Around the Pond: 5000 km on the North Sea Cycle Route

In Tain I buy another map, which will bring me to Inverness. These Ordnance Survey maps are nice, but they only cover a relatively small area. For the british part of the North Sea Cycle Route I'd have to buy a whole stack of them. The Sustrans maps would be much better, but I haven't seen them anywhere yet.

This part of Scotland has little in common with the highlands: rather flat, and generally used agriculturally. (Is this a part of the Lowlands? No idea...) But still, there are enough hills I have to climb.

Here the NSCR splits in two alternative routes leading to Inverness. One route takes a ferry from Nigg to Cromarty, then runs along the Black Isle. Since the ferry operates on a reduced timetable during the winter months an alternative route runs further west. I take the "summer route".

In Nigg is a small church, with an early christian stele as a tourist attraction. In my eyes the 19th century graveyard is much more interesting. The gravestones seem to be used for whole families, new text being added for each family member. Some of the gravestones tell a tragic story: I see one where the father of the family and two children died within three weeks. One easily forgets how much we owe to modern medicine.

From Nigg a small ferry crosses the Cromarty Firth to Cromarty. The ferry is just big enough for two cars. The cars drive onto a turntable, which reverses them so they can leave over the same ramp they came on.

Cromarty is a beautiful fishing village on the north-eastern end of the Black Isle. The cycle route quickly climbs again to a height of 250 m, then running south-west before crossing the Beauly Firth to Inverness.

Inverness lies at the river Ness, coming from Loch Ness. It is a medium-sized town, a large camping site is located near the city centre at a park. As I arrive there I am greeted by a sign "Campsite full, backpackers only". I apparently count as a backpacker, they don't turn me away. :-)

Day 61 - August 2nd: Tain - Inverness


Tain - Cromarty - Inverness


Distance: 78.99 km
Cycle time: 4:44 h
Average speed: 16.68 kmh
Height difference: 606 m
Total distance: 3307 km
© Thomas Stets
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