As usual, the first time I woke was at 4 o' clock. Normally I then had no problems falling asleep again trying to ignore
the pain in my knees. But this morning was different. The reason was that in a tree near my tent there were about 20 or
30 crows (or whatever kind of big black birds it may have been) making such a noise that I couldn't sleep again until it
was five o' clock in the morning. But then at least I had two and a half more hours of sleep. I got up at 7.30 and made
breakfast. I brought the bicycle to the repair shop and while waiting for it to be put back to order again I went
shopping and had a second coffee.
I left Elgin at 10.30 and started on my way along the coast. The weather was wonderful, the sun was shining and it was
warm (about 17 degrees Celsius). The only thing I had to take care of was the wind. Partly coming from front but mostly
blowing in from the sea I had to be careful not to be pushed into the road by a sudden breeze. That was no problem while
riding on small roads but where I had to use the A98 there was quite a lot of traffic.
I first stayed on the A98 but shortly before Fochabers I turned left and went on a very small road running along
the coast which took me through a lot of really nice small towns.
About noon I reached Cullen and there I stopped for a short lunch break. There was a park bench at the side of the road
from where you had a beautiful sight along the coast and out to the sea. It was a kind of strange feeling thinking about
nearly one week ago when I had been fighting the storm on Skye, and now I was sitting in the sunshine miles away and
these bad days seemed like years away. I didn't stay too long because I wanted to go on to see Pennan (I know, all the
tourists go and see Pennan, sorry).
Then, a just a few miles before that point where the road to Gardenstown leaves the B9031 on which I was cycling,
I pulled to the side of the road for a short break and to eat one of these chocolate bars I used to carry with me (I
ate a lot of them but nevertheless I lost 7 pounds on the trip). While I was standing at the side of the road a car
stopped there as well and the driver asked me something. I hadn't got the slightest cue what language this man was
speaking. Later I found out that it was english with a very, very, very heavy Scottish accent. I had to ask him to
repeat every sentence because I couldn't understand him; and normally I have no problems with Irish or Scottish accents.
But somehow we managed to talk to each other. the reason that he'd stopped was that he thought I might be lost. After I
told that I knew exactly where I was, we talked about where I'd been and where I wanted to go. I was really surprised
that a car driver stopped just because he thought I could have lost my way. I don't think that something like this will
ever happen to you in Germany. After saying goodbye to this guy (I'm ashamed I forgot his name) I went on looking for
that famous small village named Pennan. Finally I came to a road sign pointing down a steep small road which said
'Pennan'. It was so steep that I nearly didn't dare to drive because I didn't know for sure that my brakes could hold my
bike. But then I passed a couple of houses and nearly was standing in the sea. Looking to the left there was one row of
houses and looking to the right there was a row of houses. And that's it. Indeed you have to be a local hero trying to
make a living in that place. I think the only one who has no problems earning his money is the landlord of the hotel. I
first thought about taking a B&B because there was no place to put up a tent but when I heard that they wanted to
have forty pounds for a night I left Pennan at about six o' clock and headed on towards Fraserburgh.
When I came near Fraserburgh it already was nearly 8 pm, so I left the small roads and joined the A98 again at Ardlaw
because I thought that this would bring me faster to Fraserburgh where I hoped to find a camping site. But following the
signs I had to cycle back along the coast to Rosehearty, a small village about 3 miles west of Fraserburgh. But I never
regretted that I had to ride back because in Rosehearty I saw the best sunset I can remember.
The pictures you see on this page are actually taken at the same time. The one with the village is taken facing east
while the other ones look to the west straight into the sinking sun. And these pictures are taken at 11pm!! I really was
tired after nearly seventy miles on the road, but when you can finish your day with pictures like that there's only one
thing to say: What else do you wanna have?