JOGLE route - John O'Groats to Wick
Day One of my End to End Cycle ride
So the journey begins! I cycled the 17 miles or so from Castletown to John O'Groats fairly early. In fact, although there weren't many hills, I found this worringly a bit difficult. I guess my mind was on where I was going and although the scenery on this short trip was stunning, I was tired.
I arrived about 11.30am., the weather unlike the day before was quite dull and overcast, but the good news was that after worrying about the strong southerly and easterly winds you face going down the coastal route and blowing you off the road, a northerly wind was blowing and forecast for the next 3 days, exactly how long I would like it to be.
First impressions of John O'Groats are that it's pretty tired. This is a great pity, but I guess you can see it difficult for a Business Man to put millions into a project when not all that many people are going to go there. However, it has a feel to it, a kind of mystery and the view from the small harbour over to the Orkney Isles looks perilous and dangerous, which I believe it to be sometimes.
So, I had the Photo taken and whilst chatting to the Chap found out that it was his Sister I would see at Land's End, it's a family Business ! Good for them. After that, the mandatory coffee (you'll see I have quite a few Coffee Breaks!), walk the bike back down to the Start / Finish line, send a 3-2-1 text to family and work and.....start pedalling - as simple as that!
The first 2 miles is a gentle uphill, but all the worry just seemed to go out of my mind. Numorous Cyclists passed me coming the other way, all smiles and Hello's, something I found the whole way down, a great sense of family.
Onward I went, up small hills, down small hills, stunning sea views to the left and barren field to the right but separated by some beautiful wild plants along the Hedegerows.
I arrived at Wick too early, obviously my newly found enthusiasm has spurred me on too well! Upon reaching the Impala Guest House, I had a quick change and took a walk around the coastal path, just a few meters away. This became a routine every day; get there, change. walk, eat. I should add here that the Landlords of the Guest House were second to none in their help and even drove me to the local Tesco for food supplies that evening.
It had been a good day and I went to bed pretty pleased with myself.