I awoke very early and looked out of the window at mist with sun breaking through, a promising start, and we rose at 07:00 to a cloudless sky. We rode along lovely peaceful lanes and on past the end of Findhorn Bay. We considered riding down to the community there but would have had to have returned the same way and decided we couldn’t afford the diversion. We soon reached Forres, by-passing the town to remain on the route. At the gateway to Brodie Castle we spotted the magical phrase “Tea Room” on the sign so shot off down the driveway for our first cake of the holiday. Luckily we were able to leave the grounds by another exit so it wasn’t much of a detour.
A forested ride took us along the river to Nairn, and we nipped into the town for picnic provisions which we ate in the warm sunshine by the river. The afternoon cycling was harder as the roads were hillier, passing close to Cawdor castle and over the river Nairn. The clouds had been gathering since mid afternoon and the inevitable heavy downpour soaked us on the approach to Inverness. We arrived in the rush hour and battled through the traffic to reach the youth hostel at 17:30. After the Aberdeen experience we opted for a private room, not much cheaper that the previous day’s B&B which was en-suite and included breakfast and free wi-fi, Youth Hostels aren’t as attractive as they used to be. We popped out to Morrisons for dinner ingredients and enjoyed our first self cooked meal of the holiday.