Day Nine – Black Isle to Wick – 93 miles – it was a battering cross/head wind

Well today I was winging it for a number of reasons -I hadn’t booked accommodation in Wick, hadn’t booked return train ticket and could I finish it off today a day earlier than I predicted??

I decided if the weather didn’t interfere too much I might be able to finish it. I thought if I could catch the first ferry from Cromarty to Nigg I should make it to Wick in time when the station was managed to buy my return ticket for next day.

I had my porridge breakfast then turned myself inside out to get to Cromarty for 8-30 including the climb of fairy glen. I got there to find it may not be sailing at all and if it did it would be late – it hadn’t sailed at all the previous day due to the high winds. My choice was either to wait or retrace my steps meaning 36 miles on my journey.

I decided to wait and used the time to book my accommodation at http://www.careysguesthouse.co.uk/ which had been recommended by several cyclists on CTC forum. The pilot eventually decided to give it a go(£5), late and took just me across to my namesake, Nigg on the other bank so I was off heading into a severe head/cross wind that was to batter me all day :-(  next stop Wick and I wouldn’t have time for lunch. Some of the hills combined with a headwind took me by surprise and were made the most difficult on the whole journey which included the climb out of Helmsdale and the climb of Berriedale Brae – at one stage some cyclists were climbing towards me almost as fast as I was having to pedal DOWNHILL !!

By the time I reached Wick I had indeed made it in time to buy train ticket only to find I couldn’t get my bike booked on for the following day so booked another night at the Careys. It also negated the need to finish off tonight which would’ve been a 36 mile return trip on top of the 95 I’d already completed. I’ll have plenty of time tomorrow for a leisurely jaunt up to the top and probably get conned for an official photo. A walk into town for dinner at Wetherspoons which offers consistently decent meals at reasonable prices and still no alcohol or spicy foods – checkout tomorrows entry :-)

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