Managed to mount my trusty steed and having loaded up the carbs at breakfast we needed every last one of them to get up the first hill – a real stinker from the hotel up to the village of Bettyhill. Thereafter we had a super 25 mile spin up the Strath Naver valley, with a well timed coffee break in the Gillies bar at the Altnaharra Hotel. After which, a stretching uphill section to our lunch stop at the elevated and isolated Crask Inn – see profile below! Met a lovely local couple in the bar who gave us a donation on the spot – how kind was that?
With the rain holding off, a 14 mile descent, albeit into an increasing head wind, to Lairg and then on to our final destination of Bonar Bridge. On balance, what I feared would be a difficult day, turned out to be a manageable and enjoyable challenge – the only low point was being involved in an altercation with an RV which wouldn’t budge from the middle of a single track road, resulting in him hitting my elbow with his wing-mirror. Bruised but not battered, it could have been worse!
Route for Day 2, showing elevation to the Crask Inn
Bry leaving the Farr Bay Inn on a full breakfast…little does he know what’s ahead!
A breather by the shores of Loch Naver – note the snowy peak in the background!
A well-earned lunch stop.
A brief mechanical stop at Lairg and on the loch opposite….a Black-throated Diver!
Our destination – after a 90+k ride.
On the birding front, the species total has now moved up to 63. The highlights of which were a couple of Merlin, Fieldfare, Greenshank, 3 Cuckoo, Dipper, Siskin, Goosander and numerous Common Sandpiper on Strath Naver and on the estuary at Bonar Bridge a solitary Black-tailed Godwit.
There’ll be more blogging over breakfast…..