I am sure you are all eagerly awaiting the result of the Round 2 'X Factor' competition. With Harry taking the award yesterday it was his choice of animal, and decided upon a lion. Some impressions wouldn't have even scared a mouse, with Julian's in particular resembling more of a sleeping cub. Ed took inspiration from Mufasa from the Lion King and blew the judges away with his impression, taking a unanimous win.
After scoffing our face with all the Indian food we could ever dream of and planning the route for tomorrow we retired to our Fawlty Tower hotel, wary of flees and mice.
With what has become a tour tradition we fuelled ourselves with yet another hearty Scottish breakfast (a fry up with a very token Wheetabix on the side). While the men seem in their element faffing with the bikes, our Miss Motivator, Lydia, took our morning warm up around the car park with many strange glances from the onlooking locals.
Setting off, having made the decision to avoid the mid morning cake stop we started to fatigue so naturally we headed for a tea shop (A leopard never changes its spots!). Whilst enjoying our hot chocolates (no cakes, just 15 boost bars) we were kindly introduced to Mr. Anti Cyclists (the hotel owner), who proceeded to terrify us with cyclists horror stories, also feeling the need to tell us that he himself had not drunk for 3 years, after actually killing a cyclist!!! As you would imagine we left swiftly, but carefully. As the hills dragged on and on and on, we saw what we thought must have been a mirage, a Welsh Dragon in the distance. On closer inspection it was a very impressive banner made by the Dewey family who made a big effort to come and meet us in our charity pursuit. Naturally, a lunch stop was in order.
Buoyed on by the thought of yet more food and with Ed anticipating a lift from the fun bus, which must to his disgust didn't happen, soldering on the extra thirty miles as we made our way through Inverness to Loch Ness. We were greeted by a superb picnic spread, prepared by Rachel and Harry (having to retire for the day because of a shoulder injury). They seem to have summed up our trip nicely and knew how to attract our attention, see below.
Having filled our bellies, yet again, we set off on the last leg. Little did we realise how gruelling it would be. Despite beautiful scenery, we were met with rough terrain, a strong headwind, and a landscape that wouldn't have been out of place in the French Alps. Whilst the scenery was breathtaking, we did have trouble breathing to appreciate it as the 4 mile 400m vertical climb seemed endless!
Having arrived safely but exhausted at our hotel the trip seems to be taking its toll on us all, with many tired faces, sore bottoms, and not to mention aching limbs. Tune in tomorrow for the results from Round 3 of X factor and more tales.
Quote of the day: On a very nasty hill, Esther's attempt an motivating Isabel, "Come on Isabel, lets pretend we are in the Tour de France, do you want to be Lance?", Isabel, mishearing what Esther said replied with "I'm always Last"
I also now need to introduce our guest blogger. Some say she likes talking about goats to random taxi men, others say her favourite drink is Carling. To everyone else, shes called The Stig.
Today has been a good day-I have been in fifth gear for most of the day and not finding the hills too hard...however I have had to change down to second gear on several occasions! This is not a problem for the Stig or Uncle Bryn (the fun bus)!