Saturday, 26 March 2011

John O Groats to Wick

Saturday 26th March 2011

17.29 Miles
1hr 37mins
10.6mph Average Speed

We unloaded the bikes and luggage off the train in Inverness where we took it in turns to mind the bikes and take in the sights of the City. We trekked over to the Castle and took in the views of the river. We had a 2hour wait until our train to Wick departed. We went through the palaver of loading the bikes on the train again, mounting and dismounting the panniers time and time again. We found our seats and settled in for the 4 hour journey.

Now this journey felt longer than the 11hour ride from London! If the train were to have a GPS attached I am sure it would produce a map that resembles spaghetti junction or at least the star of David! Arriving at Wick at 3pm we were just in time for our booked taxi which was not there to meet us. We made a call and waited in the freezing wind until he arrived, we were searching our bags to put on all the warm clothing we could!

Loading the taxi we soon realised only 2 bikes would fit on the rack so dad was left behind to call another taxi firm who famously said they would be there in 10mins! 40mins later dad was picked up and we all met at John O Groats, finally! The wind was bitter in our face and it was spitting. To top it off, everything was closed out of season and the well known Lands End John O Groats sign post had gone! The white post was there put the sign was missing. There was a note to call a guy who keeps the sign at his house and he would charge £10 to bring it for that key photo opportunity! I called, he was out for the evening!

Also, we had nobody to take our picture as nobody was there to brave the elements! We had to pay the very old half blind taxi man £5 to take our picture! You can see how good he was, never mind his driving! We all rang our bells and mounted the bikes and set off heading South. The first 2.5miles were up hill which warmed us up then we were cruising to Wick with the sea to our left. Again it went quick because of the beautiful scenery and the sun was setting.

We arrived at our B&B at 6.30pm, stuck the bikes in the greenhouse and were shown to our lovely rooms. We all had a well overdue shower and walked 5 min up the road to a hotel for dinner. We were turned away as fully booked and walked another 5mins into town to another hotel. We were asked to wait in the cocktail lounge while the table was prepared.40min later I complained and we were seated to eat seconds later. The food was lovely and we realised we had not eaten hardly a thing all day. Managing to escape without being charged for drinks, we crashed back at the B&B.

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