RideEatCamp

A very ferry day

Europe

With rain in the forecast for the foreseeable future, we had a choice to make: complain and travel to drier climes or deal with it and wring out as much fun as we can. We’ve chosen the latter. It’s nice to know that all it takes is an attitude change to go from glum to giddy.

We boarded this ferry just as it was about to take off. The ferry took five minutes and deposited us on a quiet road we took to get near Fort William.
We boarded this ferry just as it was about to take off. The ferry took five minutes and deposited us on a quiet road we took to get near Fort William.

Our bikes and us took another ferry to reach Fort William.
Our bikes and us took another ferry to reach Fort William.

Today we started with a visit to a café in Glen Coe to get my wi-fi fix. Then we rode around an arm of Loch Leven, where the weather changed from cold and cloudy to warm and sunny to drizzly to rainy and then back to sunny again in a span of 15 miles.

It’s hard to dress for such variability. Lucky for us our bodies have adapted over the past six weeks to deal with the cooler temperatures in this part of the world. At home I’d be bundled up on a ride with highs in the 50s. Now I can just wear shorts and a long sleeve shirt if it’s not raining.

We then took a ferry across Loch Leven, following the Sustrans route 78, to avoid riding on the busy roads. This road on the west side of the fjord was nearly void of motor vehicles, and we passed a nice waterfall nearly every 15 seconds. We then caught another ferry back across the loch to arrive at Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis, the tallest peak in the UK at over 4400 feet. The peak is covered in clouds 9 times out of 10. Today it was one of those 9 times.

After shopping at our favorite grocery store Lidl, we rode to a nearby holiday park for the night. I think is the first time I mentioned Lidl. Lidl is fantastic. It’s a discount grocer based in Germany. Somehow those crafty Germans are able to sell food at prices far cheaper than anyone else, including the cheap chains at home. We bought a large bag of penne pasta for £.29, which is probably around $.40. At home you’re happy to find that amount of pasta for $.99, or over 200% more expensive. They also have generic Mars bars in a six pack for around $.89 called Mr. Choc. We’ve relied on Mr. Choc to see us through on longer rides and as a late night snack. We rejoice whenever we see a Lidl because we know we can resupply our Mr. Choc stash.