Sunday 16th May
Stirling to Canings bay and Inverness.
Today we had to get the cars in place for the ride. Leading up to the ride we had looked at many many ways of getting to and from John O Groats.
Colin even looked up the ferry timetables?
The plan we decided on, Two cars drove north to leave My car at Canings bay Bed and Breakfast, just west of JOG and then drive back to North Kessock Inverness and leave Graeme’s car at that Bed and Breakfast. Both establishments had kindly allowed us to park our vehicles for the week, if you are reading this thank you once more Minty Craigwood B & B North Kessock and Sandy Ben Corragh B & B Canings bay.
We had a great breakfast That we could eat sitting outside on a small verande.
Tasted even better with 20% discount as Travelodge guests. The weather was
superb Graeme and I had a small walk and stood overlooking the Bannockburn
Battlefield in warm sunshine at 8am, around 9ish we headed north in convoy
swapping passangers and drivers around at the rest stops.
It was a strange feeling driving parrallell to a loy of last years rout and the memories came flooding back to us all of the great time we had had. Hope this year is as good. On the way north we had seen two groups of cyclists on the Drumochtor Pass and the Schlod I sounded my horn and waved as a sign of support as they climbed, we’d been there.
Arrived at Craigiewood North Kessock around 11.30am dropped off the bikes and kit with the help of Gavin (The Landlord) where he placed them in his tunnel which was a giant plastic green house.
We drove north to Caningsbay a long drive in warm weather along the eastern coast line, a wonderful drive and a long way.
We got to Ben Corragh at around 2.30pm apart from Colin missing the junction. I had to ring him and call him back. 500 miles with only one turning and he misses it.
We dropped off my car met Sandy and Ron at Ben Corragh and listened to the English accents again, everyone is English North of Inverness.
The B and B had wonderful views across to the Isle of Stroma and the Orkneys which were clear as a bell. Colin photographed them as we stood just in case the weather was poor when we came back on our cycles.
Then the journey south back to North Kessock to return to the bikes and leave Graeme’s car. Still making sense.
To say it was an uneventful journey is wrong the lights at Berridale took over 6 minutes to change? A farmer lost his load of tree stumps off his trailer travelling out of Wick and we had to flash him down to stop as the road was blocked?
It was a wonderful afternoon drive back, we discovered a lovely place called Golspie with the Infamous Duke of Sutherland’s statue on the hill. He was hated because he was responsible for the highland clearances and the information in the car park telling the story board pulled no punches. We were discovered his statue can be seen from all 4 corners of Caithness.
We got back to North Kessock around 6pm to discover Graeme had picked up a puncture on his bike we hadn’t even turned a wheel must be some sort of record?
Colin repaired it but the valve base was perished with age and use so it went flat again. We needed a couple of new spare tubes now, what a good start we were having.
We had a good night out in Inverness, Chinese meal in the Mandarin Palace again and then back to bed, the digs were very comfortable and Minty the landlady was very helpful.
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