Day 101: Stromness to Bettyhill, Saturday July 29th
We opted for the cooked breakfast at our hotel, then made the short ride to the ferry dock. The cruise back to the Scottish mainland turned out to be full of wonderful views of cliffs and mountainous islands. It was, thankfully, a much smoother crossing than our last.
We landed at Scrabster around lunchtime and immediately climbed the hill and started heading west along the coast on the A836, which wasn’t too busy. Much of the traffic seemed to be mostly people doing the North Coast 500, though some seemed to think the beautiful scenery meant they were in an idiotic car commercial showing amazing “handling” on corners. Considering the number of sheep, and even cows, we encountered on the road, I was surprised not to see some wrecks.
There were a lot of challenging climbs and thrilling descents. The views were fantastic.
Again, we were just a little late arriving to avoid the rain, but it paused long enough for us to set up our tent at a charming little campground. The location was amazing, and we were quite happy with it, despite the fact that it had a toilet/shower block that looked, in the words of one reviewer, like it was built fifty years ago by the Dharma Initiative.
In the campground we met a riding couple from Holland who had some advice for us regarding our route. Strangely, it seemed that every rider was going in the opposite direction to us.
Up the hill, into town, we found the home of the elderly woman who collects the fees for the campsite. It’s pretty much an honour system, as she was not likely to be hiking down to count the tents. We had a nice chat with her about the unseasonably cool weather and she helped us find the pub where we went for dinner.
Distance: 53 km (ride)