The pattern of a sunny start followed by clouds and then rain continued. Luckily the strong wind was behind us, making for easy and enjoyable cycling. The wide open space of the far north was glorious in the sunshine, we had the road to ourselves before a few motor tourists and the odd farm vehicle appeared. We didn’t see any cyclists.
There were several information boards referring to the infamous Highland clearances and the Gloomy Memories account of the cruelties inflicted on tenants by the landowners, written by Donald MacLeod.
The wind made the gradual ascents effortless, it would have been a struggle in the opposite direction. We reached the Farr Bay Inn around 14:30, our earliest finish yet but the rain was quite heavy by then so we were glad to arrive. The hotel allowed us to check in early and provided us with mint tea.
We decided to forfeit tomorrow night’s booking at the Bettyhill Hotel and I rearranged the John O’Groats stay for tomorrow. What clinched the decision was checking on Real Time Trains and noting that last Wednesday’s 12:34 from Wick was cancelled so we’d have missed the sleeper. We’ll now stay Tuesday night in Inverness as insurance.
Today’s distance: 45.7 miles (73.6 km)
Today’s ascent: 615 metres
Cumulative: 1008.9 miles (1623.8 km), 18327 metres