John C Perry
John C Perry

Day 9 > 105 miles  to John O'Groats

Kyle of Sutherland to John O'Groats

 

4:45 am wake up. Another brilliant breakfast of bacon, eggs, baked beans, sausages, toast, cereal, banana, orange juice and tea. I haven’t even gained an ounce in weight. Probably because I’m burning around 5,500 calories every day.

 

Off I set at 6:30 am, lights on, with the full moon dominating the western sky. I was protected from the cold chill by my merino wool base layer and from the bumpy Scottish roads by two padded bib shorts. In the east the wispy clouds were turning red. 

 

By 7 am, as I cycled through the moorland of Lairg, the sun was casting long shadows of me and my bike across the grasses. The rolling hills appeared to be floating on a sea of mist. On and upwards on a single track road winding across the moorland to the roof of the world with endless views of distant peaks. Then there was a steep descent to hug the shoreline of Loch Naver near Altnaharra - a most idyllic setting.

 

By 10:30 am I was at Bettyhill where I saw the sea again for the first time since Cornwall. By now I was on the final leg, and I sped along the uphills and down dales of the north coast that resembled Land’s End. Blue skies and sun. 

 

Then almost suddenly, after 104 miles of stunning scenery with a following warm wind and 7 1/2 hours of cycling, I arrived at John O’Groats. I was greeted by my dearest Vicki waiting with open arms and the Union flag to wrap around me. I admit to crying with emotion as the magnitude of my accomplishment sunk in. We took time to take it all in.

 

Vicki bought me an official RAB hoodie - and a fridge magnet! There was even time for a shower, coffee and cake before the 3 hour coach ride to the hotel in Inverness.

 

It still seems hard to believe that I have completed LEJOG and that I am a “RAB’er”!

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