Travels By Jango, Rhino and Helios tandem
Another bright sunny day greeted us this morning. We were away quite early, cycling past the school (NOR 5) and very soon came to a crossroads where we eschewed Hope and instead turned right onto the B road along the side of Loch Naver. Unfortunately the road did not keep close to the shore but instead went up and down a lot.
Also, the wind had returned and it was blowing from the south-east. This would have been ideal when we were cycling from Middlesbrough to Berwick but today we were heading almost due east along the loch at first. Our host had told us the wind would get stronger in the afternoon – we thought it was quite strong in the morning.
At the end of the loch we stopped and looked back at the magnificent view behind us, before turning north into Strath Naver. Now the wind was helping us and the road was mostly downhill – despite having to stop for sheep we made good time and reached Bettyhill (39 kilometres) by one o’clock.
Bettyhill, as its name implies, is on a hill, but we could feel the wind on our backs, pushing us up. We caught our first glimpse of the “Top Sea” – from here we would be cycling along the north coast of the British mainland. At the top we found a picnic bench and some toilets so we stopped for a biscuit break.
Leaving Bettyhill we turned east again, so the wind was in our faces once more, and our host of last night had been correct – it was much stronger. There were some steep climbs too, which we couldn’t even attempt to pedal up. In fact, we sometimes had trouble pedalling down. The 15 kilometres to Strathy took us two and a half hours and we were feeling quite tired when we arrived, so we were pleased to be settled into our B&B by 16:00 having completed another 54 kilometres.