Week 16 Week 17 Week 18
I got a bike companion! Nice change! And we started the North Coast 500. I won't bike the whole route, but will go up to the Orkney and Shetland Islands. But from what I heard it's a good decision as the eastern part seems to be less spectacular. And spectacular clearly describes this week.
Where the 388 kilometers took me
Fri, 16. Jun 2023
Katharina Birkenbach in Inverness

Lazy day. Waiting for @fromthefold to arrive in Inverness. And then a short ride to Contin. Great to have company! We arrived pretty late on the campsite and I was very slow to set up my new tent… it’s super light, but very small. Means quite a shift in my routine. Excited for the next few days!

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Sat, 17. Jun 2023
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Tailwind! #celtman participants on the road! Company! It’s on! Obviously I’m not as fast as I would like to be. But I tried to catch up with the participants of the triathlon. But sadly once the slower ones came in, we went on a different route… once I’m going south, I’ll take the little train to Ullapool, looking very much forward to that. Another great day, finished at the Wee Camp Site. By now I’m used to wee and bonnie and really like those words!

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Sun, 18. Jun 2023
North Coast 500 - On top of the Bealach Na Ba

Bealach Na Ba! One of the steepest climbs of the UK! And my Garmin showed me a double peak. Going up and then quite a bit down and up again. Quite an ascend. I was a tad worried, specially about this double climb. I even got my new shoes out. I‘ve seen as well pictures the night before which seemed unreal. And certainly, it was not easy. What was specifically not easy was to meet a group of bikers at the top who blasted #beinhart - call me speechless. Met a nice guy at the top who decided spontaneously to go down to Applecross. I warned him about the double peak. He got a bit worried as well. Now the bummer, there was actually not a double peak. I was actually quite disappointed. Not sure what went wrong between Komoot and Garmin. The route was exactly what I was riding. So, well. Steepest climb of the UK, but was a lot easier than I anticipated. Maybe that’s a good strategy for future challenges…

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Mon, 19. Jun 2023
North Coast 500 - little house with a red roof

Nothing special happened. But a spectacular downhill stretch along the Benn Eighe nature reserve on a freshly made street. Nothing special still means stunning landscape! If you have some time at hand, go biking the #nc500. The motorbikes and caravans are annoying, but nothing compared to a normal road! Oh, we had beers in a very strange setting, almost Twin Peaks-like. Not as good, but very strange.

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Tue, 20. Jun 2023
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My Garmin is so confused here. I go up hills and it shows me that I’m going down. And then it records that the stretch uphill was up to 61% ascend. Which was obviously not true either. But that hill was bad. It was the first time uphill where I really thought: #FML - the view was spectacular though! Until a bus with tourists came and absolutely killed my peace. We just arrived before it started raining. I really wanted to have a beer before setting up the tent! Good intuition that was. It started pouring. So much that the campsite of the pub was actually flooded. I investigated what a room would be. And it was too much, at least for what it was. But the lady bartender told us that she had something better. For free. Her caravan! So sweet! We stayed in there and remained dry 😊

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Wed, 21. Jun 2023
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That one was tough! More than a 100km, more than 1400m ascend, headwinds. But again, absolute stunner! Misty peaks, lots of lakes with water lilies, little islands and winding roads. Passing places downhill suck, but uphill they’re my new best friends. I stopped pushing the bike, but rather take short breaks. Which they’re perfect for. We ended at an absolutely beautiful place nd decided to call the next day a rest day. With cake and a bit of sunbathing.

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Mood: happy :)