Breakfast at 8 and I was back on the A9 at 9.30 heading over to the Dornoch Firth Bridge. There was a super strong headwind, I would say the strongest I have had to date when cycling.
I continued laboriously over to the A949 and on to Dornoch where I took a quiet scenic road with tiny passing bays.
Just before Fourpenny I nearly fell off my bike – a HUGE osprey came up and out of the bottom of the verge about a foot away from me on my left hand side. I think it had just caught something and I had surprised it on my quiet way by. From Fourpenny I turned west along the beautiful Loch Fleet, I didn’t get to see any more osprey but there was plenty of other wildlife.
The headwind was so strong that it took me forever to cover the short distance on flat ground back to the A9. The A9 wasn’t too busy but I would have preferred a quieter road but there’s not many choices once you get this far up!
I cycled past the turrets of Dunrobin Castle and enjoyed the coastal views, the sea was sooooo blue.
I stopped just before Helmsdale to prepare myself for the big climb around the Ord of Caithness.
It was frightening as the wind was so strong and on one corner the bike and trailer jumped to the white line in the middle of the road. I kept a close eye on my mirror as to see what was behind me, gritted my teeth and kept onward and upward, one minute into a headwind, next in the sun, next in the cold shadow with a massive side wind.
The views were stunning and I stopped at Badbae for a sandwich and a rest after the harrowing few miles I had just completed.
The wind was making a really unusual sound through the hills, quite eerie.
There was an awesome downhill all the way to the foot of the Berriedale Braes, which I then had to climb up. The road was winding and steep enough to shelter me from the wind so it didn’t feel anywhere near as exposed.
When I arrived at Dunbeath I had a look around the harbour and started to look for a B&B but with no luck.
I managed to find one in Latheronwheel. The owners were very friendly and after showering I sat and had a coffee with them and a visiting friend they wanted me to meet.
I was very tired and eventually retired to my room at 11pm. My head had barely hit the pillow before I was fast asleep!
30.3 mph MAX 8.4 mph AVE 7 hours 1 minute 10 seconds 59.42 miles
1060.4 miles total