01 November 2010

Brora to Inverness

Brora to Inverness probably qualifies as the worst day of the trip so far. The caravan was rocked by high winds through the night and peppered with frequent heavy squalls that made sleeping difficult. The effort to venture out was substantial and the only consolation was that as on so many occasions, the overnight rain had cleared up. Only the small matter of the SW winds then to contend with!
We stopped for coffee a short distance on the northern side of the bridge across Durnoch Loch, the van being shaken by both the high winds and the close proximity of lorries passing at speed along the A9. I resumed with minimal enthusiasm that was, like my speed, reduced to zero as I approached the bridge itself. Being flung to left and right into the road, it was way too dangerous to continue so I took to pushing the bike along the very narrow bridge footpath that extended for a good mile. The white knight (aka Terry Jepson) honked to signal his approach and with yellow corner light flashing, stopped to let me hastily load the bike and jump into the car. Yes, I know this is cheating but there comes a time when safety does need to be taken into account! He dropped me off approaching Tain and where there was some relief from the wind. I reminded my guilty conscience that I needed to repay those couple of miles at some stage.
The detour for lunch at Invergordon provided intersting views across Cromarty Firth and of several oil rigs and supply boats that were moored alongside.
The trip seems unending today, and the A9 offers no interest. Passing Alness I recalled that it is just over four days since I was on the opposite side of this same road heading north. The fact that I have completed 250 or so miles since then should give me some encouragement but it is marginal. The traffic across Findon Mains is heavy and not helped by the road works that are under way. Worse still, a long grinding hill across the Black Isle adds to my woes! A pleasure then as I finally pulled into St Ninian's Church to see Terry having just arrived and then meet PP Fr Stuart Chalmers who offers a hot shower. Oh bliss!!
Together with Fr Chalmers, we are treated to a fine meal and hospitality at the home of Denis and Eileen Adderly whose home overlooks Moray Firth and the Black Isle beyond (at least it would if the rain wasnt reducing visibility so much.) As always among such good company, I soon forget about what a rough day it has been. We return to the caravan site at Culloden in fine humour, refreshed and renewed! Thank you Denis and Eileen for your kindness and generosity.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Dave - Really enjoy catching up on the blog and I feel your pain. No disrespect to Scotland, but I'll be glad when you are South of the Border. You've certainly endured (and judging by the weather for the next few days will continue to do so)some poor weather up there, although it has to be said from the sounds of things that has been balanced by some lovely scenery and welcoming hospitality. Keep your chin up and those legs spinning - the end is in sight...... and it's not a mirage.