Day 18 Pitlochry to Boat of Garten

Posted by: Anthony

The Mediterranean-like azure skies remained for the Highlands today - the land of the brave, Picts, Scots and Celts - and of my savage brother, who joins me for the last four days! Seriously, he's a real fighter in the best sense of the word, and with little training he seems to be keeping up with my pace over long stretches.

A great companion and a real trouper. Sibling rivalry rearing its head though as we race each other to the top of hills - common sense definitely takes a back seat on the saddle! It can be truly dismal up here but we were afforded views that would rival anywhere in the world. Peter, one of the technical crew at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, guided us up the glorious route to the top of Drumochter Pass, the highest point in the whole tour, and his jolly banter and good humour contributed to the cheery mood! Aye! N'er has it seemed so easy to climb up to such heady heights with a kind, gentle incline for about 20 miles, and as we cycled on a combination of the old A9 next to the main thoroughfare and a cycle path, it felt like our own private estate road. Getting to the north of the north now - Boat of Garten, just beyond Aviemore and the view from our hotel over the Cairngorm ski area. It's hard to believe in today's heat that there was skiing here just a few days ago. 

The very-well organised Osprey Music Society were our hosts and again we raised £250. I stopped at the local pub before my concert (not for a drink but to meet my parents!) and gregarious locals all wanted to know more about the Olympianist, the BeethoVan - and generously chipped in £45 on the spot for our charities! The most charming moment of the day came when a German family asked me if I was a comedian!! A German one maybe....(Apologies to German friends!). And with Boat of 'Garten' (German for garden) as our destination, it seemed a good omen!

Drummochter Pass