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…..
Jings, I thought when I first saw your red scrawl on the map it said “Crash”! Glad you’re maiking progress but, listen, while we are captivated by the lists of burds you’ve spied, we, as Proper Cyclists, need more details of fry-ups, cake and beer! Looks like you’re off to a good strart. Struie Hill tomorrow?
Appreciate the updates – keep them coming.
Just for you Alex: beer drunk from Orkney, Black Isle and Cairngorm breweries, sponge cake , choc chip cookies, sponge cake and full Scottish every day! Thanks for watching. B