Sunday, 17 May 2015

Now the words

Tongue Youth Hostel has WiFi so I am relaxing in front of a lovely fire writing this.
Applecross last night was wet. The pass was windy but no less spectacular for that. This morning I managed to lock myself out of my pod at about 6.30am!
As I went to the toilet I shut the door behind me realising as it clicked, that the key was inside. I eventually found where the warden lived, and half a cold hour later I was back inside.
The isolation of the ride from Applecross to Tongue is astounding, there is really only one town of size on the route Ullapool with a population of 1541 apparently
About 50% of the route was on single track roads, but they are well maintained and it was possible to keep up a good speed. I went long distances without meeting another vehicle, and was constantly amazed to come across tiny settlements of maybe had s dozen houses. 
The size of the wilderness is something that must be experienced. Mountains, many with fresh snow, were dominant, with lochs and ponds of all sizes, and magnificent waterfalls. All this clearly visible from the road. Imagine what is beyond.
It is easy in the isolation to see how ancient people attributed human attributes to the physical landscape. It has power, and presence which demand attention.
A word about the bike, I am very happy with it, minor niggles with the audio system may be down to my need to read the handbook, but are not helped by some fiddly controls that are effectively useless while wearing thick gloves. I am going to try some sticky bumps, used by people with reduced vision, which I think will improve feelability (is that a word?).

The headlight attracts attention for the wrong reason, I can't adjust it. I have read the handbook, I have done what it says, and it won't adjust, so sorry to all those drivers who signal to me to turn it down- it's booked into the dealer on 2 June.
The other thing I am very pleased with id my back. I have a condition called Spinal Stenosis
 From time to time this can give pain, and sitting on a bike has been painful after a couple of hours. A few years ago I fought a back support called back-a-line
They come from America but can be posted to UK and presumably other countries. I have worn my Back-a-Line all the time I have been on the bike during this trip, and can honestly say I have not had any serious back pain. 

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