Day 17, Monday, 24th September, 2018. JoG tomorrow

Today Tain to Bettyhill, 113 km, 734 m climb. Temperatures 2C in the morning and 9C in the afternoon. It was also very showery in the morning, with a vexacious wind. The weather cleared up in the afternoon. Once again, a day of two very different rides. Jen and I made an early start, about 0830, and pressed on in clothes not suited to the unexpectedly low temperatures. Add the gusty showers and we were cold. In addition, Jen had the misfortune to pick up a piece of glass in her rear tyre. We, Jen, John and I, fixed the puncture quite quickly and made Lairg at 1130.

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Drinks and food and off again; still no extra clothes, hoping for a warm-up as forecast. Made the Crask Inn by 1300 ish and took the chance to don extra waterproofs and leg cover, as well as more food and drink. The section after The Crask Inn to Altnaharra didn’t seem too long but the right turn improved the situation dramatically. We turned downwind, the showers went away, the sun came out and blue skies brightened up. The ride from Altnaharra along Strath Naver was a joy. Jen and I bowled along in complete agreement that this was just great - “better than watching tele and dribbling down your cardigan” says Jen.

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Jen was going really well and I am so proud of my daughter. There have been two 70-mile days, which have tested even very experienced touring cyclists and she has dug in and done it! Not fazed by the puncture or writing off her telephone by dropping it down the toilet - it was in her back cycling pocket and . . . . . . What a girl! Her climbing of the steeper hills is accompanied by a shout of “Drumvargie Hill!”. For the third time, I’m truly proud of her!

Arrived at the hotel in good time but no van visible and no bikes. Oh, dear me. Are we in the right place? Must be. It turned out the van was at the front and the bikes in the store. The view from the front of the hotel is sensational. I took some video and a photo, so it may appear on the blog.