A 1146 mile cycle ride from Land's End to John o' Groats
Joe’s front tyre had gone down overnight so he got on with mending it, all the while being bitten by midges. Nasty little things. Breakfast isn’t provided at hostels, so we ate a banana and set off along the Caledonian Canal to Fort Augustus. We filled up on sandwiches, milkshakes and pan au chocolate and watched boats navigate the ladder of locks.
Still keen to avoid the dangerous A82, we took the B862 out of Fort Augustus. What a climb. It went on and on. Five miles of up and up. Worth the effort though as the views were spectacular. A swarm of ‘poo flies’ followed us all the way, attracted to our sweating, smelly bodies.It felt like a long climb – I think it’s about 377 metres (1240 feet). That’s a pimple compared to Tour de France climbs. After reaching the top we had a great downhill along General Wade’s Military Road. Loch Ness. No monster.
Down to Inverness along the south shore of Loch Ness, over the Kessock Bridge and onto the Black Isle. I’d booked a B&B in Fortrose and hoped we’d be able to stroll down to Chanonry Point this evening to see a dolphin or two. Unfortunately I didn’t check the exact location of Hillhaven B&B and we’re on top of a steep hill (the clues in the name). Neither of us can be bothered to get back on our bikes for the 8 mile round trip, so no dolphins for us, but the owner drove into town and brought us back fish and chips. How nice is that.
58 miles today, so that makes 1005 miles so far. I think I got my calculations wrong as we still have two days to go. Looks like we’ll end up doing near to 1135 miles by the time we reach John o’ Groats. I could be wrong though.