Ride stats today
- Bonar Bridge to Inverness
- 60 miles
- 3500 feet climbed
- 3000 sheep
Today began beautifully. The sun shining and there was little wind. We decided to put the Bellwether rain coats away and head south.
The first part of the journey was phenomenal. We were almost alone on the road, and even though the climbs were tough, we were looking out over plush green fields, tons of farm animals, lochs, rivers, and waterfalls.
The second half of the ride was another story. The wind speeds picked up, directly at our face, and we made a turn onto a road that, while characterized as small on the map, turned out to be a major thoroughfare. Included in this part of the journey were two spanning bridges (Bonar Bridge and Kessock Bridge). Both bridges had crosswinds that nearly put is in the water. There was also a major climb that took nearly 45 minutes. We were stoked to see the finish line in Inverness!
Swimming Loch Ness
We decided that we couldn’t make a trip to Inverness without a swim in Loch Ness! Our support crew picked us up and we headed 10 miles south to try and find a good place to enter the Loch. The water temp was 49 degrees, so our swim was limited, but it was fun to be able to get in. There was a cruise boat of tourists leaving a nearby dock dressed in sweaters and winter coats. Two guys walking into the water in Speedos got plenty of attention. It was a good time, and brightened up our spirits and loosened up our muscles after the windy ride. We didn’t seeNessy, but the water was eerily black
The town of Nairn
After our swim we walked around the town of Nairn, which has a section called Fishertown (an old fishing outpost) where the houses are simple, quant and crazy close together. We walked around the town and had a blast, until we got so hungry that Neal almost passed out. So we decided to stop with all the athletic activity and hop over to our hotel. Tonight we stayed in the Best Western Windsor Hotel in Nairn (our wonderful sponsor). The folks there are great. The old-style dining hall has all these awesome old war pictures and the English-style varnished wood bar has a huge scotch selection and great desserts – we recommend “sticky toffee pudding”.
Tomorrow we head to Ballater. The rides start to get longer from here on out.
A shout-out to the Best Western Windsor Hotel in Nairn, especially the manager Jagdeep Sandhu. We really enjoyed the town of Nairn and this hotel is located right in the middle of it, and very near the sea. The sea breeze and the neighboring park was wonderful, and this place has a seriously awesome dining room with artwork of Brits kicking the crap out of french military guys on horseback. The rich wood in the classically British styled pub was a nice touch too. It was an awesome stay. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, the front desk clerk let us know she was nursing a bird with an injured wing — aww. 😀