there is a choice. We'd planned to ride over the tops toward Bonar
Bridge and thence northwards through the middle of the northernmost
section of Scotland. This is excellent riding most of the way and
takes you into some of the most remote and wild areas of the Highlands.
However, it's worth checking the weather forecast to see what the
wind's going to be doing. When we reached the far north coast we
turned into a fierce headwind (more about that later) and had we
realised we might have chosen to follow the A9 north from Dingwall
Our chosen route
took us high into the hills between the Cromarty and Dornoch Firths.
It was a long climb but the gradients were gentle and we were able
to ride it all the way. The wind was getting up a bit by now and
this may have helped with the climb. Not too much in the way of
views up here until you reach the other side and can see down into
Dornoch Firth. Then there are excellent views in all directions
of sea and mountains.
The plan was
to phone ahead for a B&B somewhere between Lairg and Bettyhill.
It was only the middle of the afternoon when we arrived in Lairg
but there are only 3 B&Bs before Bettyhill, one of which was far
too expensive, one booked up and the third we couldn't get a reply.
There was no possibility of continuing to Bettyhill (about 35 miles
through virtually uninhabited country) that evening so we had no
option but to have an early stop in Lairg. Lesson: if possible,
book accommodation, if needed on this stretch, well in advance.