7th August all day into the wind to Craske, but no midgies or rain

During the night it rains heavily. I wake up a couple of times but just smile and roll over. The car park is flooded when I go to get Genevieve.

Lots of sharp climbs out of Dingwall but it’s fine, a strong wind blowing and no midgies. I’m thankful for that even if it is head wind.

Lots of scenic views from coastal to mountains. At Edderton viewpoint of the Tain I stop, not just because it’s the top of a climb but because it’s stunning. Ron from Ohio comes over and asks how my ride is going. We discuss riding here compared to America. He wouldn’t ride there. We discuss the Ride across America race and some of the accidents that have happened on that. I share about the Tour Divide ride, at least lots of that is off road. He wishes me well and I head off again.

This is my favourite part of the ride. So open and empty in places. It does mean the wind whips across and I’m guessing I’m struggling to do 9 miles an hour. You stop peddling and you stop moving.

After one particularly stiff climb I have to wait to let some cars go through and I stop next to Tommy. He is out for his lunchtime walk and works in the hydro Electric power stations. We were actually standing on water pipes from stations further up. Tommy explains some of the issues they are facing. With all the rain land slides have been an issue. He has also been to work at the power station at Lowestoft. Small world!

I eventually arrive at Craske. Only 53 miles but into that wind all day I decide to stop here for the night. I would have needed another 25 miles on to the next suitable place.

I walk into the oasis that is the Craske in and Douglas and Brandy the dog welcome me. I ask if I can camp and yes it is possible As we talk more I am offered the summer house- yes please!!!

Back into the pub I meet Jerome and Charlemagne from France. They are Seasonal workers and ski instructors in the winter and croupiers. They have huge packs and are walking and hitch hiking for 2 weeks in Scotland.

Debbie enters the pub and she is waiting for Alex and Ashley who are riding LEJOG. Alex is a 14 year old cadet from 451 squadron. Carol Vordermann has been tweeting his progress for him. I find him on twitter and send an encouraging message and I am ‘liked’ by Carol Vordermann!!

Unbeknown to me Debbie has been using me as a reference point. She goes 10-15 miles ahead of Alex and waits. She has seen me several times during the day and knows they will be 30 minutes or so behind me. Alex is suffering with a pulled muscle. Apparently I am always smiling when she has seen me. It obviously goes to show what I know already that cycling is good for my mental health. To follow Alex @451SqnATC on Twitter. It would be lovely to see them finish.

Meals have to be prebooked but they are going to see what they can do for me. I think it will be too far to finish tomorrow but will see how the day goes and what time I leave. 82 miles to JOG but I’ve got the extra to Dunnet Head on top.

Published by Paul Andrew Cycling Adventures

Paul had his half a telegram birthday in 2016 and made a few life changing decisions. He lost 5.5 stone and then decided to start cycling again. Riding from Lands End to John O'Groats had been an ambition since he was 20. That challenge was met in 2017 and then the Four Cardinal points in 2019. He has Obsessive Cycling Disorder and its now time for the next challenge. He works in a Norwich Primary School, trains teachers,supports schools and loves Maths. He has a very understanding OH and a blind miniature schnauzer called Alfie . This blog is to enable all those who are interested to track his progress, see the cakes he eats,beers he drinks and hopefully share in the success!

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1 Comment

  1. Paul – this is Ron from Ohio. It was nice meeting you on the road today, however brief. Glad to see you made it to the pub. I look forward to tracking your progress and catching up on your earlier posts. I have been inspired by your trek. I hope I find myself doing something with this inspiration. Safe travels and God speed.

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