After the great course of the day yesterday, a relaxation day was planned for today anyway. At first I had to get over the fact that the heavy rain that woke me up was only occasionally replaced by less heavy rain.

Today I only wanted to make a short trip to the nearby Dingwall after the laundry, in order to take a train there tomorrow morning.
After the laundry was finally done, I had to come to the conclusion that it would not be very likely that I would be able to reach the destination in a reasonably dry state. So I started to make my outfit as rainproof as possible - finally the neoprene gaiters were used. Somehow it was a pity that there was no camera at that moment, because putting on the gaiters would have looked good on any slapstick comedy. They are probably not necessarily meant to be pulled over rough golf shoes, which I use here as cycling shoes, but rather over the smooth and slim racing shoe. And so I wriggled in my tent for a good quarter of an hour, tore and pulled, shoved and wobbled and cursed that the proverbial sailor would have blushed. Well, in the end everyone got what they wanted: I could cycle quite dry through the rain and the gaiters had their fun with me.

Arriving in Dingwall, I took a short look at the station, noticed that it would probably not be an extreme challenge to find the right track (track 2 of 2), the bridge over the other track was also not too difficult to spot; I felt well prepared for the upcoming travel task.

In order to dry myself and my equipment again before I devoted myself to the north coast, I looked for a nearby hotel room for the night and watched a superhero movie on television, which was reasonably bad for the quality of the hotel. Everything could have been worse.

The next morning everything went perfectly: The plan was to leave the hotel at 7:15 am:

Arriving at the station 30 seconds away, the mood changed for a short time: On closer inspection, the correctly formed bridge to the other side of the track had the small problem of being equipped with relatively steep and narrow stairs. With full luggage this would simply not have been possible. Well, slightly hectic I looked for an alternative route to the other side. At first I drove a little aimless to the left, but there was nothing to find here. But after the necessary turning manoeuvre I spotted a car bridge on the other side. Now already somewhat more hectically I drove in this direction. Yes, this time it fit. The departure time of the train was getting closer, no ticket had been bought yet. So I parked the bike at the platform and passed the stair bridge in the opposite direction to enter the now opened station. A ticket was quickly bought. But now I realized: I had found the wrong track (remember: There were just and only two). So I ran over the bridge to the other side again. At least, now I knew the correct way. When I finally arrived on the correct side of the track with my bike, the train arrived on time. But now the train guard stood between me and the start of the journey: Although I had properly reserved a bike spot in the train from Dingwall to Thurso the day before, apparently several other cyclists had done the same as well, so that the conductor became uncomfortable. But only for a short moment, I have to stress that. Then he did everything possible to solve the situation. He helped me first with the bicycle into the train and then called all cyclists together, in order to find out the best possible order for the storage. Exemplary!

The three hours of driving time passed pleasantly and quickly. In Thurso I was looking for a bakery and a supermarket to satisfy my primary needs. Then it started and I drove towards Durness, my final north-western destination. It accompanied me: Great weather and a wide, green-brown highland landscape.

 

Today's stop was called Bettyhill, a somewhat surprising name. I was expecting dotted skirts, leather jackets and pomaded quiffs, but unfortunately I only found the most filthy sanitary facilities by far, which I had to see on a campsite so far. Too bad, because otherwise the place was fantastically situated.

Those two days will be awarded with a Hugo Archilleya in Stone.

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