This morning, just like yesterday morning I woke up super early. Only this time I got up!
When I stuck my head out of my tent I was a little bit disappointed how grey and damp it was, but I knew the sun would soon burn that off, so I packed up and left.
The road followed the water's edge for a while and I knew it would take a turn upwards pretty soon. And it did!
Not super steep, but at about 12% it's enough to warm you up in the morning! As it was quite steep, the climb wasn't that long and I was soon at a little under 1000ft, which would be the high point today.
There was a lot of low cloud around but the sun was desperately trying to break through. And eventually it did! Now I had a problem I'd not yet had - I was too hot! So the layers came off one by one.
The road stayed flat and high for a while, then started to go down. It was good because it was a much more gradual descent which meant I just kept riding easy rather than a mad dash followed by equally mad braking.
Google maps was showing a couple of cafés on the road, but they were both closed despite it getting close to midday by now. I know Scotland had the Auld Alliance with the French, but I didn't realise they adopted the same attitude to opening hours. ie only ever opening when they can be bothered. Which is rarely...
Still, at least the views were good!
I was getting a bit peckish and out of the blue a shop appeared! So I stopped and grabbed a bunch of snacks. I was going to go for the Haggis quiche, but opted for a great big hot sausage roll instead.
It was really warm by now and I continued on my way. The miles just ticked by. I was actually on a section of the North Coast 500 which was pretty well signed. Although I was just following the route on my Garmin that I made months ago.
A little later I stopped for a coffee and an awesome chocolate and raspberry muffin, then got on my way to Inverness.
I passed a campsite I was going to stay at, but it was way too early to stop, so I picked a couple further on to head towards. I could decide nearer the time which one I'd go for.
I weaved my way through Inverness which was quite nice before picking up NCN1 which took me away from the dreaded A9.
I bumped into a French tourer on the path and we had a bit of a chat. The vast majority of other tourers I've met have been German. A few Dutch, Italian and several Canadians too! There are millions of German cars and camper vans. They obviously like it here!
As the miles racked up and the road started going up again too, it was clear the nearer of the two campsites would be where I was going to stay.
I arrived to a sign saying "Just pitch up and we'll see you later". So I did. I've had a shower (a top 5 all time campsite shower too!), had a cook up, had coffee and chocolate for dessert, done my washing up, packed everything away, written all this and they've still not showed up! I hope they do soon as I'm knackered and want to retire to my tent!
Anyway, I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do tomorrow. I have several options. I guess I'll decide in the morning.