Today's picture is a view across Loch Eriboll.
At the start of today's ride, the weather was very unpromising. There was a fresh and cold wind from the south west. Well wrapped up I set off from Inshegra. Once on the A838 heading for Durness, I had a tail wind for the first time in what seemed weeks. Progress was very brisk, especially once the climb to Gualin House was complete. Down the far side I was touching 30 mph for long periods and often had to slow only to allow oncoming traffic to pass. Although the A838 is a major road, it is still single track with passing places.
Of course, such good fortune tends not to last. After Durness, the next section involved the 21 mile loop around Loch Erriboll. The first half of this was straight into the wind that had helped me reach Durness. The weather was overcast and grey and the light poor. At this stage my only interest was in reaching the head of the loch and being able to turn down wind once more. Progress was once again swift after this, though there were more taxing climbs on this section. At one point, when I stopped for a breather and to investigate a strange noise from my bike, I became aware of a lot of sea bird activity and noise. Several sea birds were mobbing a bird of prey and trying to drive it away. I had a chance to get quite a good look at it. I believe it was a Sea Eagle. It certainly looked big enough and was the right colour.
After Loch Eriboll, the route crossed to Loch Hope. The climb out from the village of Hope is very steep initially and continues up to over 200 metres Once over the crest, the journey down to the Kyle of Tongue and to Tongue village itself was fast and easy.
It is still difficult to believe that tomorrow is my last day and that I'm only about 75 miles from John O'Groats and the end of the trip.