Grand Depart pt 2

We are now in 2 parties heading for Thurso. The advance party of Mike  Rowland and Joe had an overnight stay in Inverness YHA, but Terry and Derek were trying to get from Cambridge to Thurso in one day.

Catching the 8am train to Peterborough, and then on to Edinburgh, Derek was worried about the 14 min connection for the Inverness train, but by some miracle, all trains were on time. The next train took us on a beautiful route through the Cairngorms with the sun shining. A quick bite in Inverness and then followed a tortuous journey to Thurso with 22 stops and taking almost 4 hours. Beautiful evening shows the scenery off to perfection, before darkness descended.

Queensferry crossing
Near Dingwall
Leaving Inverness

The advance party started the day with a full “English” cooked breakfast surround by German schoolgirls with sheep, clouds and rain sweatshirts at the SYHA. On to Velocity cycling cafe and workshop to pump up the suspension and coffees, before catching the Thurso train. A couple of women of a certain age (more than ours) regaled us the their cycling experiences, including crossing America, as they headed to the Orkneys with their bikes. 22 stations later and “Welcome to Thurso”! Unloaded at the hotel, we set off to explore, heading to the new harbour as the rain swept in and the large ferry was loading for Stromness. 

As the afternoon wore on the sun came out for a beautiful calm evening – the weather was very nice and even the locals say we are lucky. Exploring Thurso sea front, looking across to clear views Orkney a great fish restaurant on the front was found to prepare us for our weeks ahead.

 

Fish dinner on Thurso seafront with Orkney islands in the background
Preparing lobster pot, Scrabster harbour
Welcome to Thurso
Velocity in Thurso