The last day!!!!!!
Day 20.. Pretty exciting waking up today and knowing that it was the final stretch. Unfortunately it looked like it was going to be one of the toughest with my guide book descibing some the the hills as the part of the route that caused quivering knees amongst 'end to enders'. We set out from Brora with 65 miles ahead of us. Rolling up and down along the coast for a while with heavy fog coming in, it really felt like we were heading out into the middle of nowhere. We hit the hills by late morning. One long climb which droped down into a very step valley with 13% gradients on each side. I passed a truck as I was about to climb up the other side and he gave me the thumbs up while laughing.. a good indication of what was to come. But although steep, it wasn't for long and we got through the worst bit. So carrying along into the wind, past foggy farms, and old stone houses perched out on cliffs. We stopped off in Wick for a while to try and sort out our return journey and then started the final stretch to John O Groats.. It was the case of 'so close yet so far away' with the last 30 odd km heading into the wind, gradually climbing.. it seemed to last forever. But as we climbed over the last pass and looked down at the little town on the edge of the coast with Oakney Islands stretched out in the distance, you got the feeling it was all worth it. Sailing down the other side of the hill into town.. feeling pretty good. Stopped for a photo at the sign entering town before heading to the shore. Unfortunately we got there too late (6pm) to get a photo of the sign that points back to lands end (they take it down so it doesn't get nicked). But quite grateful, as they charge £17 to let people stand by it and have their photo taken.. so we were creative and used the remaining post and the good old kiwi flag which had been with me the whole way and did our own. Last day 106km.
So... the de brief.. wow, fantastic.. pleased to have done it, even more pleased to get to the end. 19 days on the road since leaving Lands End on Tuesday 4 July at 5pm, arriving John O Groats Sunday 23 July 6pm. Covering 1824 km .. about 1140 miles... so on average 96 km or 60 miles per day. The best way to see the country and would highly recommend it to anyone!
Thanks to everyone who has supported me and sponsered me. I think from last looking we raised £525.80 or $1524.00 (NZ) for MacMillan Cancer Support.. which is Great!!
Paul keeps coming up with ideas for the next adventure, but I think I'll have a wee break now, but will keep you posted.