Tuesday May 5, 2015. Day 22

Inverness to Lairg: 102km

We knew today was not going to be fun – the forecast was for heavy rain, cold, and gusty head winds from the east. But, no snow! And Paul’s day was made when he identified a pair of Red Kites!

We rejoined Route#1 which we had last followed out of Edinburgh. The cycle path across the Hessock Bridge gave us a good view of Inverness and the Beauly Firth. The rain started just before Dingwall where we found shelter and espresso in the Courtyard Coffee Shop.

Paul remarked on a field of black sheep all facing the same way with their backs against the wind, only to observe Lois, similarly averting her face from the needles of rain.

Cycling high above Cromarty Firth, in the misty distance we could make out the oil rigs in for repair in Invergorden.

We sought refuge again in a cafe in Tain. We had asked for directions to any tea shop from an older woman. She pointed one out, but said that if we did not find anything open, she lived at #9 such-and-such a street, and that she would make us a cup of tea “and I’m serious”!

After tea, we headed north-west which gave us some relief from the wind, but not the rain. In passing, we noticed that the primroses were coming out, as they were in Cornwall when we started the trip.

The Park House B&B at Lairg was a welcome site. Apparently, they are used to shooting parties (deer-stalking and grouse) and wet clothing, so immediately whisked away all of our sopping gear which was returned dry and ready the next morning.

Too tired to venture out again, our evening meal was sandwiches from our panniers and two shots of Tomatin Scotch. The forecast is for more of the same tomorrow.

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