Day 7 – Comrie to Dulnain Bridge
Grans are great. We stayed with mine in Comrie and she insisted on feeding us dinner and then porridge the following morning. Traditional porridge – oats, salt and water. None of this new fangled stuff like sugar, honey or milk.
Porridge set us on our way, and the seven miles to Crieff were quickly over. We started up towards Sma’ Glen, and when I got there I noticed no James behind me. His bag had fallen off and had ripped, so he bodged it all together and it was fine again.
We turned off this road just after Amulree, taking the route to Aberfeldy over the hill. This wasn’t too bad despite being about a 300m ascent as it was quite gentle – the descent down the other side was phenomenal though, fast with some nice corners.
Stopping in Aberfeldy for second breakfast, we decided that two more 300m ascents would be horrible so we headed towards Ballinluig and the A9, and got on the Sustrans Route 7. I’ve ridden this route before on my cyclocross bike, with cyclocross tyres, and I’d definitely recommend wider tyres for some sections. However, we got through to Dalwhinnie almost unscathed, the only problem being a puncture on my back wheel.
There are some truly horrible sections of this track that road bikes aren’t suited to, but overall it is an excellent route.
After Dalwhinnie, the route follows some truly sublime Tarmac, very smooth rolling. I discovered a new level of fitness I didn’t know I had, whereby I could hammer it down the road at upwards of 22mph without feeling at all breathless. It may not seem like much but it’s news to me and proves that I’m getting fitter as the days go by.
We crossed the A9 at Kingussie to take the Sustrans via Insh to Aviemore. This was another quick section, and we got to Tesco for fuel soon enough.
Once we had sorted that, we headed out to Dulnain Bridge and our guest house. I’m becoming a fan of guest houses – they’re cheaper than hotels, offer far more for your money and always have breakfasts freshly cooked as opposed to on a buffet. Just don’t expect a guest house to renovate itself to keep up with current fashions like hotels do – there’s just no point.
Anyway, that was a long day but not overly taxing. Only three more short days to go and then we’re done…