LEJOG947 is over and with the last cheque in we’ve raised £1,783.42 for CALM and our team final total is: £3,046.06!!!
Thank you all for your support.
Luke & Chris
Those of you that know me will be not surprised at all that I’ve crunched the numbers…
I need to do more things that challenge me.
Gregg’s make the best Caramel topped granola bars money can buy.
Endura make the best (least chaffing, warm, wind proof, hard wearing) cycling kit money can buy.
We have some great friends and work colleagues. Thank you.
Chris isn’t a morning person.
I really want to get a dog (when conditions allow).
It rains in Scotland.
I have almost everything I want in life (with only 3 exceptions, one of which is a dog), and for that I’m very grateful.
Thank you all so much for your support through the 2 weeks, it meant a lot.
I’ll be posting the final route in the next few days for anyone that’s interested.
Getting up early, we had some breakfast and set off on another grey, damp Scottish morning with the finish a mere 40 miles away.
Despite the rain and some head wind we made good progress, in a weird way I’m glad it had some tough bits as I think it would have felt an anticlimax if it’d been too easy.
A snack stop at Thurso and we pushed on for the finish.
Getting to John o’groats by 1145 we had plenty of time to sign the end-to-enders book, have an ice cream, change, drop our bikes at the courier point and get the bus to Inverness.
But what should have been the end, took a sad turn. There was a 4 car crash just ahead of the bus where a lady lost her life on the road ahead. After a long delay the bus driver heard from control that he was to take people back to Thurso as the road would be closed for 8 hours at least.
After a bit of googling, team work with a nice Scots gent and agreement from all the passengers the bus driver agreed to try and get us to the last train from Wick at 4.
By some magic we all made the last train and should make Inverness by 8.
On the plus side, the train has a toilet and a trolley, we’ll have to wait to get food till a lot later than expected but that’s ok.
Strange end to the final day.
Starting at a slightly damp Invershin, we made our way past the shin falls, didn’t see any salmon leaping but did see a lot of fishermen hoping to catch them.
A long slow climb for the first part of the morning into the empty highlands, quite grey again with patches of rain that came and went, plus the odd section into the wind.
This section was the first really remote part on this trip, although we’ve been higher we were never that far from people.
It would have been one of my favourite days, head winds and persistent rain took some of the fun off though.
Lunch at Altnaharra by Loch Naver was nice, although Chris was dinner for some of the flying wildlife.
I think this was also the first time it really sank in how far we’ve come, especially when we got to the North Sea.
Now we’re at Melvich with just 39 miles to go…
(having had a good meal at the Halladale Inn)
Leaving the Cairngorms via Aviemore and over the Slochd summit was lovely, not so long a day and more downhill than up… which would have been even better if not for a ridiculous head wind that at times was a battle just to stay upright!
Made our way to Inverness, had some food and stayed at an interesting guest house in the centre… I can’t say I’d recommend staying there, their idea of a continental breakfast was a bowl of cereal, one piece of toast, tea or coffee, a banana and a weird chocolate pastry thing, nothing else. The location was excellent (very central) though, I’m going to write trip advisor reviews of all the places we stayed, good, bad and interesting.
Thursday morning we dropped our camping stuff off at the hotel we’re staying at Saturday and with lighter bikes headed over the Kessock bridge.
We had less miles to cover today, which was great because it rained for a large part of the day – pity as I suspect if we could see the scenery it’d be impressive. The last 5 miles into a strong head wind with soaking rain was not fun.
We found our way to the outstanding Invershin bunkhouse, hung our kit to dry… gave thanks that we weren’t in a tent… had some food in the attached hotel’s bar ready for the last full day riding tomorrow!
Saturday we’ll need to be up early for the final 37 miles to the finish in time to catch our bus back to Inverness… so close…
Packing up the wet tents at Noah’s Ark, we made our way towards national cycle route 77 (and later 7), which follows the A9 toward Inverness.
Such a great day. The route was easy to follow, hilly in places (climbing to a peak just under 500m) with stunning scenery all around.
This photo doesn’t really do it justice, look closely and you’ll see the pockets of snow on the right.
We made good progress, then the last 15 miles were almost all down hill… Now that’s how I like my days to end!
The rain started again, luckily just after I’d got back into the tent. Tonight’s camp site is amusingly bad. You even need 20p for hot water to wash up, the toilet block is breeze blocks and old… I’m not going in the shower either. Early night and on to Inverness tomorrow.
We also made a decision to ditch the camping gear at the hotel we’re staying in on sat (as we go through tomorrow) and use bunk houses and bnbs for the last couple of nights.
Thanks for your continued support (by comments, donations and baking) we’ve now both hit our fundraising targets and are on the home stretch!
It’s raining like we’d need the aforementioned biblical boat, whilst we’re staying at… Noah’s Ark Caravan park. (In all seriousness a great camp site, superb facilities and great for the kids)
Today was good for being largely uneventful, we’re quite in the routine of it.
Our route took us past Edinburgh, following the union canal then over the Forth bridge (I think I’m becoming a bridge nerd), past the loch at Kinross and just outside Perth.
The view from here of the cairngorms is cracking, with snow on the top of a couple (in June, is that normal?).
I think we’ve passed the phases of “why are we doing this?” and “can we do this?” into a routine of breaking the days into 20/25 mile chunks.
Tomorrow we head into the highlands proper, wish us luck!
Hard to get going this morning as it was cold, raining and windy.
Started a bit later than planned, crossing into Scotland at Gretna.
Both enjoyed the (only) 1000ft climb up the A701 and the surrounding hills as we made our way to Peebles, lovely scenery and much quieter roads.
I loved how much simpler navigating was today, overall I think this was one of our favourite days so far.
Massive thank you to everyone who has sponsored us so far, including my cat (apparently) – yes really, go have a look.
Huge thank you for all the nice messages too.
Setting off after a bacon roll, we made good progress to kendal, then the shap… 1400ft of climb up the a6.
Actually it wasn’t too bad and the downhill was epic!
We made Penrith by 2 and were at our campsite just north of Carlisle earlier than expected with another 75 miles done.
We got rained on for the first time – the grey sky was a welcome break from the blaring sun though.
Tomorrow we start making our way through Scotland… getting food and water refills is going to be a lot harder, so we’ll probably need to carry more.