Day 18 – Lairg to Bettyhill

We are now on the North coast of Scotland and it is so beautiful, though had our first meeting with midges today and our second cycling in the rain which is pretty amazing over three weeks.

We set off in drizzle this morning for the very first time, but all were cheerful and the midges seemed to be enjoying it too.  Our first 13 miles were a very gentle ascent that we barely noticed along Loch Shin and up the Vagastie valley through the flow lands. The flow lands are some of the remotest places I have been.  All you can see is moorland for miles in any direction and the road in front of you

and then, in the middle of nowhere, seven miles from  the nearest building is the Crask Inn, where we stopped for excellent coffee and tea and at table service for the food (he chucked mars bars, snickers or double deckers to us at our tables).

From there a short ascent followed by a long 15 mile descent to the coast.

On the way we got soaked in a heavy shower, visited a site from the Highland clearances (a pogrom by any other name), where there are the remains of one crofting cottage and some graves.  Life must have been mighty tough even before the clearances, but next time you visit a country house think where the money to build it came from.

from there to lunch and down to the coast by which time the sun had come out and a short climb up to the hotel.

We have now cycled over 1,000 miles! One day to go.

Except Andrew who has already arrived – and congratulations to him!!