Isle of Lewis to Skye (67 miles, 4314 ft)
We packed up and walked up to the garage to pick our bikes up and load our baggage on, we knew it wouldn’t be a quick goodbye to Joanne and Mark and we were right, another brilliant chat and 20 minutes or so later we were finally on our way, back up the 200m climb over the mountains back to Tarbert. The climb didn’t seem so bad in this direction, either this was due to our legs being fresher or the gradient wasn’t as bad on the approach from the north. We’d allowed ourselves a lot of time, just under 3 hours to ride the 18 miles to Tarbert and the ferry, there was only one ferry on a Thursday so we couldn’t risk missing it. On the plus side there was a distillery and cafe at the ferry port so we enjoyed a nice tea and coffee before boarding the ferry.
As we were on the ferry to Skye the sun came out, it felt fantastic to feel its warmth on our skin after a few days of being quite chilly.
When planning the route I’d read a lot of blogs about cycling on Skye and the general consensus seemed to be that it wasn’t a great island for cycling as most of the roads were busy. There’s always compromises when planning a trip like this and we decided that rather than spend an extra day skirting the western side of the island in an attempt to avoid some of the worst traffic we’d just push on and cycle the main road from Uig to Broadford where we were staying for the night. Unfortunately the blogs I’d read were quite accurate and we found the ride quite unpleasant with lots of impatient motorists anxious to get by us regardless of our safety so we were glad to arrive safely in Broadford.
I’d found it quite hard to find accommodation for the whole of the trip and Skye wasn’t an exception but I’d found a lovely looking place just 5 miles off our route, just outside Broadford.
This could possibly be the major blip in my organisation of the trip, I booked a lovely looking B&B only 5 miles off the route but I didn’t check the profile, only 200m of climbing and descent to get there 😱. In the end it didn’t seem so bad and the place was well worth it, absolutely stunning views! Of course it also meant the first cycling the next day would be straight back over the hills! With no warm up!