Land's End to John O'Groats Cycletouring Trip Part 2

Day 12 - Fort William to Arisaig

Today was hard work, I was tired and had the wind against me with several strong showers thrown in too. I saw Neptune's staircase, a series of seven locks on the canal parallel to the River Lochy as I left Fort William. Further on I stopped at a Tourist Information and visitor centre near Glenfinnan. Here I had a bowl of soup to warm me up and catch up with some energy.

The weather for the next 10 miles was poor, and I stopped off again at a pub near Lochallort. The landlord here was a miserable sod, and wouldn't serve me hot blackcurrant or hot water and wasn't serving food. He was offering Tea or Coffee, so I settled for a lemonade as I don't drink tea or coffee. I sat in front of the open fire to warm up and spoke to the locals about where I had come from, where I was going, etc... They were well aware of the local musicians and also the Skye Festival. They told me about Ian McDonald, a local musician who had played in the Battlefield band who would be there. The conversation also covered midge repellents including the now famous Avon 'Skin So Soft' which apparently comes highly recommended.

Image of an Avon Skin-So-Soft sachet

Approaching Arisaig, I was following a flatbed trailer and cab unit negotiating the narrow single track road. One of its rear wheels had seized and it was leaving a thick black stripe along the road. At one point the driver stopped to ask directions from another construction worker and I asked him if he was aware of the seized wheel. This seemed to be the last thing that he could possibly care about. I followed his trail for at least 4 miles all the way to Arisaig.

I stopped at the first campsite I came across after Arisaig. This was at a farm for £8 a night, uneven ground and with poor facilities for the price. Down to the pub then in the evening and talking to the locals. There are a good range of ages here. Apparently, the new road that is being built past Arisaig has been on the cards for 20 years or so. There is some local concern about the loss of local trade that will inevitably occur when this is completed. There is another town further back towards Fort William called Murdoch (or similar pronunciation) where the local shop and post office have closed down following the completion of the road there.

Photograph of Neptune's Staircase at Fort William
Neptune's Staircase, Fort William

Photograph of the new road being built at Arisaig
The new road being built at Arisaig

Photograph of a view looking into Arisaig
Looking into Arisaig

© Copyright  Piers Pettman - This page last updated 08 July 2006
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