We continued heading west along the Moray Firth, from our morning start at Cullen Bay, to Forres our overnight stop. Most of the early 65 kilometres of the ride were across cliff-top fields with stunning coastal views, then later through more rolling countryside, all into a stiff head wind – an exhausting day. . Our route took us close to Gordonstoun where my niece and three generations of British royalty were educated, and Bryan was the Chair of Governors. We’d been invited by the Principal to call in for a spot of lunch – so we did. Bry catching up with old friends and acquaintances – whilst Neil and I had a good gleg. After a gruelling afternoon session we finally arrived at The Carlton Hotel – sounds posher than it is – where Bry made arrangements for our supper with his friends John, Sue and family. A very pleasant occasion to mark the end of an interesting but physically demanding day.
Because of the impending national rail strike and commitments at home Neil has decided to leave us at this point. We’re all gutted that he won’t be finishing this historic ride – completed over five years – with us at John O’Groats. Meanwhile, to mitigate the effects of the strike and connect us back to the main rail network once it ends, Bry and I have decided to cycle on to Orkney, where the plan is to catch the overnight ferry back to Aberdeen. Should be interesting!