Days 31 to 33, Northern Scotland

Tain, Altnahara and Betty Hill. June 12 to 14.

We’ve reached the North Coast of Scotland and crossed the 2000km mark. In many ways this is turning out to be the best part of the trip so far. The country north of Inverness is hilly and sparsely settled, mostly tree farms, clearcuts regrowing, or open windswept moors which will be gorgeous when the heather is in bloom. We have ridden for hours along single track roads without passing a house or seening a utility pole or a farm animal. It is open, vast and very pretty.

The weather is mixed. We’ve had a warm sunny day, a cool, windy day with steady light rain, and today, a cool day of sun, rain and headwinds. The weather fits this part of the country. This is the Scotland we were expecting to see: wet, cool, windy, hilly, remote. We are not minding the weather or the hills.

Suddenly we are seeing touring cyclists everywhere. We have now joined the route of the popular End to End ride (from Land’s End in the southwest of England to John O’Groats at the northeast corner of Scotland, a 900 mile ride from the most southerly to the most northerly spots in mainland UK). It is fun to chat with other cyclists.

The North Coast is spectacular: cliffs, sandy beaches and hills to climb. It is a tourist area, busier and more populated than the past three days. We will take a leisurely two days to reach John O’Groats, then take a ferry to the Orkney Islands.

12 thoughts on “Days 31 to 33, Northern Scotland”

    • Thank you. Yes, it seems amazing to have cycled the length of mainland UK. One more little stretch tomorrow and then off to the Orkneys.

  1. I join the rest of the commentators, wondering about the beauty of the lanscape. It must be an inner one that escapes me….
    The last picture is wonderful and you certainly deserves it. Congratulations on your 2000 km mark!

    • Perhaps it is an acquired taste 🙂 .

      We also like prairies and the desert. Something about the size.

    • Dank je wel Jan. Leuk dat je de blog met haar deelt. Bedankt voor al je goede zorgen.

  2. Even the sheep have emigrated!
    as they say in Skye ….even the hills is lonely!
    Happy trails

    • We enjoyed the lonely hills. Landscape reminded us a lot of areas in the Yukon. Back in tow today–funny to see a gas station. It must have been days since we saw one.

  3. Very strong written..You don’t mind the hills…wind ..rain.. And yet you look so relaxed the both of you. We love to hear about youre story’s and enjoying the wonderfull pictures. The North Sea picture is lovely. Didn’t know that this Sea is as blue as the Mediterrane. At our coast it colour is so cold. We’re in Turkey now enjoying the sun.

    • Enjoy Turkey! It’s a lot warmer than here. The colour of the sea surprised us too. If it wasn’t for the cool weather, you could imagine the ocean and island in the picture being a tropical location. The riding is hard at time, but overall pretty good. It feels good to be outdoors and dealing with the elements all day. I know, it sounds odd but it really does feel good.

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