Friday, July 14, 2017

July 14, 2017 Bonar Bridge to Bettyhill

Generally speaking I try and keep things pretty light and cheery.   Focus on the happy, and step past the rest.  Most days that isn’t too hard to do. 

Today I was off to an early start as I was the only one who came down to the van ready to roll.  So I pushed off. It had been raining earlier but that had cleared off and the head wind had died down somewhat.  When I came to the main intersection in Bonar Bridge the course veered off to the left most unexpected, as the main road and there is only one road to Bettyhill was straight ahead.  Well the course is the course and off I went.  About 6 miles (10kms) down the road the course veered again down a path through the forest.  WHAT?  So I followed it about a 100 yards and it just got worse. Nobody had been down here for years so I turned back to the road.  I could see where I should be but that was the other side of the river.  I talked to a fellow on a mountain bike and he said there was a bridge about 20 minutes down the road.   The road is clearly heading off to the west not north.  I don’t have any larger maps and it is kind of hard to see what is happening on a 1 inch screen.   About 45 minutes later there is no bridge and finally cell service.  Of course no one can tell me where I am as I don’t know.  So my only choose is to ride back to where I started.  My frustration level is well into the red.  Thankfully Agnes came back with the van and got me.  We drove up the road to where Jos and Patrick were. Turns out I needed to go 200 yards down the track where you climbed down 3 sets of stairs and crossed the river on a railway bridge and down another set of stairs to the main road. 

The wind is just howling out of the north and the temperature is only 55 F (13C).  Patrick has had enough and loads his bike with mine on the van.   Jos wants to do his EFI and rides on.

Along the way I want to take a picture so Agnes pulls the van over and I step out of the van.  The ground is terribly uneven and my foot goes between two rocks and I twist my foot/ankle as I go down. 

So here we are at the Bettyhill hotel.  The place reminds me of the place in the Hitch Hikers Guide to Galaxy.  Arthur Dent and Ford Perfect are in the restaurant at the End of the Universe.  I am in the hotel. 

Ending on a positive note;  The shower has lots of hot water.



Cynthia Bergland said...

crap. how is your foot?

Anonymous said...

In reading today's blog, I am reminded of the Seventh Law of Thermodynamics: "shit like that just happens". Nice handlebars on the woolly cattle; pretty comfy too, I bet.

Bettyhill looks like it's pretty close to the end of the tour. Best wishes for a good conclusion to the tour.

Ken C.

Earnie said...

Good to catch up on your adventures. Just finished my mountain bike ride from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C. Trail riding, so I understand some of your issues! I am surprised you had not commented about the Crask Inn, only place to get something to eat between Bonar Bridge and Bettyhill. We had gone from BB to Tongue for the night, then in to JoG the next day. I had to stop at the hospital in Thurso and get some antibiotics for an abscessed tooth. It should be an easy day of riding, unless you don't use the roads! Glad you have had a chance to see so much of Great Britain, try going home by way of the Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal. I assume you will be driving back to London. Later, Earnie

Mike Brousseau said...

Sounds like you're having quite the adventure

Jurg said...

Beautiful scenery again today !!!
It seems that yesterday's ride was too nice to be repeated!?!
(We will practice navigation together for next year. Remember in 2008. On the Danoube river you and Jim got stuck on a dead end peninsula on the river. As I remember it was not more than 5 min. extra.)
Hope your ankle will be ok for tomorrows ride.
The trip is not over but I like to thank you alreydy for the energy you put into your blog. Your reporting is highly appreciated.
Yesterday I could not follow it as I was on a day tour with a friend (he: 5000 km in 2017, me: only 800 :-( We crossed two passes around St. Moritz and climbed 2222m (6666feet).
Question: what is a difficult decision for a cyclist? Glemnorangie or tail wind !!! I think both are tempting options