What a difference a day makes! Admittedly this was our ‘rest day’ or, at the very least at just over 40 k, a short stage. But the sun came out, there was no head-wind and the scenery gently transitioned from arable to highland. The stage began with a short section along the A9 but once clear of that we headed north-west along the shores of the Dornoch Firth as far as Ardgay, where we had a welcome roadside coffee. Through Bonar Bridge – familiar territory from our End to End ride in 2012 – and then along a delightful road following the River Shin. Lunch – a roll from Tain Tesco – was taken at the view-point overlooking Shin Falls. It was here that Bry spotted our first Dipper of the trip, which turned out to be two adults visiting their nest right opposite where we were sat! Our ride finished early at the Lairg Highland Hotel our comfortable, if a little overpriced, overnight stop. A walk in the early evening to a nearby local nature reserve produced our last ‘tick’ of the day, Red Grouse, which together with Osprey, Hooded Crow (the real deal this time) and Whinchat brings our trip total to 100! At supper we sat next to an interesting and engaging American family, Mum, Dad & daughter, who had bought their bikes over from the States to tackle the JOGTLE (John o’Groats to Land’s End), they are just a couple of days away from completing their holiday mission – hats off to them! Todays stage also brings us within spitting distance of the north coast.