As on the Bettyhill to John O'Groats stage, the ride to Buckie is almost due east. Thus the strong westerlies make riding effortless and I am pleased to see 32k/h for the first hour and 29k/h up to the time of the coffee stop at Torres. I made so much progress that a slight detour to Lossiemouth for lunch seemed to be a good idea. We stop close to the river in this delightful little port and look across to the east and the vast expanses of prisine white sands. Glorious.
On a scale of disasters that might have befallen me, it doesn't compare, say with being hit by a truck, or smashing up the bike, but losing the Garmin... what a blow! To secure the bike at lunchtime, I put it on the roof carrier and also took off the Garmin to keep it safe. What I did with it then, I cant remember, but what I certainly didn't do, was to put it in my pocket! When Terry started to pull away, he heard a crunching noise from under the rear wheel so stopped to take a look. From his findings I can report that Garmins are not Volvo-proof! I have complained about how useless the Garmin has been for navigation, but for everthing else it is brilliant. Ascent metres, speed, Av Speed, Dist, heart rate, cadence (RPM). It does the lot. Not only that, it records the entire track that has been followed for every ride. I feel distraught to have been so careless. I think about managing without it, but there are still 12 days to go so call No.1 son John who has a Gold Card at Wiggle (on line bike shop) and ask him to buy me a new one. John is good at this sort of thing. Although he is out and about in London, he reports back within the hour that the order has been placed! Delivery is promised for Aberdeen to the home of AOS Deacon Brian Killker. Although I must live without the Garmin for three days, the fact that a replacement is on the way makes me feel better!
The Saturday shoppers are out and about in Buckie, where I arrive in good time for our rendezvous with the local press and Tina Harris, AOS Ship Visitor for the port. The fishing history of the port shows itself along the docks and two lifeboats lying alngside have me puzzled until Tina explains that Buckie is a repair centre for UK lifeboats.
Tina is keen to show us her favourite port and ans when we arrive at Findochty, it is easy to see why! A lovely little village with tiny harbour and where Tina's sailboat is moored. We eat well at the Admirals restaurant and Tina tells us of her fascinating life that involves so much voluntary work with social work, writing, voluntary work, sailing and assistance for the disabled.
We stayed at a Caravan Club CL within a short ride from Findochty and were cheered that Alfie, the affable owner, declined to accept payment when he heard of our adventure. What a nice gesture.
The photo shows Tina and me next to the Buckie lifeboat. The weather, by the way, wasn't nearly as warm as it looks!