James and Joe cycle LeJog

A 1146 mile cycle ride from Land's End to John o' Groats

Day 19 – Fortrose to Helmsdale

After breakfast, we took a leisurely cycle down to Chanonry Point to see the dolphins. We didn’t see any.

From Rosemarkie there was a long climb, but then it was downhill all the way to catch the Cromarty-Nigg ferry. On the way we met and chatted with a man who’d cycled pretty much the same route as us, but in ten days. Ten days. That’s about 120 miles a day. He showed us around Cromarty (nice place) and even invited us to his house for a cup of coffee (we politely refused). He also flew an air ambulance. But not while riding a bicycle. Lovely man.

The Cromarty-Nigg ferry, the Cromarty Queen, was our favourite ferry. Small, but perfectly formed.

From Nigg we took minor roads for a few miles, but then had to take the A9. Nasty road. We escaped it for a while by heading off to Dornoch (where we met my parents), but then after a few quiet miles we had no choice but to rejoin the A9. It felt like a real slog, turning the pedals fast so we could reach Helmsdale Hostel as quickly as possible. Mile after mile of road. The views were good, but the amount of cars overtaking us weren’t. Busy. Tomorrow we are heading inland, away from the crowds. Can’t wait. Should be a good end to our journey.

66 miles today. Hot and sweaty miles. Much better than cold and wet miles though.

This evening we went for fish and chips with my parents to Helmsdale’s La Mirage, described above the door as The North’s Premier Restaurant. Not sure if that’s ‘north UK’ or ‘north Helmsdale’.


The decor of La Mirage was styled by a friend of Dame Barbara Cartland. I’m led to believe that this thong may have been worn by Dame Barbara herself.

3 comments on “Day 19 – Fortrose to Helmsdale

  1. Chris Womack
    July 26, 2012

    Well done James & Joe, (and Bill & Margaret) what a fabulous adventure, bear in mind the record ride in 2001 by G Butler, of – (get yer ed round this)
    1day, 20hr, 4min, 20sec. !!! – does not seem possible, does not “compute” ???

    What camera are you using for this adventure ?

    All best wishes for a brilliant outcome !

    Chris & Moya

    • Little Jim
      July 28, 2012

      Thanks for the comment Chris and Moya. I bet the record holder didn’t have time to stop for an hour to eat fish and chips in Padstow! I used my iPhone for the blog photos, my trusty Holga and a digital too. I’ll add some more photos to the blog soon.

  2. Major Bumforth-Whitless
    July 27, 2012

    I see you wore the red number for the posh dinner.

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This entry was posted on July 26, 2012 by and tagged , , , , , .


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