Lejog: What a difference a day makes....
Updated: Jan 6, 2020
1st October 2018
We have now seen some smiley Scots! I had a message from a Scottish friend of ours after the blog in which I said that we had not seen a smiling Scot since we crossed the border,. He said it would be necessary to travel to the west coast of Scotland to see a smilie! There is clearly some friendly rivalry going on between the west and east coast up here.
Well, all that changed today.
Shirley and I were first down to breakfast to be met by about half a dozen cheeky Scotsmen who Shirley later described a 'sex starved.' They must have been desperate to be flirting with us two first thing in the morning. Our men then joined us and the whole conversation was ribald but entertaining. It was a fun start to the day. We asked them what they were doing up here in the almost Artic Circle but found out nothing more than they were lap dancers in a local club! Their work gear suggested they may have been joking.
The ride today was pure joy. Light cloud and south westerly light winds meant that it wasn't too cold and the wind was with us. Joy of joys.. no rain was forecast until the afternoon. . The route took us over back roads through beautiful countryside until we joined the A9 for the last 34 miles of the journey. At that point we had to take our courage firmly in our handlebars as the lorries and coaches went screaming past. We soon adjusted to it all and it did mean it was a super fast route for us. We actually rode the fastest 40K of the entire trip and arrived at our hotel by 1.30pm, just before the rain came down.
Imagine our delight when we saw this sign...
The A9 ran along the coast after crossing the Dornoch Firth Bridge and all the way the views on either side of the road were stunning. The dark and brooding hills on the left and the wild and rugged coastline on the right.
At every stop en route to have a coffee, people were warm and friendly and eager to help, so our hearts are warming to Scotland a little more (although we wish the weather was a little calmer, warmer and less windy!)
We are staying in the strangest guest house we have come across. The Bridge in Helmsdale. It is beautifully furnished and comfortable, but the owner, and the only one who works there lives away, so the guest house is unlocked and unstaffed all day long. He was kind and caring though - when he was around. So much effort has gone into the refurb of the place, but it really does need at least one other staff member! So much I could write about it and the experiences we had but we loved staying there even if it did remind us of Bates Motel in the HItchcock film. We are here now for the duration.
Just for fun we thought you might like to relive our ride with us...https://www.relive.cc/view/1877433267
Day’s Mileage: 49.85m Total mileage to date: 939.12m
Day’s climbing: 1,904ft Total climbing to date 38,790ft
The weather forecast for tomorrow is dire. Winds of 50-60mph all day, so if that is correct we will not be venturing out tomorrow. Far too dangerous! So we will stay here and hope we can finish the last leg the following day. Can everyone reading this please send a little prayer to the weather gods for some clement weather for us. We want to come home now!!
Annette & Bob