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Wednesday, 4 May 2011

While you've Bin waiting...

Looking back on the last eight weeks and the map that traces the outline of our journey I genuinely can't believe what I've done. It seems unbelievable that I could have cycled such a distance when I'm still struggling through one day at a time. 

While I'm cycling everything I've managed so far becomes meaningless and all that exists is me, my bike and the next hill; that incline, this section of gravel and those bumps in the tarmac, the muscles in my thighs, the tendons in my shoulders and the beads of sweat running into my eyes, and the constant uncertainty of whether or not I'll make it this time. The difference is that now I nearly always do.

So the rides to Grantown-on-Spey and into Inverness have been a challenge but an enjoyable one, more than made up for by the scenery and wildlife; distant mountains with snow still tucked into their hollows, the flash of a red squirrel, the mating calls of oystercatchers and a couple of deer that watched us suspiciously through the fir trees.

In Grantown-on-Spey we spoke to Sally who runs a wildlife tour company in the area, as well as yet more elderly ladies who feel obliged to comment on how skinny Matt is - "there's not a pickin' on him" - and marvel at how he's still alive after 1000 miles, before stealing a look at me as if I've been pinching all the pies.

Meanwhile the glorious weather continues and we're about to hit the Highlands at full pelt. The tally is still just three mornings of rain over the past 54 days, but somehow I simply can't visualise cycling the next week in sunshine. I hope it lasts until tomorrow though, because I have my heart set on interviewing an ice cream vendor. And on eating some ice cream, of course.

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