Sunshine again today, and somewhat of a slow escape from Kinross, since the council had decided to resurface about 3 miles of the main road out of town all at once. I had a much brighter view of Loch Leven from the north than I had managed yesterday, but unfortunately Leven Castle could not be seen from this side. The journey to Perth was fast but pleasant, initially along the B996 and then the A912. For a few miles the road followed a river flowing down through a narrow, winding wooded valley. Traffic was light except a short section connecting the A913 with the M90.
In the centre of Perth, at the main bridge over the Tay, I joined NCN 77 towards Pitlochry. This route largely followed off-road paths, starting with paths along the banks of the Tay and then the Almond for the first few miles. After a few more miles along empty country roads, it then took to a path shadowing the busy A9, arriving into the attractive town of Dunkeld. Here, I ate a relaxed lunch on the banks of the Tay, looking up at the town's impressive main bridge.
After lunch, I passed Dunkeld Cathedral and continued on the NCN 77, which was again following pleasant off-road paths. This first continued along the Tay, before crossing back over and then rising slowly through woodland. A couple of miles from Pitlochry, I had a great view of the town nestling on the forested lower slopes of the mountains. I arrived around 2:30pm, and spent some time looking at the hydro-electric dam and its "fish ladder", provided to allow the salmon to migrate upstream past the dam. I'd last seen this about 25 years ago, when it seemed much larger and steeper!
Once I'd checked in to my hotel, I wandered back down to the high street for a while. I realised how lucky I'd been with the almost unbroken sunshine throughout the day when a torrential downpour suddenly began - the rain continuing for most of the evening. I took shelter in a nearby pub, treating myself to a meal of haggis, neeps and tatties - one of my favourites.
Distance: 51.8 miles
Total ascent: 1013m
Cumulative distance: 788.4 miles
Interactive route map and profile: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1954