As I’m looking at the photographs below I realise just how deceiving they can be. You’re probably looking at lovely, still images while I’m remembering one of the toughest days on this trip.


The aim today was to get to Cape Wrath (the most North-Westerly point of mainland UK), but though it still is part of the main land, to get to it one needs to catch a ferry from just outside of Durness. Having done a wee bit of a research I knew that the ferry was small, with infrequent service and dependent on tidal movements. The last crossing today is at 1pm, and I had 40 miles of hilly terrain between me and that jetty. I was on the road by 7:30am, which as I’m sure many of you will know is not the natural time for me.

Day 2:  Bettyhill - Durness

Distance 41 miles / Elevation 970 meters

First pass above Bettyhill

Kyle of Tongue Causeway

Kyle of Tongue Bridge

So here’s Loch Eriboll, - do not be fooled by this peaceful setting. A 6 mile stretch of road ahead was to carry me to it’s south end where I was to do a u-turn to return to pretty much the same point on the other side of the Loch. The wind at this point had picked up a lot. I later learned that it was the remnants of Hurricane Bertha, which for next hour and a half left me fighting a 40mph force all the way to the turning point. Having destroyed four caramel wafers, sworn at the wind on numerous occasions, taunted the elements to give me more, using the first gear all the way I arrived exhausted at the bottom of the Loch. Having made the turn, my sworn enemy, the plague of my life, nature’s worst idea - the wind was all of the sudden my best buddy, my companion, my ally. It carried me the same distance in the opposite direction and delivered me safely back to the top of the Loch (on the opposite side) within 20 minutes. Bless.

Looking back at the easy section of Loch Eriboll challenge.

Sangobeg Bay

Having arrived at Durness at 12:45, still determined to catch the Capewrath ferry, I popped into a local shop to grab a snack before zooming down to the jetty. It is at this point, the lady behind the counter has notified me that the ferry was off.. due to the same high winds that I was fighting all morning! Joy.

Luckily there were some Germans and their most “practical” tents to keep me amused.

Tent pitched.. tick.


Unnecessary amount of noodles in the stomach.. tick.


FB check-in.. tick.


Fingers crossed for tomorrow’s ferry crossing.. tick.


In the sleeping bag, way before my normal hours.. tick.


Blustering winds that are likely to launch me good few miles inland, around 3am in the morning.. tick.

There was plenty to explore in and around Durness itself..

like Geodha Smoo..

.. and Smoo Cave itself.

Here’s a link for everything you ever might or might not wish to know about the cave:

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoo_Cave)

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