Our hosts mentioned
over breakfast this morning that the road we were about to take
to Oban was very hilly: "all the roads seem to go up the way". And
so it proved to be, along with something of an opposing wind, not
exactly a headwind but enough to slow us down a little. However,
the scenery more than compensated and our spirits remained good.
There were views of the mountains and the coast, with several small
sea lochs to go round.
The hills we
had to climb over gradually got smaller as we approached Oban and
there was a longish steep downhill run into the town (which also
meant that there was a climb out of it later!).
We stopped for
a while in Oban to do some shopping and decided that, since we were
both quite hungry, we'd have a hot meal in the supermarket restaurant
and buy enough for a sandwich meal for when we got to a B&B for
Back on the
road, the hills continued to become easier until, as we got closer
to Fort William, it was almost flat. Still the scenery was wonderful,
with views of the mountains, and we were trying to decide which
one was Ben Nevis. However, the wind was getting stronger and as
we crossed the Ballachulish bridge we got blown about somewhat.
We stopped for a short break on the other side of the bridge and
as we were there it started to rain. As we continued towards Fort
William, alongside Loch Linnhe, the rain got heavier and blotted
out the views, which was a shame.
As we got within
a few miles of the town we were fed up and just wanted to find somewhere
for the night. Spotting a sign outside a hotel displaying a reasonable
price per room we decided to go there even though we prefer small,
private B&Bs - we'd had enough for that day! Unfortunately, as we
turned into the car park, it went up a steep rise to the front door.
We changed down into bottom gear and tried to climb up the rise
but the chain came off, so we ended up pushing the bike the last
bit up to the door. Later examination revealed that the little chainring
had completely buckled and was useless. We think that a couple of
the mounting bolts had worked loose and dropped out at some point
and the extra strain of pushing up that rise had been too much for
it. Fortunately, the bike was still rideable and there was a bike
shop in Ft. William so we hoped to get it fixed in the morning.