Thursday, 21 May 2009

Day 2 - Bettyhill to Bonar Bridge via Altnaharra and Lairg

A lovely day today. Started at 9.30am in bright sunshine from the Bettyhill Hotel. We met another end to ender, about the start the last leg of his journey going north.

We rode through Strathnaver on a single track road with hardly any traffic. The weather was dry with sunny spells and the wind was still an easterley, but much lighter than yesterday. It was a cross-wind for most of the day.

We kept getting passed by a French couple and a German guy, who were doing the Strathnaver trail, which is about the clearances in the early 19th century. There are lots of abandoned villages along the valley. We spoke to all 3 and found out the Frenchman's wife was actually from Lands End!

At Altnaharra, we met a couple of cyclists going the other way, who were doing LE-JOG and on day 16 of their trip. They'd only had one day of rain on the whole trip. I bet we won't be so lucky.
We started a long climb at Altnaharra and were suffering a bit into the wind as we reached the top. Luckily, we came across the Crask Inn, where we had sandwiches washed down with tea.
Suitably refreshed, we carried on southwards into the increasing strong wind, which had now veered round to the south-east. We were still on single track roads with passing places. Most motorists stop and wait for you, but some just carry on regardless, not even bothering to slow down and bullying their way past you. On such car flicked up a stone which caught me square in the face.

The road became 2 carraigeways just before Lairg, where we diverted onto a minor road to the Falls of Shin. We stopped at the visitors centre for a drink and saw a life-sized waxworks model of Mohammed Al Fayed wearing a kilt! Tacky or what? Apparently, he owns the visitors centre and there are lots of Harrods goods for sale, but we didn't buy any. We carried on to our B&B, Kyle House at Bonar Bridge. We had an evening meal at the Dunroamin Hotel, washed down with several pints of Skye Red Cuillin ale - recommended.

57 miles today in 5hrs 15 mins
Ave 10.94 mph
Total 126 miles so far.
B&B - Kyle House, Bonar Bridge

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