Distance walked today 19 miles
Total distance walked 1059 miles
Today was a road walk all the way to John o'Groats. The site we were on was three miles north west of Watten. There didn't seem much point in going into the village - it was an A road with no footpath. Therefore, I went up the A882 in the Thurso direction for half a mile before turning right signposted Gillock. I tramped along this road for two miles, turning right on to the B874 for half a mile to Gillock, then left for three miles to the B876, turning right for one and a half miles.
At Hastigrow, I turned left and continued almost in a straight line for eight miles to Upper Gills. Just before here, I came over the brow of a hill (more a vague change in elevation as, shortly before this, I'd passed a trig point at a height of 66 metres) and there before me was a view of the Pentland Firth something over a mile away with Stroma Island to the fore and the Orkneys beyond.
First glimpse of sea since Sennen Cove, Cornwall!
Continuing through Canisbay, it started to rain. As an aside here, one of the commonest birds I've seen on this walk has been the oystercatcher and, in a field in Canisbay, there must have been at least two hundred of them. Passing by the youth hostel, I then joined the A836 in to John o'Groats.
On the way in, there was a house named Aargh - is this some strange Scots word?
Just for the sake of completeness, having started from the most southwesterly tip of England, I shall continue tomorrow to Duncansby Head, the north east tip of Scotland. The rest of tomorrow will be spent exploring some of this part of Scotland, Monday involves a trip on the ferry to the Orkneys with a circuit by coach of the main tourist sites and we shall head for home on Tuesday via Morpeth to visit the people at my charity, MS Research and Relief Fund.
As for the other End to Enders I met, Reg and Geert, who I Iast saw on the West Highland Way, got to John o'Groats a couple of hours before me (Amanda met them whilst parked up some way ahead of me). Unfortunately, they'd had to make a dash for a bus to Wick just before I arrived.
Vinnie, my American friend, is just two days away and I shall go off in search of him at some point.
If having got hooked on this blog, you wish to switch to another, you might try http://brendanslittlelegs.wordpress.com/ - Brendan is now close to the Scottish border.
At this stage, I'd like to thank all family, friends, friends of family and friends and others who've given so generously to my charity. The original target was £2,000 and now the amount raised is nicely over £3,000.
I hope this blog has kept people entertained. I've certainly enjoyed doing it. I shall add more photos to it in due course and hope to make the whole adventure available as a downloadable pdf. The blog itself will continue with occasional postings relating to ultralight hiking and backpacking as before.