Day 14 – Monday 6th April

  • 60 minutes plus 5 minutes’ cooldown level 7
  • Max heart rate = 142bpm
  • Calories = 456
  • Distance covered = 16.35 miles 
  • Total distance so far = 143.45 miles

Today was so tough! My legs just didn’t want to turn those pedals and I hardly dare look at the map to see how far there is to go. However, cycling along to a great suggested playlist from Mark, one of the volunteers at Rowan, I was pleased to see I still managed to cover 16.35 miles. 

King Tubby – Dub forever

The Doors – LA Woman

Canned Heat – On the Road Again

Them – Gloria

Honky Tonk Women, Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones

I know there are some great locations ahead – so stay with me and keep suggestions for songs and stop off points coming – they are all really appreciated!

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From Munlochy, I head on over the bridge at North Kessock. 

And although I should be heading south on the A9, I am so near to the tip of the incredible Loch Ness, it seems a shame not to take a short detour in the vain hope I might spy Nessie!  So today I make my stopping point at Dores and Aldourie and another castle – but this one far from being a ruin is a beautiful private house available to rent. It’s like something out of a fairytale.

Alexander Macintosh was a real Highland character who led his clan to battle on several occasions. He was responsible for the first phase of construction at Aldourie in around 1622, a modest two-storey building with a few rooms and an attic. The house was sold many times over the coming years and gradually grew to become a mansion house and eventually a castle.

Today, it remains a private sporting estate, now famous in its own right as the only habitable castle on Loch Ness, and is regularly hired out for exclusive house parties. 

And now for a quick peep at Loch Ness.  

At 23 miles long and 230m deep it is the second largest Scottish loch, second to Loch Lomond – and amazingly it contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined!

But of course, its greatest claim to fame is the monster – or Nessie.  Scottish folklore abounds with tales of mythical creatures and reports and stone carvings of a monster inhabiting Loch Ness date back to ancient times. The first written account appears in a biography of St. Columba from 565 AD – when apparently it bit a swimmer!

In 1933 the legend began to grow after a couple driving along the newly built loch side road saw an enormous animal—which they compared to a “dragon or prehistoric monster” and this was reported in a Scottish newspaper. Over the years there have been numerous ‘sightings’ usually discredited as fakes and sonar explorations have even taken place but none were successful. Despite the lack of evidence, the Loch Ness monster has remained popular—and profitable – contributing nearly £41m annually to the Scottish economy.

No sightings of Nessie today so it’s time to retrace my steps and head back towards Inverness to rejoin the A9 on my journey south.