I left tongue and the weather turned foul, I learned that nothing is waterproof in Scotland, despite having waterproof socks and cycling shoes my feet became sodden. The wind was unbearable and I slogged through it hour after hour, coming round loch hope was possibly the most arduous experience of my life.
The rain seemed to gather into fists to pummel me and my eyes stung so that I was blinded and trying to cyle with one eye closed I did not know how much of this I could endure, each hill was torture and I just kept going, I got to Scourie but I had been out for about 12 hrs I was exhausted and could feel a cough coming on.
I tried several B&B's in the area but they all said no single rooms and would only rent them out if I agreed to pay double rates, I offered to meet one landlady halfway and she said to me: "I am no charity!", I did note however that she was English not Scottish! I eventually found a campsite that had a laundrette and a dryer, I dried my clothes and shoes and cooked a warm meal, the shops were shut but I had some sausauges and a tin of lentils which may seem a strange combination but to me were the food of the gods as they had two important ingredients WARMTH + CALORIES.
I pitched my tent and lay down for a fitful sleep, when I awoke I felt awful, I knew something was wrong with me, every part ached and i was struggling. It took me almost an hour and a half to pack away, I managed to brew a coffee and ate some cake and biscuits I had saved. There was no sign of the cafe opening and I was getting cold so headed out.
The weather was intermittent between sun and wind and rain, but each pedal was an effort, I had to stop for every downhill to put on my jacket as the chill made me shake uncontrollably and then I had to take my jacket off because the exertion of the flats or hills made me sweat profusely. I sought refute in a few roadside cafe's but could not find anywhere to serve me breakfast one however provided sandwiches.
The day wore on and though the scenery was magnificent it was no solace, I realised I was ill and I had begun coughing up some very unappealing nastiness. I was stuck out and there was no choice but to push on. I wasn't worried but I knew i was also suffering from exhaustion the ride from Tongue had compromised my immune system and I had picked something up. I must make ullapool and there I would rest.
On my way into Ullapool I came off my bike twice riding into the side of the road through sheer tiredness I chided myself but I knew that I was going downhill and could feel myself getting weaker and weaker.
As I approached Ullapool I came off my bike again and was getting concerned that I would end up under the wheels of one of the caravans that kept coming periliously close to me, thankyou to the Kon Tiki Caravan being pulled by a black range rover that though standing on his horn as he passed would be a good motivation....
As I was picking myself up an open back truck appeared and two men asked if I was ok I explained and they heaved my bike onto the back of their truck. They could see I was not happy about getting a lift the last miles to ullapool and said conspiratorilly "we won't tell anyone". I said I didn't care i would do a few extra miles at the end and I had already done several more miles than planned, at that point i was eternally grateful as I had my doubts I would have made it to ullapool conscious. I could feel myself getting worse and the two lads (they gave me their name but cannot remmember I hope they email me) dropped me off at the doctors.
Eventually the doctor saw me and he told me not to consider moving on without resting and said I had picked up something viral. He was loath to give me antibiotics I did not argue, a previous doctor had given me some "just in case" and I took them as I knew that what was coming out of my chest was not nice.
The doctor and the staff were wonderful treating me to a coffee and advice on finding sonmewhere to stay, I made my way to the first street and a B&B with a sign of single room only, it was fate and I knocked the door. I was met by Pam an American lady who had married a Scotsman Angus, she welcomed me in, I put my tent out to dry in a delirium, she fed me something warm and I collapsed into bed. I awoke the next day at 2:30 after a feverish night she kept me supplied with drinks and as far as I am concerned she is an angel.
I am still very weak so I am going to stay another day and see how I fare, hopefully I have not pushed myself too hard.