Posted by: onemanonedrum | July 7, 2007

Wick to John O’Groats to Land’s End

6:50 AM

Well the alarm works! My arm doesn’t work, must have slept on it. First time sleeping in a tent for a long time probably about 15 years.

What a day to start my journey torrential rain outside my tent! Luckily I am walking back to wick so I don’t have to take my tent down! Even though I dont have to I take the rest of my gear with me (may as well start as I need to go on). William at the campsite gives me a lift over to the bus stop which is just the other side of the river. The bus doesnt leave until 8:35 on a saturday which gives me about 20mins to wait. so I do some well needed stretching after my first night sleeping outdoors!

The bus arrives and take 45mins to get to John O’Groats, 45 mins there 8 hours back! On arrival I register my walk at the LAST HOUSE (I dont honestly know why they call it the last house as there are many more houses north south east and west). Waiting for the official photographer I nip into the cafe for a bacon and egg cob, the perfect start to a horrible morning, I write a postcard to my mum thinking she may like a postcard with the official JOG postal stamp.

At around 1100 AM I adone my PROSTaid T-shirt and get my ONE MAN ONE DRUM 1000 MILES picture taken by the photographer who is dressed to the hilt in waterproofs the only skin showing are his hands and face. Honestly is it really necessary? YES!!!!! The rain is coming sideways across the land!

I get my waterproofs back on and head over to the official start line (again I dont really know why you start there but it does say in big letters START/FINISH)

walking up the hill with the rain coming straight at me blistering my face as I reach the top on Hill 1 only hundreds left.  i’ve only come a mile and a half and I am already drenched the only things that are dry are my feet!  the wind and rain are relentless coming down over the hill I meet a cyclist coming up he is on his last day of a LEJOG that has taken him into his third week the weather for him up until now has been kind! Its just punishment for his last day!

I have to stop as my shoulders ache and I want to get out of the rain I huddle against a dry stone wall (not so dry) munch on a banana and a mars bar then drag myself up and back into the rain (not that I was ever out of it). A few miles later a figure appears next to me in shorts and trainers.

Mark Allison running from JOG to LE for St Benedicts Hospice! Day 1 of five weeks! we chat for a bit about our attempts and then off he runs half an hour or so later I meet his wife who is following him in her car she offers me a banana and wants to sponsor my event! Very supportive and a bit of a boost!

They day continues the weather rages and the miles slowly reduce i am wet through my socks have got wet so my feet are squelching! This is now reminding me of my promotional walk only a lot worse! If I’d have brought my tent with me I probably would have put it up in the middle of no where and just sulked!

My feet are starting to soften being encased with water! I trudge into a shop that sells freshly made tea and try and dry out just a little whilst hugging the warm polestyrene cup!

on the next trudge I meet a car (or should I say that a car tried to meet me up close and personal!) I had to jump out the way onto the grass verge at the side of the road twisting my bad knee in the process, not good! Until this point all the cars have been polite and patient moving around me if they could or waiting until they could!

WICK at last i see a sign for wick and the wind sock of the airport I know is near by! at this point I am drenched my feet and shoulders are sore and time is getting on all I am thinking about is my tent and stove!

The last mile is a challenge just focusing on my goal not stopping and pushing myself on I arrive in wick now all I have to do is find the campsite! I follow the river and there it is, tent sweet tent! The woman looking after the campsite for the night kindly take a picture of me next to the campsite sign and I crawl of to my ‘home’ trying to keep it as dry as possible!

Tent Stove Food my mantra for the last mile and now a reality!

What will tomorrow bring?


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