10 Oct Over the Pass to Pitlochry
Day 207 (27 Sept 2013) – Morning comes quickly, but we get ourselves moving slowly. We are amazed at how quickly we became unconditioned from traveling by car for a few weeks. Both of us had several leg cramps during the night, our butts are sore, and it takes us a moment to get going.
But we are happy to get to ride our bikes again, so after a cup of Joe and a few cookies, we feel better and hit the road again.
Most of the day we are riding on the old A9 (national road), which is now part of the National Cycle Route 7. Since there are no cars on the path, we can fully take in the scenery, chat, and are really able to enjoy the ride. Our path heads over a pass and mostly moorland. We even spot a couple of warning signs along our route stating that the pass is subject to unpredictable conditions in the summer and snow is not uncommon between October and April.
It is fairly chilly and the clouds are hanging low on the mountaintops around us, but luckily we do not encounter any snowflakes. However, the views of the valley and the moor are brilliant and we try to soak it all in. Apparently Britain/Scotland has 2/3rds of the world’s moorland; the moor has its own unique fauna and flora and the heather gives it a special texture and purple color. Since fall has already arrived in this part of the world, the purple heather has turned either dark purple to lilac and gray, the fern orange, the blueberry leaves shine red, and the grass has turned into different golden tones. Altogether the scenery has turned into a spectacle of colors.
On the other hand we encounter a lot of low hanging clouds, mist, and fog, which turns the whole countryside into a mystical fairytale land.
Toward the evening, we find ourselves another wonderful wild camp spot in the pinewoods on top of a hill to spend another great night in the wild.