Friday, 20 August 2010

John O Groats to Lands End

After a day and a half travelling up in the back of a car with our
bikes we finally made it to lands end and left on the 2nd of
August 2010 about 4pm.Before we left we exchanged our 'Top Gear' gifts to carry for the journey. Lee's pink hat made it the whole jouney even though it was made from cardboard. He did get plenty of abuse and comments along the way.

Day 1: Once our bikes were assembled and our panniers and tent strapped on we cycled about 25 miles before our first 'wild camp' alongside a stream along the North Coastal road of Scotland. Lee armed with his lump of cheese for the trip and me without much food as i cant ration.

Day 2: We cycled 67 miles along the coast and then down into the centre of Scotland. Very nice scenery and didnt see another building for about 4 hours (but some sheep almost knocked Lee off his bike!). Wild camp again but got eaten alive by swarms if midgys. had to stay in our tent and i didnt even get dark till 10pm so not much to do. luckily we were pretty tired.

Day 3: Hilly 72 mile cycle to Drumnadrochit (hard for lee as he had been feeling ill for last 3 days!). We were now a couple of miles away from Loch Ness and stayed in our first camp site.

Day 4: A shorter 54 mile day to Fort William where we camped under the shadow of Ben Nevis, which we planned to climb in the morning. Spent our spare time eating and stocking up on Tesco food for the next day.

Day 5: Climb up to Ben Nevis started ok, but was misty and raining towards the top so no view. Took us about 5 hours round trip and was back on our bikes by late afternoon to ride a cold and wet 21 miles to glen coe for another wild camp.

Day 6: This was one of our best days. Had rained each day so far but today was looking a lot brighter and we rode through the valley of Glen Coe and down towards Loch Lomond. There was loads of downhill riding and we covered a lot of ground quickly.This gave us time to stop for a swim in loch lomond and to visit aScottish Summer fair in a little village which included caber tossing, bag pipes and traditional dancing. We finished the day off by getting around Glasgow and camping behind a bank and trees at the side of a quiet road about 15 miles south! (87 miles in total.

Day 7: Another day - same cycling shorts! And same routine: Wake up, get dressed, take down tent, get on bike!
We were feeling stronger on the bikes now as our body had adapted to all the riding and all the camping. Total we put in a big 104 miles which seriously dented scotland and put us about 10 miles from Gretna Green and the English boarder. We camped near a beach overlooking england.

Day 8: Today we left Scotland and headed to the Lake district to tackle Scarfell Pike. We made it to Keswick in 55 miles. however we were tired and it was 3pm and the start of the climb was still a 9 mile ride away so we decided to take the afternoon off rather than rush it and had a BBQ instead, overlooking the lake and mountains.

Day 9: Got up nice and early (6.30) to ride to scarfell pike and climb it. again no visibility on the 4 hour round trip which was really windy and bitterly cold. we were both freezing by the time we returned to our campsite and got on the bike again. Had a better afternoon though as we warmed up and covered 52 miles to Kirby Londsdale (plus the extra 18 miles to the mountain and back.

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