The Flight to Scotland
Letting the tyres down at the airport
John O Groats to Landsend - 16th May - 13th June 2004
I took a break from South America to go back to the Uk for about 2 months to see friends and family and to cycle from John O Groats to Landsend, the furthest two points apart possible on the main British island.
The shortest distance between the northeast and the southwest by road is 874 miles but I took time to see some things and friends along the way cycling about 1100 miles over 4 weeks.
I spent the first two days heading west along the scottish coast before I began to go south along the really pretty B871. The countryside in Scotland was beautiful, quite mountainous which made cycling a little tricky but the climbing up rewarded me with some great views. I cycled along the loch where Nessie lives and then a few days later I climbed Ben Nevis really which I found quite easy after the hiking I had done at altitude in the Andes.
Edinburgh was a nice city and I spent 3 days staying with a friend, wandering the streets and drinking, oh and I tried
John O Groats
Campsite on the first night
haggis, which was tasty.
I cycled south and soon crossed into England, passing a quite strange buddhist thingy along the way. I was struck by the beauty of the Lake district, in particular around the Windermere, Kendal area and spent an extra day here as I needed to fix a buckled back wheel.
I passed through the Peak district, on my way to Nottingham, which was also pretty but harder to enjoy as the hills were frequent. In Nottingham I stayed with another friend for 4 days and hit the lager again.
The cycling was tough after all the drinking and was made harder when I was knocked off the bike by a truck, on a dual carriageway just after Birmingham. The contents of one of my panniers were scattered all over the road but luckily the traffic stopped allowing me to pick up all my stuff and the truck driver drove me 8 miles to the next town. Here I bought some more panniers, patched up all my cuts and continued on to set up camp early. The next few days were really tough as my body was feeling battered and bruised but
John O Groats
The Starting Post
this didn´t stop me enjoying the lovely town of Bath.
After Bath the terrain became more hilly meaning I spent the good part of 2 days climbing 90% of my cycle time. The Dartmoor National Park was really picturesque as was the approach to Landsend. I felt quite emotional and even tearful when I finished and I camped that evening well hidden, about a mile from the pub where I got hammered on about 5 beers watching France beat England with Zidane's two late goals.
Next day I got the train home from Penzance
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