Oh what a perfect day. We must have ridden on Scotlands Best kept secret road but I am getting a head of myself.
When we woke up it was grey with mizzle in the air. That is a Yorkshire term for a fine mist. However we weren’t put off and were on packed up and on the road by 7.30am. I had secretly been dreading the climb up to Altnaharra as I remembered whizzing down it when we rode the North Sea cycle route in 2006. I like to think it is because I am fitter now but I cycled all the way. Actually, I have a better bike now and the gearing is lower. It is about 20 miles to this village and it was a steady climb most of the way
We saw this Millenium way marker and stopped to take a photo. We met a New Zealand cyclist whk was comnv out of the inn and was just beginning his day on his bike. This was at the Crask Inn.
When we got to Altnaharra, we called at the B & B owned by Mandy and Lindsay Smith. They were very kind to us 7 years ago and I phoned Mandy a few months ao for some information on a road we wanted to try. She asked us to call in and so we did.
About 13 years ago. Mandy and her husband gave up their jobs, sold the house and bought an old camper van and spent over 3 months travellng around Scotland on the cheap. They decided to buy a house and found this ready established, Mandy is more than willing to help cyclists. Call by if you are passing and she will put the kettle on. Better still ,stay the night and Enjoy her hospitality. You will not be disappointed. She has a website, http://www.altnaharra.net and I am not sponsered to tell you this.
Well, just after the bridge, there is a left turn onto an old logging road, signposted Hope. It must be the Best kept secret as this road is a beauty to the eye on such a sunny day. The route is reasonably graded and in good condition and passes an old brock.
The road was often lined with gorse bushes and the smell was divine. We also passed waterfalls running down into Loch Hope.
When we emerged at the main road we had seen 1 car and 8 motobikes in the 21 miles. We sat on the corner and had cheese toasties before pressing on around Loch Eribol. This was a bit tough, a sting in the tail you might say as the east side was quite hilly but on the flatter west side, we had a direct headwind.
We then undulated our way to Durness and decided to stop at the Youth hostel. There were a few cyclists staying and these are 3 Spanish lads who are tourists in Scotland.
All in all a perfect day of 62 miles.