Well, I was a wee bit disappointed when I got there to find low cloud and a fine drizzle blocking the view of the summits but, leaving the van behind at the visitor centre, I set off into the headwind, uphill towards the start of the Coulin Pass. I knew this was the least hilly of the options but, having passed the Right of Way sign on many occasions, I was determined that this would be part of the outing.
|It's pronounced "cow-linn" (apparently)|
|Looking along Strathcarron|
The track again starts easily enough but there are a few steep bits before the bothy and more than enough water bars to interrupt the flow. I can be quite happy tackling these on the bike but it very much depends on where I am and who I'm with. Alone in Torridon aren't the best circumstances to suffer a major wheel problem or a stupid fall.
|The weather did pick up for me too.|
|The last of the riding for a while|
|That'll be the path to the col then|
|Some of this stuff|
|Lots of this stuff|
|I can see the van from here!|
Finally, with a bit of a bump, I was deposited and Annat for a relaxing warm-down along the road to the van.
I also managed to fit in my May bivvy night after this ride. A drive out the long cul de sac from Gairloch to Red Point and then a short walk past the lovely beach to a little rocky headland had me in as lonely a spot as you're likely to find, with a view over the water to Rona and Skye and the Outer Hebrides just disappearing into the twilight, backlit by the setting sun. With nothing much to do but watch the birds and the waves, trying to work out if the tide was coming in or going out, it wasn't long before I had trouble keeping my eyes open and dropped off to one of the most relaxed sleeps I've ever had outdoors.
|On the short walk in|
|The tide was out....|
|Rona and the Staffin peninsula from the bivvy spot|