The last few days have been good. Lots of hard riding. Since leaving lochranza I've had tecky issues with wi fi and this blogger app so the blog went a bit awol. The ride from lochranza to Glencoe was a hundred miles. At Glencoe the hostel was found at the end of the village, which is surrounded by amazing mountains. Then it was off to loch ness, a ride of about 66 miles ish . Then hostel at loch.ness is right on the loch with its own beach. I had expected some old Scots bloke in a kilt telling monster stories, but instead a rather odd bit friendly German student type was running the place. Riding along the various lochs was really great. The weather was mainly grey and drizzly but not over cold. I went down to loch ness for a swim but settled for a paddle to avoid hypothermic shock!
In any event Nessy didn't show up...I must have scared her away!
So next day it was off to the famous Urqhart castle and the inevitable tourists. We decided against leaving the bikes unattended and took pictures from afar and carried on riding. The weather changed and rain set in. We'd decided to modify the route and head up to helmsdale rather than the North coast. So.the ride took us 96 miles ish mostly along the A9. To be honest it became a bit of a mission to get there in the rain and cold on a bad road surface for my 120psi tyres ..once again I found myself singing that old time classic tune....shake rattle and roll!
So as soon as we were checked into.the hostel it was down to the village pub for dinner and sheep shagger beer...yep that is its real name. After
A conversation with drivers from hull, photos of antlers , good food, a game of chess, and some long haired cyclist playing guitar badly , it was crash out time.
This morning it was a case of get up and ride before eating...which is why the huge hill was put on between the hostel and breakfast.
We rode to wick ans found a nice bed ans breakfast for tonight, then set off on the final push to the summit ...john o groats.
The last 12 miles or so were a bit of a drag against the headwind and in the grey drizzle and light mist in places.
Then the final run down the hill to john o groats. Here at the finish it was time to take a breather, savour the moment and take some pictures.
I organized the official pictures and we also did our own.
John o groats isn't much really, but it's not charts there, but the journeys people make to get there that matter. There is an almost constant stream of travellers going in and out of this small bleak place.
Having taken the moment in, sent a few texts and bought a sticker for Celeste frame to commemorate the ride it was time to ride back to wick and a well earned rest.
Tonight I am at the clachan b&b in wick which is very homely ans comfortable for the last night.
So....another tick on the bucket list done!!!
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live"
For you Mum.