Day 8 – Dulnain Bridge to Rogart
While the bed and breakfast at Dulnain Bridge had all the hallmarks of good service (clean, loads of snacks, wifi), the breakfast didn’t inspire. A tiny cooked breakfast for starters, served with a cafetiere of coffee distinctly lacking in any coffee grounds. Could it have been Nescafé? Bad move – anyone who has read this blog from inception will know my views on the subject…
Starting at a reasonable hour, we expected this to be a easy day – and it was. A quick spin to Grantown on Spey, then we took the Sustrans again over Sliochd. We stopped in Tomatin long enough for me to get a picture of the replacement of the Telford bridge, a concrete monument that looks completely out of place.
Returning to the A9, the path got a bit rougher, and having experienced a puncture last time we were on that surface, we opted for the A9 itself. This meant the miles flew by, with a final descent into Culloden and then Inverness being free wheeled initially and then finally spun out on the highest gears available to us.
A quick supermarket stop in Morrisons followed, after I realised that we’d need towels for that night’s accommodation. Four face flannels for a quid were enough for me, James opting to get a luxurious hand towel later at Tesco in Dingwall.
We rode across the Kessock Bridge and followed the Sustrans again to Dingwall, and eventually to Tain via a quiet but hilly road – great fun. Tain was avoided and we went back on the A9, by now a mere trickle of traffic, for a stop at a petrol station near Dornoch. Filling up on calories, we made the final slog uphill to our turning for Rogart, and then had four easy miles before arriving at Sleeperzzz.
If you’ve never been to Sleeperzzz, I’d recommend it. Fifteen quid a night bunkhouse accommodation on a railway carriage, with a discount if you arrive by bike or train. It’s not luxury living, but the shower is good and it’s very quirky to say the least.
Pints at the pub across the road, and then I resisted the temptation to sample their amazing whisky collection before retiring for the night. By this point we were in holiday mode, our long days complete so we knew we could afford to spend time in pubs without fear for the next day’s adventures.