Day 12: Wed 20 June 2012 Inverness to Helmsdale
Today is approx. 70 miles. Another day – another ferry. We can avoid a good chunk of the A9 by taking the Nigg ferry across the mouth of the Cromarty Firth. Leave Inverness via A9 (Should be a bike path across (left side) the Kessock bridge.) Immediately after the bridge drop down left to minor road through Charleston and follow under A9 and along to B9161. Right on B9161 to A832. Right on 832 through Fortrose to Cromarty. Ferry across to B9175 and follow to A9. Right on A9 through Tain, cross Dornoch Firth Bridg, on to Gilspie and finish in Helmsdale.
The Nigg Ferry: The only ferry service from the Black Isle, travelling between Cromarty and Nigg. The service includes a 50 passenger and 4 car ferry and is one of the smallest car ferries in Britain. The ferry crosses the entrance to the Cromarty Firth, one of the finest natural harbours in Europe and also an area rich in wildlife and world-famous for its dolphin population. Running from 19th May 2011 to the 30th September including Sundays, the service operates from 8:00 am to 6:15 pm, and until 7:15 pm in July and August, Monday to Saturday, and from 9:00 am on Sundays. The ferry leaves Cromarty on the hour and half-hour, and leaves Nigg at quarter to and quarter past the hour.
There are four small climbs – otherwise fairly straight-forward.
Not much in the way of campsites but we should be able to find a place to park up for the night. Great fishing in the local river. I know a few people here……. My sons other Godfather (Paul is his other) comes from Helmsdale and many of his family are still here