Getting up from Lairg to the pitter, patter of rain and wind, didn`t instill me with confidence of a pleasant trip, however, I had to get to Durness and today would be the day and the battle with the elements......
Durness was 64 miles away from where I was staying, but I was prepared and raring to go!
The route I would be taking would be the A838, a single track road through some of the most fantastic scenery in Northwest Scotland.
It wasn`t bad to start, flat - ish and with bike going along swimmingly, it was a nice pleasant ride.
With signs for different places and Highland Cows looking inquisitively on, onwards we went at a steady pace, taking in the views at leisurely grace.
It was a pity about the weather with the low cloud enveloping the stunning hills.
The road was not the smoothest with plenty of bumps and potholes and it made for sore peddling!
After 20 miles it felt like I had been cycling all day and the bumps and potholes were taking there toll on my behind! Well, sitting on a razor blade seat no matter how much padding you put on, is not everyones idea of fun!
And in the pouring rain now, not drizzle!
I managed to catch a glimpse of the red deer, stags too but they were always to far to get a decent photograph.
I found a nice hotel to stop and have some soup and coffee for warmth before carrying on.
Overscraig Hotel is about 40 mile from Durness and is a good stop of point and I was glad of the break.
It would be another 20 miles before reaching the ultimate milestone, Laxford Bridge.
Turn Left and you pick up the A894 to Scourie and Ullapool and the west coast.
Turn right and you`ve the North West and East, Durness, Tongue and John O`Groats which is 119 miles away!
Laxford Bridge and this is where the bumps, potholes and steep climbs got a whole lot worse!
With each winding road and steep climb the journey was proving alot tougher and once I had passed the turning for Kinlochbervie and Rhiconich it was about to get more interesting as vehicles passing me seemed to get a little to close for comfort and it proved the case as one did just that and promptly left me down a ditch!
Battered and bruised I looked with dismay at my upended bike and my foot that was still in a stirrup, but it was my knee, thigh and groin that looked worse for wear.
Did the vehicle stop? No, probably unaware of what happened and the fact I was 6ft down a ditch! Bugger!
Having made sure nothing was broken I picked myself and bike up and walked up the steep incline to the road, suddenly I didn`t feel like cycling and felt quite demoralised, but true to me I`m not very good at staying down, I jumped on the bike (tentatively) before having to dismount quickly - ouch! so for the next 3 miles of uphill I limped with the bike and having got fed up I pleaded with the man upstairs to help with a downhill, I was obliged and for the next 8 miles, it was downhill all the way and towards the Kyle Of Durness.
The road I took can clearly be seen travelling between the mountains, just a shame the weather was so bad and the journey a little fraught but overall it was enjoyable.
Would I do it again?
No, I would choose a longer cycle ride next time!
A welcome sign and knowing I was only 5 miles from the B&B made all the pain in the nether regions worth every bumping, potholing, motorhome madness crashing steep mountain riding worth every penny of a wonderfully hard fought journey - now for The Cape Wrath Callenge and The Half Marathon!