Day 8 – Tuesday 31st March

Oh dear – something happened today that could be one of two things. My max pulse was up to 162 max (my resting pulse is low 40s) so I could be ill………… or more likely I used our second bike.  Now in theory this is exactly the same and I used the same programme, same level but it was so hard! David has been rowing on gym days with a mate but obviously no mate now and as he was lonely, he joined me on the bikes.   Anyway, I am blaming Dave obviously and, if he wants to join me again, I’m choosing my bike!

However, despite this I still managed 6.45 miles which brought me slightly inland in order to cross Loch Fleet and eventually to Skelbo.

Loch Ferry was once crossed at Little Ferry by a steam ferry service across the narrows.

 In days gone by, the ferryman’s boat was in constant demand but now the ferry is a solitary place, a few whitewashed houses reflected in the narrow strip of water with a wide view of the hills beyond.

Skelbo’s other claim to fame is of course a castle – the Scots do love a castle!

The castle dates back to the early part of the 13th century.  It was occupied right up to the right up to the middle of the 18th century, when the old mansion house was the home of Eric Sutherland of Duffus, the impoverished son of the third Lord Duffus. His Jacobite sympathies had led him to join the Rising of 1715, and he lost both title and estates in the subsequent reprisals.  Sadly, crumbling walls are all that is left of the ‘Pyle’ of Skelbo.

I love this dramatic shot of the castle – and a drawing of what the attached manor house would have looked like.

And so, this brings us to the end of our first momentous week – just look at all the new leaves on the chestnut tree outside my window!  Spring is on the way.