Today started well, the forecast of waking up in the rain was incorrect, happy days. The sun was trying to show itself and the wind was in our favour. Today we would traverse 2 more shires, Ross & Cromarty and into Sutherland.
We broke camp early and cycled into Drumnadrochit village to grab some breakfast. I need a coffee before I ride, if I want to ride decent – and Cafe Eighty2 on the main road didn’t dissapoint. In fact it delivered massively – easily the best coffee yet, and the food was superb. Without this descending into some Egon Ronay review – I do have to say, if you are ever driving, running, walking the Great Glen – save some space to eat and break here – a great wee place.
It was important we fed ourselves early today, as one of the biggest climbs of the entire ride was looming 3 miles into today. It didn’t dissapoint either. ‘The Road is Long’, but it is also brutal… However once up that hill (Cul Na Kirk) the views were phenomenal, and the descent just fantastic.
We descended for around 6 miles and were soon in Beauly – it poured here – and as soon as we left the town, it got sunny again. I feel kind of bad dissing places, just because the Weather was bad – but there didn’t appear to be much to Beauly, just a Cornwall left me cold too (sorry folks). Perhaps I should return to these places when there is gaurantee of sun and write something positive.
After Beauly it wasn’t long until we reached Dingwall and the Cromarty Firth – yes! The East coast. As is our motif, we stopped off at the bike shope here – Dryburgh Cycles – to get Matt’s gears looked at again. And again, great service was recieved by some great lads. Nothing to report btw in terms of Matt’s bike falling more apart – a realtively clean bill of health was given.
From Dingwall it was North the 40 or so miles to Dornoch. Passsing Invergordon and Nig – both familiar to me from Higher Geography and ‘famed’ for the oil rigs.
We got to Dornoch ealry, possibly driven on by the prospect of a ‘swish’ hotel tonight. We are spoiling oursleves, that, and the fact we need to be up and out for the final 80 miles tomorrow.
So far we have cycled 878 miles, tomorrow will be 80. But, for the first time, today we saw this:
For the rest of our pedal, we’ll largely be on main A roads. as we were much of today (A9) – the riding is a bit stresful, but I now belive we will nail this.