Sunday, 27 March 2011

Wick to Golspie

Sunday 27th March 2011

52.12 Miles, 5hr 25mins, 9.63mph Average Speed and 69.41 Total Miles

Breakfast at 8am was delicious, full cooked breakfast, locally smoked Salmon, Haddock and Haggis of course. On the road at 9am where the lovely Clachan B&B owner gave us some fudge that we were only allowed to eat when we have climbed the biggest hill of the day! The first 20 miles were relatively flat but the headwind was making it a much harder ride than it ought to have been. We had to stop once or twice to add or remove various pieces of clothing as one minute we were getting hot and sweaty going up then cold going down and into the wind. It's really tough to get the right balance in these grey conditions.

We stopped in Dunbeath for a cuppa tea and the cafe had the most amazing views looking out over the sea. After we had warmed up, we set off for some very hilly terrain over the next 15 miles. We climbed up a good 100metres before coming back down to sea level only to face a massive climb up to approx 230metres. The first uphill was a gradient of 10%, the downhill was 13% and the stonking Berriedale Braes uphill was 13% but one of the locals said it was a 1 in 4 climb which I must say it felt more like the later!

Not only did we have the uphills to contend with, but as we entered the higher grounds we were hit with terrential rain where a great big black cloud was looming. As we came out the other side into Helmsdale we were soaked and frozen. We found a tiny pub where I walked in dripping wet still with my high vis vest on and helmet only to find a room full of men watching Scotland play Brazil at football, they all turned to stare at this allien invasion.

We changed into dry clothes and had more tea and a cheese roll each. Feeling more human we set off for the last 16 miles of the day to Golspie. Thankfully it was fairly flat and it had stopped raining. It even felt like the wind was behind us for a while. We followed the coastline all the way where the trainline was by our side and a gorgeous sandy beach. When I saw the sign for the beach first I thought it said Candy then I thought it said Shandy then I realised I was dreaming.

Arriving in Golspie we found the B&B which was just after the castle and in front of the links golf course. We settled in and showered then the owner offered to drive us to the golf course restaurant for an amazing 3 course Sunday Carvery that only cost £12 a head. Again the views were to die for. As we walked back to the B&B there was a lovely sunset. In bed at 9pm and it will not be long before we are lights out! What a day.

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