I have missed writing up the daily events over these last few days, we are still on hols so it seems right that we still tell you what we are up too.
We had a stopover at Culloden so we visited the battlefield yesterday. It was a great visit although they had a power cut so we couldn’t go into the museum. We wandered around the actual battlefield though, Alex and Jim re-enacted some of the battles for me!
Today we are heading to Berwick, the campsite is a stones throw from Holy Island which will be tomorrows visit then we are heading home Friday. We have decided it is Siam Star for dinner on Friday evening, I am already salivating at the thought of Tempura Chicken.Share
Bingo we made it!
I know, I know, sorry it’s late but I thought it best not to write up day 15 after champagne, beer and wine!
It was strange today waking up knowing in a few hours it would all be over. It was also strange the gang not all being together, the site had no toilet facilities so Mike and Sophie had stayed in a B and B as Mikes van doesn’t have a loo or shower. Gerry and Jim were really excited about today’s ride, they even set of a little earlier than normal. I got packed up early because Alex and I wanted to win the race to John o’ Groats. Lyn was almost done and she left about half hour or so after us.
As I was driving along the lane to the ‘main’ road we saw Mike bimbling along. We then got onto the main road and carried on with our journey. Again we saw some fabulous views, we stopped a couple times to take photos. The journey was a slow one as it is single track road with passing places. The lads had taken the back road which apparently wasn’t good for motorhomes although Lyn went that way and said it was perfectly fine! As we went passed the junction of the back road with the main road we spotted Mike. We stopped to make sure he didn’t need anything and carried on our way. Around lunchtime we caught up with Jim and Gerry, we stopped and fed and watered them.
Once we were passed Jim and Gerry we knew we were in the lead! We raced ahead arriving at John o’ Groats around 2ish. I went to check in at the campsite and was greeted by Mike’s Mum, it was strange seeing your old DS teacher (Betty Lowe – Longcroft School) somewhere where you least expected to! They have a house in Scotland so they had come up to surprise him. What a lovely thing to do.
Alex and I had lunch at the Last Cafe, Lyn, Sophie and Jack arrived shortly afterwards. Jim called to say that him and Gerry were about 12 miles away so Lyn, Alex and I got the Champagne from the fridge and headed up to famous sign at the end point. It started to drizzle whilst we were waiting and then out of nowhere it was like a monsoon had hit! The photographer from the End Point Sign opened the boot of his car so that we could stand underneath which was much appreciated. At this point Alex decided he needed the toilet, he and Lyn were just heading across the road when I spotted the lads coming in. I shouted them back and we all walked forward to cheer them in. It was still pouring with rain but somehow that didn’t matter, 1000 miles trip was now officially over for them.
We cracked open the champagne and drunk to of ours achievement. Alex was particularly pleased that he was allowed an inch of champers too! We had some official photos done and waited for Mike to return. Jim spotted Mike in the distance so everyone ran up to the signpost to see him in, that is everyone but me as Alex had decided that he really needed to go to the loo as he had forgotten about it earlier, chuh, kids!!
After everyone was showered and clean and a number of bottles of beer consumed we all headed up to the pub for tea. The kids kept the locals entertained with their pool game, nearly taking some guys eye out with the pool stick! Most of us had chicken stuffed with Haggis but ever predictable Alex had turkey dinosaurs! After dinner we bimbled back to the campsite, kids went to bed and we all relaxed witha nice glass of well deserved vino.
Day 16 – we got some photos taken with the two charties cycle shirts on and then we were all on our merry way. The others were all heading home with an overnight stop on the way. We are making our way home over the week with 2 nights in Culloden and 2 nights in Berwick.
It has been a fabulous two weeks, I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. I am absolutely shattered and am looking forward to a few peaceful days with Jim doing all the driving!
Thank you all for reading the blog, your comments have been great to read and have really helped in keeping us going.Share
Woke up this morning to sunshine, yippee!
Last night we looked at today’s route and decided not to go
via Inverness. As the site we were staying on had wireless we re-planned the
route and dropped the gpx files onto our Garmins, the extra only added another
4 miles to the journey.
We had two climbs to get over today. The first leading to
Bonar Bridge allowed us to stop and take some pictures of the stunning views
before heading off at warp speed
this off course left us with the second climb up towards Altnaharra. It was a
steady climb and was broken up with dinner in Lairg at a garage (quality
sandwiches NOT!) Louise and Alex had just passed us in the van and offered
dinner, should have accepted the offer .
We left Lairg climbing again and were passed by Lyn. The road had narrowed at
this point to single track with passing points. I bet it would be quite bleak
up here in the winter as there is not a lot around.
We climbed up to 300m above sea level and then started the 6
mile descent to Altnaharra, this was great and a good rest from climbing. The
route I had planned took us to Altnaharra only so Gerry dug out the
instructions; turned out the campsite was 3 miles further, just what we needed
after 76 miles riding.
The campsite was located right by the side of a loch and had
brilliant views, it was a bit breezy but the plus side of this was the midges
were not out, this changed later as the wind dropped and we all retreated to
our vans (I got 5 bites just putting the chairs away!)
Only 70 miles to do tomorrow and the epic journey is all over,
legs and bottom will be pleased of a rest!
It seemed weird waking up this morning knowing that tomorrow we would be done. The last 2 weeks have gone so quickly but on the other hand we seem to have been away from home for so long. Alex and I headed into Inverness to pick up some champagne ready for tomorrows celebration and we then headed out to the penultimate site.
Of all the scenery we have taken in over the last fortnight, today’s journey was by far the most breathtaking. After about 25 miles we saw Mike bimbling along so we stopped to take photos and top up his water. Going on further we saw Jim and Gerry, we stopped for more photos, they had decided to have lunch in Lairg so we left them to plod on whilst we headed to the most lonely road in Scotland, the A836.
Lairg to the site was about 20 miles, for the first 15 miles we did not meet another vehicle, the views were spectacular and the feeling of remoteness was incredible. For me it has been the best journey of the trip. I love the remoteness of the area. The campsite is amazing, we are on the banks of Loch Naver, if you sleepwalk you will get quite wet!
The midges are horrendous, suffice to say, our evening meal was eaten inside!
Early night tonight I reckon, all set for the last day tomorrow.Share
Sad to leave this site as it was so beautiful but needs must and all that! Arranged to meet up with Sophie and Jack at the Loch Ness exhibition as I needed to get some shopping bits. Popped into Fort William, trugged two heavy bags back to van and set off on our way. We drove around the town and found a great big Morrisons, bloomin’ typical.
Anyway we went on our merry way to find Nessie. We drove through some incredible scenery. We got to the beginning of the loch but the sat nag said we had a further 18 miles to go to get to the visitors centre, this is one big loch!!
We met up with Sophie and Jack and after some lunch we bimbled round the exhibition. It was really interesting but a tad expensive! The kids really enjoyed themselves and spent up in the Nessie shop! We bought some postcards and sent them off anonymously! (Did you get one dear reader?).
The next site was on the banks of the Moray at Inverness (I think!). It is a lovely location for a site although the site was looking a little tired. The wardens/owners were lovely people, even sponsoring us!Share