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Day 38 : Carnoustie to North Berwick (112.2 miles)

“No Internet last night”

Day 38 complete – Matt cycled 112.2 miles, 1140m climbing which took 7hrs 40mins with a few showers along the way and a head wind for most of the day but a tail wind to finish.

He left Carnoustie went along to Dundee then over the Tay Bridge down to Guardbridge round to ……

…. St Andrews, then to Crail, Elie, Kirkcaldy over the Forth Bridge to Cramond, Leith, Musselburgh, Port Seaton and round to North Berwick.

Lovely campsite with walk to the beach.

Steve and I drove to St Andrews and had a walk around before making our way down to North Berwick.

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Day 37 : Fraserburgh to Carnoustie (102.5 miles)

Day 37 complete – 102.5 miles, 1508m climbing taking him to over 3000 miles in total. 

Started off from Fraserburgh in pouring rain which turned to drizzle for about 30 miles and then it was sunny for the rest of the day.

Cycled inland to Strichen, Mintlaw, down to Ellon, Potterton through Aberdeen and over the Bridge of Dee round to Port Lethen then down the A92 to Stonehaven and on to Braehead and down to Arbroath, Muirdrum and on to Carnoustie, 6hrs 40mins of cycling.

Steve and I took George for a walk along the beach before we left and then travelled on the A90 and A92 to Carnoustie.

Nice camp site within walking distance of town so we had a meal out tonight.

“Just got back in time before the rain started again. “

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Day 36 : Nairn to Fraserburgh (87.3 miles)

Day 36 completed – 87.3 miles, 1227m climbing. Nice start but we knew it couldn’t last – starting raining about 2pm and has poured down ever since.

Matt cycled from Nairn to Forres, Findrassie, Spey Bay, Portgordon, Cullen, Banff, Macduff, …..

…. Dubford, through Pennan around to Peat Hill and on to Fraserburgh taking 6 hours.

An idyllic campsite with a pitch overlooking a fabulous beach if only we could see it through the rain.

Will take photos in the morning if it stops raining ?

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Day 35 : Evanton, Alness to Nairn (36.3 miles)

Day 35 complete – 36.3 miles and 478m climbing and hooray we had a whole dry, sunny day

A chance to dry everything out when we got to Nairn as it was a nice short day.

Matt cycled the 6.5 miles with 106m climbing to Dingwall to the bike shop – Dryburgh Cycles – who were so helpful and managed to fix Matt’s bike (lots of things replaced – big cassette, chain and large chain ring at the front) in an hour.

We met him and took George for a walk then he cycled the 29.8 miles with 372m climbing to the Nairn Campsite which is lovely and set in woodland through Tore, over the bridge to Inverness, Inches, Dalcross.

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Day 34 : Dunbeath to Evanton, Alness (64.7 miles)

Day 34 complete – 64.7 miles, 1,058m climbing.

A hard day as it was extremely windy, very hilly and although it started off dry poured with rain again from 3pm.

Matt also has a problem with some of his gears so we have had to add in an extra day as he has arranged to take it into a bike shop in Dingwall tomorrow so our campsite for tonight is at Evanton, Alness just 8 miles away.

Hopefully it will be something simple.

Matt cycled on the A9 all the way from Dunbeath to Tain then followed NC1 through Lamington to Evanton.

Steve and I followed the A9 all the way visiting Dunrobin Castle. The scenery along the way was stunning again.

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Day 33 : Tongue to Dunbeath (107.3 miles)

Day 33 complete – 107.3 miles, 1918m climbing. Dry day until about 4pm when it poured with rain again.

Really gusty winds all day making cycling challenging. Matt cycled along the A836 coast road to Isauld then cut across to Thurso and on to Dunnet Head, the most northerly point in the UK, then on to John o’Groats …..

…. then on the A99/A9 through to Wick and on to Dunbeath where we are staying at the Inver Caravan Park.

Steve and I followed the A836 (NC500) coast road stopping in Thurso and then on to John o’Groats where we met up with Matt and then on to Dunbeath.

A lot of the A836 was single track to start with with lots of passing places and we met up with lots of old sports cars coming in the opposite direction.

We are trying to add a day in tomorrow as Matt has a problem with some of his gears and has spoken to a bike shop near Inverness and is taking it in on Monday morning so hopefully they will be able to fix it quickly.

Not surprising really seeing he has done 2,740 miles although he does service it quite regularly himself.

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Day 32 : Ullapool to Tongue (96.2 miles)

Day 32 complete – 96.2 miles, 2318 metres climbing but OMG the weather.

We have now been in Scotland 14 days and only had one day when it hasn’t rained.

Heavy rain when we got up so Matt was soaked before he left the campsite, then heavy showers all day and gusty winds and tonight is rain and very gusty winds.

Matt doesn’t mind the rain so much but the wind is a killer. He cycled from Ullapool to Elphin, then on to Kylesku, Durness and round to Tongue where we are staying tonight.

Steve and I followed the same route which was on the NC500 with some stunning scenery.

Part of it was on a single track road but it had lots of passing places.

Had a very nice meal out tonight at a local hotel.

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Day 31 : Rest Day in Ullapool (0 miles)

Day 31 – Rest Day in Ullapool.

Not much to say today …

“That’s what rest days are for ?..”

Horrendous night last night – gale force winds – expected to find Matt’s tent had blown away this morning!!

Really heavy showers and very windy today. Managed to walk around the little town and a couple of walks along the Loch with George in between the showers.

Forecast is pretty bad for the next few days.

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Day 30 : Kinlochewe to Ullapool (74.5 miles)

Day 30 complete – 75.4 miles, 1526m climbing. Matt left campsite at Kinlochewe at 9.10am and cycled to Gairloch then along to Badcaul, Dundonnell and round to Braemore and on to Ullapool arriving at 3.15pm.

Better day today some sun and a few showers but very windy.

Steve and I left at 9.15am to get to the Broomfield Holiday Park at Ullapool as they don’t take bookings and it’s first come first served from 11am.

No problem getting in and have a lovely pitch overlooking the Loch. 

Have 2 nights here as Matt is having a rest day tomorrow.

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Day 29 : Broadford to Kinlochewe (90.1 miles)

Day 29 complete – no signal last night! 90.1 miles, 2,209m. Had the most horrendous night with torrential rain all night.

Matt left the campsite at Broadford in the pouring rain at 8.40pm and arrived in the campsite at Kinlochewe at 4.40pm.

He went back over the Skye Bridge turned off at Kyle of Lochalsh to Badacul, Duirinish and past the Strome ferry down to Strathcarron, and round to Loch Carron, Tornapress and turned off and cycled up Bealach na ba – 625m with gradients of 1 in 5 in places – no view from the top as the weather was so bad but highlight of his day!!

He then cycled on to Applecross, round to Shieldaig and on to the campsite.

Steve and I drove along the A87 and the A890 and onto the A832 to Kinlochewe. Some of the roads were single track with passing places which was a bit scary at times.