note of your other thread, 'Wind & rain', I don't intend to make myself miserable... it is a HOLIDAY after all. My first tour in September was different, I was on a Big Five O mission, Barra to the Butt, and apart from having to wait out some storm winds for a day, I was pretty lucky with the weather. But I would have cycled thru all weathers to reach the Butt. This time, my only 'must do' is Glen Valtos. So if I spend the rest of the fortnight catching a ferry or bus to places, or in a (warm) hostel/ B&B, curled up with a book, so be it! (And I love reading so no hardship there!)

windy

Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby windy » 17 May 2013, 10:39pm

Just Glen Valtos? You want to do the loop around Reef/Kneep, the beaches at Timsgarry and Mangersta and Bosta beach on Bernera too

donnieban
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby donnieban » 17 May 2013, 11:40pm

The Rhenigadale Hostel is simply sublime. Its a hard 5 mile haul but the accommodation and Kate the lovely warden warrant the hardship of actually getting there. It takes roughly an hour to haul a loaded bike the 5 miles in/ out but its def worth it. Loads of hot water, great drying facilities, lovelyMorso stove and all the necessary facilities A+

Last weekends visit was made all the more memorable by a visit by a trio of lovely loaded touring friends from London in their late 60's who were great company and really nice guys who have nothing to prove but are still fit as fiddles.

donnieban

gloomyandy
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby gloomyandy » 18 May 2013, 7:52pm

I'd second the comments about the area around Glen Valtos?. I spent a day there last year while staying on Harris. That was my first visit and it won't be my last. Would be a great place to spend some time exploring (especially if the weather is good!).

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Tigger
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby Tigger » 18 May 2013, 9:25pm

windy wrote:Just Glen Valtos? You want to do the loop around Reef/Kneep, the beaches at Timsgarry and Mangersta and Bosta beach on Bernera too

Hi folks, just a quick reply as I need sleep... one more shift to go before my holitour :D

Windy and Andy: of course I didn't mean I was going to cycle to Glen Valtos, do a U-ey and turn back again :lol: I'm planning to carry on to Mealasta at the end of the road. Yes, it will be great to add in as many places as possible, time and weather permitting! I think I may have been to Reef/ Kneep/ Bosta but that was back in 1986 and by car, so doesn't really count! I've certainly been through GV twice by car which is why I'm so keen to see it from the saddle. But then there are loads of places I want to revisit so obviously some selection process is required!

Donnie: thank you, I'm definitely going to try and get to Rhenigidale... that'll probably be 2 hours for me then :shock: Good to hear about the company you had, just what I'm hoping for this year!

PS Kanga has informed me that the Barra ferry was cancelled today due to adverse weather :( Oh dear, oh dearie dear! :cry: :cry: :cry:

largeallan
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby largeallan » 19 May 2013, 8:47am

" the Barra ferry was cancelled today due to adverse weather Oh dear, oh dearie dear!"

Yes, I saw that myself on the Cally Mac website....and now my car has sprung a petrol leak!!!....now wondering if I can do the Oban-Oban circuit in 5 days....what a bloomin' catastroff :evil:

donnieban
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby donnieban » 19 May 2013, 12:31pm

I do declare, at long last the Summer has arrived in the Highlands Yippee!!

donnieban

windy

Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby windy » 19 May 2013, 6:02pm

The weather has indeed changed. Hope this holds up for you trip. First ride in shorts today. Base layer + Jersey and Gillet + arm warmers. Removed the armwarmers after 5km, removed the Gillet at 25km. A 52 km ride out along the Pentland Road to Breascleit and Calanais returning via Acha Mor and the old A858 :)

donnieban
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Joined: 21 May 2011, 10:39am
Location: Isle of Skye

Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby donnieban » 21 May 2013, 6:28pm

Its a cool start to the Summer. Low temps with snow forecast for high ground -wrap up warm...

donnieban

phil parker
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Re: Fancy a tour of the Hebrides in 2013?

Postby phil parker » 28 May 2013, 10:39pm

Well, you look to be having better weather than us today!