Good to go
We drove parallel to our later route down, though in the other direction. Thankfully our cycling route is on the NCN network, not the main A9. The road works (dualling for some reason) gave us plenty of time to absorb the landscape as tbe peaks start to build.
Aviemore was bustling, with a dusting of snow still visible. Tain was a history lesson. Whilst William was setting his mark on English 1066 history, Malcolm111 was granting Tain a Royal Charter. Are the Turkish hairdressers a legacy from the crusades?
Arriving in Wick, we’re staying near Telford’s 1807 bridge. Just off the world’s shortest (at 6’9″) street. Ebenezer street. This is South of the z River, a town designed to commission by Telford. It was built as a herring town, becoming Europe’s largest and then decline.
A wander around educates. Lowry painted two recognisable pieces here. The first daylight air raid of WW2 bombed a street. There’s an active civil society running alongside the active sub cultures hanging out the pubs. The Newtown is a bit dilapidated: presumably no new work on the wealth creating scale of herring ever arrived.
Bikes unpacked, van dropped off. Fed. Watered. Waterproofs out. Good to go.