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Day 3. Lybster to Helmsdale. 21 miles

After a wonderful roast and an amazing sleep I practically leapt out of bed and ripped the curtains off the rail with excitement comparable only to a 90s child receiving an N64 on Christmas morning. If only I had asked Santa for yet more rain I might have been full of festive cheer. Instead I nearly wept and trudged downstairs for my 3rd cooked breakfast of the week. 

If you think this blog is rapidly descending into some kind of strange, off the wall, hot breakfast ranking site, well, you'd be dead right, shall we get to it? Once again I was eating alone, but the relative resplendence of the Portland Hotel ensured that yesterday's guilty breakfast munchings were replaced with the kind of insincere gluttony reserved only for eating a whole Easter Egg in one masochistic sitting. I had it all. Porridge, cereal, tea and coffee, two different kinds of juice, and a plethora of pastries. By the time my main breakfast arrived I was frantically pocketing mini margarine tubs like some mad hoarder and wondering if they'd notice if I swiped the ketchup bottle. Such a shame then that the Portland Hotel put more work into their pre-breakfast spread than their actual breakfast plate. Though it was delicious. 

Double sausage no beans must be the regional delicacy around here - I could hardly believe my eyes. Double poached egg was a right touch of class, but the mushroom portion size was nothing other than a grave insult. Points down for size and lack of beans, but big marks for the egg to sausage ratio. 7.5/10

Right that's it for my third da... Oh wait, this is a walking blog isn't it. Well it rained again so sadly pictures are at a minimum of the perpetually soaked A9. I passed through the charming but completely closed towns of Dunbeath and Berriedale, and arrived into Helmsdale having made cracking time. As ever, my arrival meant the rain fled like some moist coward, to be replaced with the first sun I had seen in days. 

The sun breaks the gloom over Helmsdale

And with that my spirits were lifted, I marched into town and ordered a 'small' fish and chips from the local chippy, which was an absolute treat after over 20 wet and cold concrete miles. Though the portion sizes were completely off the wall. I can see now why Scottish Higher education is so heavily subsidised, its because everyone eats like this and dies at 26 from scurvy, gout and cardiac arrest, so any loans they might have won't get paid anyway. 

Is the large portion just a whole battered dolphin?

Helmsdale was full of Highland charm, so with spirits lifted and the kind of stitch I haven't seen since year 7 cross country I made my way to the wonderful Navidale House B&B and looked forward to a dryer day tomorrow. And don't worry everyone, I'll try and keep the breakfast chat to a minimum tomorrow. 

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