Tain to Lairg

Woke up and peered out of the window in the vain hope that it wouldn’t be raining. No such luck. Chatted over breakfast with other guests and was given another £5 to add to the collection of en-route donations.

Not far after leaving Tain we saw the signs for the Glenmorangie Distillery and decided to take the tour. Our ride was less than 30 miles today and the room not available till 4.00 pm so we had time on our hands and you can’t sit and paint when it’s pissing down. Good excuse for another tour and taste! Much better value than the Dalwhinnie tour.

Near Tain.

Entrance to the Glenmorangie Distillery, near Tain. Rain clouds loom.

So, an hour or so later we were back out in the rain and heading for Bonar Bridge along the Kyle of Sutherland. The road followed the water most of the time and wasn’t busy except for the huge timber trucks using it. Each time one passed it was scary and we got covered in spray.

At Bonar Bridge we stopped for lunch. I took advantage of the stop to change my soggy top for a dry one. Karon thought a ploughmans would suit her small appetite. It came: salad, ham, three cheeses, three pork pies and chips!

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My burger was equally generous. On leaving the pub we had discussion with a couple of locals about the best way to get to Lairg. If we stayed this side of the valley, there was a big climb. If we swapped sides, just after Invershin, it was flatter and we could take in the Shin Waterfalls.

We did the latter. Quiet road, not too much traffic or climbing. We reached the falls visitor centre and parked up. I changed tops again then we walked down to the waterfalls and stayed for about 15 minutes, watching the big salmon and smaller sea trout trying to scale the falls. The midges were out too, so we wore our midge nets until we got back on the bike, though only needed them now and then when we stood in the same place for too long. Back on the bike it was another half hour or so to get to Lairg.

We pulled up outside a shop to figure out where we were staying – I couldn’t remember the name of the place and just had a phone number. The shop keeper came out to look at the bike and ask if we needed help. I explained and rattled off the phone number and he gave it some thought then said “that’ll be George in ‘Lochview’.” off we went to find Lochview, not far away and sure enough, it had a fine view of the loch. We were welcomed with tea and scones with jam after we’d got changed and put our stuff in the drying room. Later, after a shower we walked to the local hotel for food. The Highland Hotel again (must be one in almost every town). Not a patch on the Tain version.