Day 1 – Durness to Lairg; 24th June 2023

Today, it all starts! A ‘gentle’ 85 kilometres with 675 metres of climbing.  

The day started early, in daylight terms at 4.20 am but I managed to keep my eyes shut until 7 am.  A leisurely start and a warm sunny one too.   At 8.35 the phone rang for the first of my weekend Radio Derby calls.  That complete, it was final preparation time for me and the bike and then just after 9.30 I was off.  2 minutes later, I stopped to do my Facebook Live post, and then it was off again. 

It’s difficult to adequately describe the scenery.  Rough craggy hillsides, heather and rough grassland interspersed with rivers and lochs  – it was just majestic.  

The road was mostly single track (An A road) but with frequent passing places, and to credit the majority of drivers, they were patient enough to pull over and let me pass safely by.  Under the tyres, the road was occasionally beautifully smooth and delightful and at times rough as a badger’s…

My bike computer told me that there were 10 climbs and climb number two was a 6km 4-ish degree slope – A steady 12km/hr climb and the developing scenery was enough to compensate for any effort needed.

What goes up invariably means descent and whilst some were good fast ones, others needed care and some speed was rubbed off by the roughness of the road.  

Once I’d turned off the Ullapool road towards Lairg, the ride got even better as I rode the banks of numerous lochs with an ever-changing scenery along the way.  At km 70, Sue finally caught up with me and from that point, it was just 15 more kilometres of mainly downhill road to the Loch Shin Glamping Pods.

A great first day and hopefully a portent of things to come.  Oh and a bonus Ness right at the end, West Shinness.  Yay

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