Friday 9th May 
Aviemore to Inverness 43 miles

Last push last day, sun shining the Schlod summit to climb which everyone in the area talked about?
Although Aviemore was a bit disappointing Ravens Craig was a good B and B and we got a great breakfast lots to eat.
We loaded up and on our way the last of another great ride. The sun was shining as we followed the cycle route out of the town the chap at Nerwtonmore Hostel said he’s had trouble finding the route and yes he was right it pushed us out to the river and then dropped us along a river path. Difficult terrain especially with full panniers. We eventually found the track and followed the railway line thanks to Graeme’s navigation skills and Colin being sent ahead to scout the land we crossed through some woodland and picked up the route once more which was pleasant through the trees coming out in Boat of Garten the home of the Osprey and a very upmarket village. The next stamping station the post office ran once again by an English Lady. Well we never saw any Ospreys as we cycled out over the hill of the village up along the cycle path to a major junction with a policeman stood directing traffic it didn’t effect our way, but did put more traffic on the road we had to cycle into Carr bridge, The Osprey was probably eating its fish on the main road so the road had to be closed?
A pleasant ride into Carr bridge to our next stamping station they were coming thick and fast, I also noted all the pleasant B and B accommodation along the route from Aviemore which would have been better than staying in Aviemore, ah well who was to know and again Carr bridge was and would have been a pleasant town to stay. 

We got our stamp from the reception at the Landmark theme park from a bemused lady. Well I think she was bemused.

Carr Bridge

Had a pit stop in Carr bridge and enjoyed the ancient bridge before taking the General Wades military road up to the Schlode summit it was the right way to go we had a couple of hard pushes on a rough surface but we had the pleasure of seeing the ancient military bridge at Sluggens Bridge, and cycling through some very remote countryside with amazing views. 

The lonely but scenic military road

When we started to climb it was a gentle rise up through a forest track which was amusing in as much on a fence over a stream a wooden plaque was nailed with Colin’s leap carved in it. Colin had been riding on ahead and when we got there he was walking along the bridge handrail ready to Leap off 

Colin obliged

We cycled through the rain and came out right up on the Summit right in Schlode hamlet. 
We crested the summit and coasted downhill on quiet roads, took our lunch and Graeme’s daily dose of Hot chocolate under a bridge in a Quiet village Tomatin we had to shelter under a railway viaduct as the bus shelter was full. Someone actually waiting for a bus! We then followed quiet flat roads along through Moy slowly dropping on one downhill we were met by two other multiday lads pecking on up the other way into the hill. These days when we meet fellow multiday cyclists, always a respectful wave. As we headed towards Culloden battlefield we passed Clava cairns ancient burial cairns over 4000 years old unique to that area. 

Clava cairns ancient burial site

It was an interesting stop, Just past here the national cycle network from Glasgow met route 1 from Aberdeen a major cycling junction in deepest Scotland, fortunately we turned left.and then up to Culloden battlefield we were doing well for time and despite the wind and rain we stopped and had a good walk round the Battlefield taking in the atmosphere. I made a bit of a fauxpas a DUH moment when looking at the mountains in the distance I asked Graeme if it was Ben Nevis? I realised my mistake but too late the damage was done? Graeme reminded me Ben Nevis is 60 miles away in Fort William. Culloden battlefield was huge and we were amazed how far back the Bonnie Prince Charlie was stood from the battle. Colin said if he was any further back he’d have needed a passport. 

Culloden monument

We had tea and scones in the café bought our mementoes and then carried on the final push well cycle, Inverness is nearly sprawled out to Culloden now and we cycled along through new urban housing in the rain, after miles and days of quiet pretty countryside its always strange to hit the big city again.
We pecked our way into the City and to the Bridge and our grand finale finish, very low key this year. No Jane or Karen to meet us, it was strange but another hurdle I have to get over, Colin and Graeme understood and made it better.
We hit the bridge over the River and that was it the next leg completed the Lochs and Glens under our belt.

A lady crossing the bridge obliged with a photo 

Then off to the digs!!Ardlair house mmmm they were OK!! Rooms were very comfortable if we could understand what the landlady was saying it would have helped Homely.
A night out in Inverness and celebratory Chinese meal in the Mandarin Palace which was very very good.
A couple of beers on the way back and then bang to bed and sleep……

Another great ride…completed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday 10th May 

We had an OK breakfast funny not getting into cycling gear Colin went to collect the hire car. A Kia estate OK everything went into it and then we set forth south, a very uneventful ride.. Relived all our conquests on the way back until we swung south from Pitlochry.
Back to Kendal for 4pm and unloaded ………..

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