In Rwanda and left Kigali to head west to Ruvavu on the Congo border. The road was beautiful and had me dreaming of a touring / road bike ride across the country. The road is great Tarmac very smooth although the altitude starting at 1500m and peaking at 2400m with over 2400m of climbing in the 140km. The car drivers are courteous of the many taxi bikes that ply the roads near the towns and villages.
They have a small pillion seat on the back but are just as often seen carrying sections of pipe, charcoal sacks or bananas. With all the hills the uphill cargo run must be hard bit I have seen quite a few just using the bike as wheels to carry the load as two people push it up. Most have to push up if their gearing isn’t quite low enough.
The odd few hold on to trucks going uphill to save their legs – crazy they are ….
On the pretence of my half marathon the next day I am excused from doing this sportive – look at that elevation climb half way though – all together ‘easy as ….ouch’
90 miles – 9,600 ft of ascent
The route will take you east from Kinlochewe near beautiful Loch Maree to the wide canvass of Achnasheen and its surrounding hills. From there you head south on a fine new road down through Glen Carron to the sea at picturesque Lochcarron. Things get tough now as the road swings sharply upward for the main climb to Bealach-na-Ba.
The reward is great as a massive vista over the west coast and the Isle of Skye opens before you as you plunge down to sea level again at Applecross. The hard work is not over as the next section around the north of the peninsula has hardly any flat as it clings to the coast, past rocky cliffs and sandy coves. This is country rarely visited by the tour buses. Finally you pass the charming village of Sheildaig nestling in the shelter of its loch and the final section begins. Weary legs will be revived through rugged Glen Torridon overshadowed by the massive craggy bulk of Liatach and its sisters on the famous ridge. Finally, relief is at hand with a gentle descent back to the finish at Kinlochewe.