OK, one week on, I think I've recovered from my trek around SW Scotland. It was 10 days of B&Bs, youth hostels, and camping (including my first night of wild camping) and managed to complete 15 BCQ sites. The weather was mostly cloudy and chilly but the roads were impressively quiet especially in Galloway. Day 1: Train to Carlisle. No cycling of note. Day 2: Carlisle to Dumfries via Langholm, Lockerbie and Thornhill. Most notable climb was through Ae to Loch Ettrick. B&B. 87 miles. Day 3: Dumfries to Newton Stewart via the Solway Coast. Fairly flat thankfully. A shortish slog up to Cairn Holy. Youth hostel. 77 miles. Day 4: Circular route from Newton Stewart via Luce Bay, Kirkmadrine Stones, Portpatrick, Stranraer and New Luce. Only technical issue of the trip: chain kept jumping off, solved using a knife (as a screwdriver) and an allen key to adjust the eccentric bottom bracket. Youth hostel. 82 miles. Day 5: Newton Stewart to Girvan via Glen Trool and Loch Doon. A lot of time spent with visibility down to 50m at times. Still, what I did see was impressive: Bruce Stone, Loch Doon castle. Horrible forest road past Loch Riecawr: had to walk for large sections. First soaking as I was caught in a torrent approaching Dailly. Brilliant hotel: 4 poster bed! Empty bottle of Buckie in the town square: must be in Ayrshire. 67 miles. Day 6: Girvan to Lochranza. After the Electric Brae, fairly flat cycling along NCN 7 and NCN 73 to Ardrossan. On Arran, a stiff climb over to Lochranza. Youth hostel. 77 miles. Day 7: Lochranza to somewhere south-west of West Tarbert. Tough day. I was about to set off from the youth hostel to catch the first ferry to Claonaig: "Going to Campbeltown? There's quite a few 1 in 7 climbs on that road," said the man in the reception area, fondly recalling a bike ride of twenty years earlier. And he wasn't joking: the B842 doesn't take any prisoners. For some reason, in spite of this, and the cloud and poor visibility on the way to Campbeltown, I decided to carry on to the Mull of Kintyre. I can only warn that the last 5 miles were hell. I had to really push hard to walk the bike up the hill in places. From sea level up to about 370m and then a spectacular drop to the Mull. Though I didn't bother descending the whole way. Visibility was down to about 50m at the top but improved to around 200-300m when I walked down to about 200m above sea level. At this point, I saw the Chinook memorial and the lighthouse below but the wind suddenly picked up, the rain started and it was definitely time to leave. I then virtually flew back to Campbeltown (and dryness) and with the wind behind me pushed up the coast. Ran out of daylight and wild-camped somewhere between Kennacraig and West Tarbert. The rain started again in earnest. 97 miles. Day 8: South-west of Tarbert to Inverary. Lord, I was cold on that ferry across to Portavadie. Still, warmed up after climbing up to Millhouse. Warming cup of coffee and cake at Castle Lachlan. Easyish journey around the top of Loch Fyne and arrived very early at the youth hostel. 54 miles. Day 9: Inverary to Craignure. Another easy day with only one slow climb, the haul out of Inverary. A85 was OK until the bit between Connel and Oban. Oban felt weird: a heaving metropolis in comparison to the small villages that had dominated the previous few days. Camping (on a site). 38 miles. Day 10: Craignure to Tobermory. Fairly easy day overall. Chucked it down at Salen but took refuge for 45 mins in a bus shelter. Glen Aros was pleasantly quiet, but the climb out of Dervaig was a killer followed by another a few miles further down the road towards Tobermory. Youth hostel. 37 miles. Day 11: Tobermory to Fort William via Ardnamurchan Point, Strontian and Loch Shiel. Strong easterly wind. So...it was hard going at times as I came back from the Point. The road from Strontian to Polloch was tarmacked (with a very steep descent down to Loch Doilet) but after Polloch it was about 10-15 miles of forest track along Loch Shiel. The quality wasn't bad but it meant that I didn't see much of the view as I was too busy concentrating on finding the smoothest, least hazardous route along the forest track. The A830 was fine with no real traffic until I got to Corpach and the Fort William conurbation. B&B. 80 miles. Overall, I think SW Scotland is a real gem of quiet roads. Good job most folks overlook it in favour of the Highlands and Islands!