Wednesday, 17 August 2016

On heading South

The day started with an encounter with an older Australian couple in the process of assembling their touring bikes in the parking lot of the hotel. It wasn't clear how they had got to John O'Groats with bikes still in their shipping boxes but they had and I was offered one. They were about to do a reverse LEJOG, which I guess should be expected from antipodeans with reversed brakes on their bikes (that is the rear brake was controlled by the left hand brake lever). ;-)

At breakfast, I sat with Michael, a Canadian who just complete a LEJOG in about two and a half weeks. He commented that the record for a LEJOG was something like 48 hours, but he couldn't ride that fast. I asked him if he would want to go that fast. He paused, then chuckled a "No!" He had a generally negative take on British drivers vis-à-vis cyclists. Ones in the South of England seem to have been quite unpleasant.

I set off at a time which got me to the Castle of Mey too early to enter which was just as well as I was able to use the time to make a side trip to Dunnet Head the most Northerly part of the Island of Great Britain. This headland features a sea cliff home to a wide assortment of seabirds: kittiwakes, guillemots, gannets, fulmars, puffins, razorbills and of course seagulls. I have no clear picture of which I saw flying around. I don't think I saw members of the auk family (puffins, guillemots and razorbills).

I got back to Thurso in time for a quick lunch. I then got to the station, changed into civvies, and waited only a few minutes for my two coach train to arrive.

So now I am on the train to Inverness looking at the scenery. Wide blanket bog has given way to hills/mountains. In not too long, the train passes by Lairg!

Almost strange to see trees again!

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