Starting at a slightly damp Invershin, we made our way past the shin falls, didn’t see any salmon leaping but did see a lot of fishermen hoping to catch them.
A long slow climb for the first part of the morning into the empty highlands, quite grey again with patches of rain that came and went, plus the odd section into the wind.
This section was the first really remote part on this trip, although we’ve been higher we were never that far from people.
It would have been one of my favourite days, head winds and persistent rain took some of the fun off though.
Lunch at Altnaharra by Loch Naver was nice, although Chris was dinner for some of the flying wildlife.
I think this was also the first time it really sank in how far we’ve come, especially when we got to the North Sea.
Now we’re at Melvich with just 39 miles to go…
(having had a good meal at the Halladale Inn)
Leaving the Cairngorms via Aviemore and over the Slochd summit was lovely, not so long a day and more downhill than up… which would have been even better if not for a ridiculous head wind that at times was a battle just to stay upright!
Made our way to Inverness, had some food and stayed at an interesting guest house in the centre… I can’t say I’d recommend staying there, their idea of a continental breakfast was a bowl of cereal, one piece of toast, tea or coffee, a banana and a weird chocolate pastry thing, nothing else. The location was excellent (very central) though, I’m going to write trip advisor reviews of all the places we stayed, good, bad and interesting.
Thursday morning we dropped our camping stuff off at the hotel we’re staying at Saturday and with lighter bikes headed over the Kessock bridge.
We had less miles to cover today, which was great because it rained for a large part of the day – pity as I suspect if we could see the scenery it’d be impressive. The last 5 miles into a strong head wind with soaking rain was not fun.
We found our way to the outstanding Invershin bunkhouse, hung our kit to dry… gave thanks that we weren’t in a tent… had some food in the attached hotel’s bar ready for the last full day riding tomorrow!
Saturday we’ll need to be up early for the final 37 miles to the finish in time to catch our bus back to Inverness… so close…
Packing up the wet tents at Noah’s Ark, we made our way towards national cycle route 77 (and later 7), which follows the A9 toward Inverness.
Such a great day. The route was easy to follow, hilly in places (climbing to a peak just under 500m) with stunning scenery all around.
This photo doesn’t really do it justice, look closely and you’ll see the pockets of snow on the right.
We made good progress, then the last 15 miles were almost all down hill… Now that’s how I like my days to end!
The rain started again, luckily just after I’d got back into the tent. Tonight’s camp site is amusingly bad. You even need 20p for hot water to wash up, the toilet block is breeze blocks and old… I’m not going in the shower either. Early night and on to Inverness tomorrow.
We also made a decision to ditch the camping gear at the hotel we’re staying in on sat (as we go through tomorrow) and use bunk houses and bnbs for the last couple of nights.
Thanks for your continued support (by comments, donations and baking) we’ve now both hit our fundraising targets and are on the home stretch!