The final push
Crossing the boarder into Scotland was a huge morale booster. Having cycled to Scotland I felt like the finish was insight that day, though there was still another week to go.
Picking up a cycle path known as route 1, I was in paradise. This super smooth bit of tarmac was amazing, traffic free and rarely with another person in sight. This helped me make up time and go late into the night, as previously I had been scared that my Hi-Vis flag and vest and 4 lights may not been spotted by the endless amount of white Range Rover drivers I encountered.
I stayed some interesting locations whilst in Scotland. A night in a creepy litter filled wood near Loch Leven. If I had carried on for a mile, I would have found a trail which led to an amazing view point. With a shelter and artwork, with zero traffic going past.
Then a hostel in inverness was interesting, the Hostel offered a range of over 100 craft beers! Sadly after 140km I never got to sample any of the 100, as soon as I sat on my small single bed I passed out. Waking up at 7am the next day
The last memorable place was my last night, I was making my way up the A9. I was eating into the last couple hundred Km and my knee started to twinge. So I looked for a BnB for the night, but right next to me this building had a sign in the window saying ‘Rooms from £15’. It looked like an abandoned hotel, I tried the door which was open! To be greeted by a nice lady, who seem shocked to see me and even more confused when I asked for a room. She showed me up to the small but cosy bedroom, then warned me that a young crowd come into the bar on a Friday and they can be a little loud. I thought nothing of this, thinking it would just be loud talking. I was so wrong….. Heavy trance music was making my bed shake, I kept hearing the music turn down as the land lady told them off, just to hear shouting and then banging on my floor. The next morning she told that it had a big drug scene and she wished the younger lot would just drink.
That night was the last night, and that morning I made the ambitious push of over 120km in the worst wind of the trip to John o’Groats. The last 20miles, was probably the hardest thing in my life. My body had decided it had enough, my muscles were throbbing and my fingers and feet numb. Several big hills had me pulling over at the top and think about maybe giving up. Carrying on I found myself chatting to myself, or swearing at myself to keep going. Then when I spotted the end, I thought to hold back tears. Then my friend Connor who I had not seen in person for nearly seven years appeared. I was so tired and confused I could barely speak. He took my bags of me for the last 5miles. I then got lost in John o’Groats nearly heading to the lighthouse.
Riding into the car park and upto the signpost I had seen so often in books or on Tv, brought on some strange emotions. Struggling to stand up, I had to lean against the signpost for my photo as I struggled to not cry.
Overall I really enjoyed seeing parts of the little island we live on, I would have never seen if I did not do this trip