Day 11: John O’Groats (74 miles / 987 total miles)

MONDAY 30 JULY: We’re on the train from Inverness and grateful to be homeward bound. Though it seems very strange not to be planning the day’s cycling over a full English.

Looking back at Altnahara

D11 Looking back at Altnahara Hotel

Almost there

D11 Almost There

 

We left Altnahara on our final day in sunshine and clear blue skies and for 30 miles had some of the finest cycling all trip. Spectacular scenery, splendid isolation and a flat route along the River Naver. Glimpsing the sea for the first time we turned into a headwind that remained with us for the last 37 miles to John O’Groats.

First sight of the sea

D11 First sight of the sea 

Now cycling like seasoned pros we took turns on the front while the other drafted. Arriving at John O’Groats I’m not sure if Jason was more amazed at accomplishing the journey or the fact his wife Tracey and daughter Olivia were a surprise welcoming party.

Standing by the mile post for photos we popped the cork from the bottle of Laurent-Perrier (there are exceptional occasions when this is permitted) to a round of applause from curious onlookers and toasted our achievement.

D11 Raising a glass

See this picture as a video: LeJog_LP Finish

I’d like to say thanks to Jason for being such good company, for navigating and his support on the difficult first two days. Though he does get annoyed when I order mixed toast and then eat all the white.

A very sincere thanks to everyone who has sponsored me (it’s not too late if you haven’t) the thought of not letting you down was great motivation. My final thanks is to Maria, my wife, for tolerating my bloody-mindedness over this trip. Love you.

The best bit? The cup of tea at the end of each day and in particular the one in Monmouth. As the Eurythmics once sang ‘Cream Teas (are made of this)’.

The worst bit? Wet and cold feet. Hats off to anyone who’s had lots of wet weather, we’ve actually been very fortunate.

Top tip for anyone contemplating LeJog: apart from the obvious put the toilet lid down, know exactly where your accommodation is. I can still hear Jason’s words ringing in my ears “7 more miles, you must be joking!!”

LeJog est fini!

No shoe in the loo

 D11 No shoe in the loo this time