A welcome rest day at the hostel on day 10, waiting for two friends to come along with me on the final couple of short days to Cape Wrath. A night in Kearvaig bothy had always been in my plan and I was fortunate to stay in this idyllic, sandy bay, surrounded by vertical sea cliffs in good weather and good company. A dram or two from the local distillery added to the perfect last night on the journey. On the last day I was joined by the peleton, including the author of this journey. They had completed the trip in a shorter time than my more relaxed pace. How you ride this route is entirely up to you. The other riders had started later than me and travelled farther each day. Celebrations were appropriate.
Access to the north-west cape is gained by Kyle of Durness ferry Be sure to check out the tides and weather locally to find out if this essential ferry link will run. Alternative access may be possible, but entails a long portage over rough country. The very lowest of low ‘spring tides’ might offer a bike carrying aquatic experience, but would require extensive research, good weather and a lot of luck. For walkers the Cape Wrath bus will pick up on the far bank of the Kyle. Much of the remote and bleak land is used by the Ministry of Defence, so check out Cape Wrath firing times
This final section of the journey is characterised by distance views over bleak moorland, softened by occasional gorse forests. The astonishing tide races of the Pentland Firth colliding with the Atlantic Ocean often provide a glimpse, benign or otherwise. The track is the usual rutted and puddled surface, with a central comb of grass and weeds. The steepest section appears immediately after you leave the ferry. Beyond that, mostly gentle inclines are the order of the day. Kearvaig Bothy is a rough side turning off of the route to Cape Wrath, that only takes ten minutes to descend.
Climb back up from the bothy and the route to the lighthouse and Cape Wrath Cafe is short and clear. From the concrete canyons of Glasgow and the River Clyde to this perfect finish will remain a highlight for me, forever. Thanks to Dave Wilson, whose restless mind conceived and researched this route of of the ‘Long Journey’ Without his inspiration I doubt I’d ever have cycled this way. A guide book is available.