Once again, we woke to a rainy scene outside our window, but today we planned to ride 26 miles from Fort William to Invergarry, so we couldn’t avoid it any longer. The six of us stuffed ourselves with the traditional Scottish breakfast then separated our things we would carry for the ride from the rest of our belongings which would be transferred to the next B&B by van and finally saddled up to start the first leg of our 79 mile journey.
We slept for almost twelve hours, though I felt like I could have slept for twelve more. When I finally rolled over in bed, the clock read 8AM. Our plan was to hike Ben Nevis, but, after a glance at the pouring rain outside our window, we began to reconsider. Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the UK, so this plan was a hard one to let go, but as the day wore on and the rain didn’t stop, I eventually accepted that it just wouldn’t be worth it. Chris kept saying, “Let’s just see how the day goes,” up until almost 1PM, because he wanted to make sure that it was my decision to not hike up the mountain, so that I couldn’t pester him with guilt-inducing comments for the rest of the trip about choosing not to do the hike!
Several months ago, Chris and I were invited to join his brother, Corey, and his brother’s family for a trip to the UK, highlighted by a four day bike tour in the Scottish Highlands along the Great Glen Way. With the wedding and honeymoon later this year, we were hesitant to commit, especially considering that Chris only gets ten days of vacation. It was tempting nonetheless, because neither of us had ever been to the UK, and the fully-supported bike tour would be a fun contrast to our self-supported tour last year. After giving it plenty of thought and coming to peace with the fact that our honeymoon would only be about one week long, we decided we would join them for the Scotland portion of their vacation (they took two weeks for England and Scotland, but, in order to preserve vacation days, we decided to meet them in the middle). After asking several times, “Are you sure you really want to include us in your family vacation?”, they insisted that they would love to have us along. We’re a bit skeptical that they invited us so that Chris would take care of any mechanical issues during the bike tour, but before they could change their minds (or learn to fix bikes themselves) we bought plane tickets and reserved spots for the bike tour!
The general itinerary for our trip:
Days 1-2: Fly to Glasgow, sightsee, then board a train to Fort William, where we would start the bike tour.
Day 3: Perhaps hike Ben Nevis, then meet up with Chris’ family, who would be driving a rental car up from London.
Days 4-7: Ride the Great Glen Way to Inverness, overnight stops in Invergarry, Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit.
Days 8-10: Take a train to Edinburgh, relax and sightsee with Chris’ family before flying home to Boston.
Fast forward a few months, and the exciting day finally came…
We left Boston around 5:30PM, with only an hour delay for our flight. Our first flight, to Halifax, was in a prop plane!