Day 11 – Friday 3rd April

  • 60 minutes plus 5 minutes’ cooldown level 7
  • Max heart rate = 162bpm
  • Calories = 492
  • Distance covered = 18.38 miles (my best yet!)
  • Total distance so far = 120.35 miles

I needed some support today for the long ride and I sampled Seal best of 1994-2001 

I worked my way through Crazy ( I must be!) and when the end was in sight Fly Like an Eagle seemed very appropriate.

I continued on down the A9 heading towards the Cromarty Bridge to whizz me across the Cromarty Firth. Built almost 41 years ago, taking two years in construction and measuring almost a mile across. it cuts a dozen or more miles off the A9 route south. 

I thought I’d take advantage of this mileage saving and take a bit of a detour to Fortrose and Chanonry Point. This was a great tip from Russell, one of the woodwork tutors at Rowan and it’s one of the best spots in the UK to view bottlenose dolphins from the land. The point is at the tip of Chanonry Ness, which stretches for about a mile into the Moray Firth, with the two ancient towns of Fortrose and Rosemarkie. Its history stretches back beyond the Dark Ages, and over the years people have been walking to the point for the amazing views.

The dolphins are often visible off the point, particularly on an incoming tide when they play and fish in the strong currents. You might be lucky and also spot porpoisesgrey seals and occasionally European otters. 

There has been a lighthouse here since 1846, originally manned by a single person but automated since 1984.

The Cross of the Ness – a stump of a standing stone may still be seen on the Ness on a small escarpment on the 17th fairway of the golf course. It is thought to have been one of a ring of three stone crosses where pilgrims would catch their first glimpse of Chanonry Cathedral and pause to offer prayer. 

After the Reformation the stone became associated with the burning of witches. The last witch to be burned in Fortrose was allegedly Epach from Drunderfit. She was said to have terrorised the parish of Munlochy by sailing across the Bay in a ‘lippie measure’ (a basin holding a quarter of a peck).

So much to see and learn here and well worth a return visit!