CXP22

16C, sunny NE3, few clouds.
Tracked with MapMyRide! Distance: 32.33mi, time: 01:52:37, pace: 3:29min/mi, speed: 17.22mi/h.
http://mapmyride.com/workout/696675245
New wheels,buying these could become addictive. The new wheels that I blogged about a few weeks ago have been out for the first time. The first impression is of lightness. Holding a old and new wheel in each hand does not show much difference, but riding them does. Even kicking the crank into the starting position was considerably easier. There is far less flywheel effect. Acceleration and hill climbing are newly liberated. Riding out of the saddle is far more natural.

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I like the colours better too.

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14*12

Sunny with a drying wind, NW 2.
14 stone 12 lbs. I lost a few pounds on that trip, but not as much as I expected. One year, I lost 8lbs! It’s nice to loose that feeling of softness around the middle. When I weigh less than 14*8, cycling is a lot more fun.
Tendonitus did flare up a few times. My approach to this is to do the physio exercises when it’s less stiff. My left leg remains noticeably weaker and needs building up. My walking pace is a little lowered because of this.
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According to Maymyhike, I have burnt 22,000 Kcal in the week. That’s about twice the average weekly for me.
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Return.

Rain showers, NW 4, sunny later.
Long drive home, 485 miles that took 10 hours not counting breaks.

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Tey Bay Services.

This is surely the same shot I took last time. The weather wasn’t that different either.
Tomorrow, will be a good enough day to dry the tent in the garden.

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Beinn Eighe and the 3 buttresses

Saturday, endless showers, 14C, strong SW.
Bad weather plus a desire to walk my last day means a valley hike. I went around the back of Liathach and snaked around the back of Beinn Eighe. The idea was to visit the corrie where the 3 buttresses are.
These hills are also sandstone of the same type as further north. It is layered in steps and terraces. Waterfalls usually fall in stages too. The one at the mouth of the corrie was swept back by the very strong wind. A smaller one further up didn’t fall at all sometimes. The water simply blasted into the air above.

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I had to crouch behind an erratic to get out of that wind and eat my snack. The wind carried water back from the waterfall as I said. That made the gusts even colder.
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Coffee, had a success with an idea taken from the German teenagers in Achmelvich the other day. I got this coffee maker for £8 that works on a gas stove.

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Good coffee.

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Torridon

Fri,14C, white cloud, some sun.
Moved to Torridon from Assynt. Surrounded by more of that Torridonian sandstone that formed Suilven and Canisp as inselbergs. Here it covers more and is cut by many valleys into terraces, many of which slope. A few mountains are capped with white- a quartzite.

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The plaque said this layer of sand is up to 4 miles thick in places. So how did that happen? Was the land sinking as this sand was laid down under that shallow sea?

The coastal drive was very picturesque and calming. The sort of place you could take your parents for a break.
Toriddon has a free campsite, it even has hot showers!

Tomorrow has long periods of rain forecast, so I shall probably do a low level walk. Perhaps the one that begins at the car park where I read the interesting plaque. It said the route is about four hours in all. I hope it includes at least some climbing. Best buy a map first.
Coffee in the morning should be good. I bought an espresso pot, the sort you put on a gas heater.

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Suilven, the north approach.

Thur,16C, light wind and breaks in the cloud mostly midday.
This very long day started at 9.30 with the three hour walkin through the Glencanisp estate. Most of the track is easy up to the turn. After, it’s very boggy until the lowest slopes. Then it was steep, very steep. More than 1 in 1 until the bealach.

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Suilvan looming

About this time, breaks in the cloud appeared, very encouraging.
Walking back felt hard, my feet hurt from three days of long walks with wet boots and socks. Long walks like these always run down my water supply. I had about four miles to go when the water bladder ran out. The day finished well, firstly the Glencanisp estate has spring water on offer for walkers from an outside tap. Then,
Lochinver has a very nice pie shop which does take-aways. The perfect way to conclude an exhausting day.
Tomorrow I head for Torridon.

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Kirkaig Falls.

16C, fewer showers, lighter sky.
Morning, climbed the cliffs near Achmelvich in fresher sky with sun attempting to break to break through. I heard Shearwaters before I saw them skimming the wave tops. Still no sign of the Divers. Shearwaters are charming enough, the sound they make is so odd.
Afternoon, walked up from Inverkirkaig to The Falls Of Kirkaig. This walk had a dual purpose: one to see the falls and the other, to check the last part of the route for tomorrow.
The last quarter could be one walked in the dark if this went wrong. It’s good to get some familiarity. There was a problem though. On the north-west shore of Fionn Loch there is a gap by Loch Uidh na Ceardaich where the path runs. Except it didn’t.

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The water was so deep that the path was under 2 or 3 feet of water. I tried to wade in after stripping off to my underwear. Its was strange to look down and see my legs an orange colour. The water had so much peat that it looked like beer.
I backed off as I was not happy to try this in bare feet. I have to decide whether I make two crossings or carry my load all in one. Two crossings means three if you count the return to collect the second load. What if I take the lot in one, and I fall in- my camera and phone would be destroyed.
Sleep on it.

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Lochinver.

13C, frequent rain showers. Not too heavy.
Visit the harbour, for food, coffee and get a weather forecast. Steadily improving, Thursday will be the best day.
There is a good cross-country route to the village and I decided to find another route north back to base. Wandering off tracks does not really work here. I found myself by a remote Loch then tried to turn west in the general direction of the camp. There was no way around the deer fences though. They are so high and gates were few.
I am used to waist height fences in Wales for the sheep, but these were over 8ft and wire. No way to cross those.
Later. A group of young Germans arrived and pitched next to my tent. It seemed strange since this is quite a large site and most of it is empty. Their tents were soon up and cooking organised. Then one of the guys climbed the rocks I had chosen to offer some shelter. What made them choose my corner was the rocks, but for a different reason. One of the boys pulled on climbing shoes and chalked up. Then he was all over the rocks. Such is life for the young. The group are friendly and speak good English. They didn’t keep me awake at night.

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Camp- Achmelvich

19C sunny white, low cloud.NW wind.
After the storm, a respite. The sun is out and wind, dropped. A chance to dry out. I did laundry this morning so all is fresh (including me).
The journey brightened up in Assynt and some spectacular views revealed themselves.

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This picture was taken on kid northern shore of Loch Assynt. The plaque told an interesting story of the building, wildlife and geology.
North of Assynt, is limestone topped with quartzite. South is Lewisian gneiss topped with sandstone. Geologically, that is interesting because the gneiss is 2,000 million years old. On top is sandstone of only 480my old. That is a huge gap between, a discontinuity. Which brings me to..

It was not long after that Sulvain appeared on the left. The top just scratched into the cloudbase. There it was, set quite a distance from the road; this is a remote mountain. The walk-in is 3+ hours in any direction.
The ground between carries a huge volume of water in rivers and streams in spate, and flooding. All that from last night’s tempest.

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This camp in in a rocky inlet with a small white beach. The water is clear and greenish.
The ground is strangely empty. Later, a frequent visitor told me how the storm hit campers here. Of sixteen tents pitched, only one stood the night. Most left by four in the morning leaving broken, flat patches of coloured fabric in the puddles.
I thought to myself: would mine pass this test?
Also, I am nervous about the high waterline. It seems rather close to my pitch.
Wish me luck.

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Bertha.

11C, storm, heavy rain.
Berthe has hit, strong wind and very heavy rain. I had to turn the car round to open the boot. The road south is swept away by a landslide. North is the only way, which is where I am going anyway.

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