Home again…

Just a short note to say that Dad is safely back in Beccles.  He stopped in Cambridge to visit his brother Michael and shared some stories of his journey…
day 27.1Then he arrived back in Beccles yesterday afternoon – to a lovely welcome!

day 27.2He’s also been back on his bike!  He was invited to friends for lunch, so he did a not very demanding total of 1 and a half miles today!  He’s looking forward to a longer ride with the U3A cycling group on Wednesday!

We’re now contacting people about sponsorship – so you’ll be getting an email or letter from us shortly.  Any questions do get in touch (or other donations welcome via just giving, https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/peterlangford85bike ).  Many thanks.

On the way home…

Dad is now on day 2 of his cycling detox (2 whole days without cycling!).  He’s coping well and I’ve not noticed him doing any weird leg rotations….

We had a good trip back from John O’Groats to the Midlands yesterday.  Most of it was by train and when we were still in Scotland dad was able to point out some of the landmarks he’d cycled past – it really emphasized what a long way he rode!

He stayed with us last night – welcomed by cake with cream.  He’s now visiting his brother and some friends in Cambridge and will arrive home tomorrow.  We will do a few short blogs, but it may take a while until we know the total raised.

 

The final miles!

It was lovely for Paul and I to be with dad at breakfast and to wave him off (see the photos from this morning’s post).  Paul and I then visited the beautiful Strathy beach – it was cold, a bit wet and very windy, but there must be some strong adventure genes in the family as Paul went swimming (although not for long!)

We then caught up with dad in Thurso for a quick cuppa and look at the route:

– and agreed to meet for lunch at The Castle of Mey (owned and renovated by the Queen Mother) – the route passes by the gates, so dad’s passed it twice before and never gone in.  It was a lovely visit and worth the extra 3 miles it added for dad (it was a very long drive!).

Dad then headed on to John O’Groats, Paul and I left a few minutes after dad, but he had already covered a big distance… and then, 7 miles later he arrived in John O’Groats – amazing!  The stopping point from an epic trip.  A total of 1147 miles, 26 days, lots of new friendships, lots of hills and (as we worked out last night) 850 000 revolutions of his wheels!
day 26.18

 

 

day 26.1

We’re now in the hotel – dad has sorted his bike for the courier to take back to Suffolk, so it’s a bit of relaxing time.  I’ve just asked how he’s feeling ‘delighted, relieved and grateful’ was the response.  You’d think he’d be feeling tired too!

He’s also delighted with having raised so much money for charity – it was a big help on some of those hills, knowing that every mile counted.

We won’t do an update tomorrow, but will post on Friday and will then let you know how much we think he has raised.

So nearly there!

Paul and I have arrived in Strathy! We’re now sat with dad composing this entry…

Dad really enjoyed his stay at the Crask Inn – a lovely place!

Dad’s cycle ride today was the most enjoyable that he’s had the whole trip.  It was easier going than he thought and through beautiful but desolate countryside.  At one point he stopped, lay down and had a snooze in the entrance to a farm track.  The first real climb was up to Bettyhill and he stopped for about an hour for a slow lunch – bacon butty with tea, followed by coffee and a scone!  The westerly wind was a big help!

The last 10 miles were a bit more challenging – as dad continued to Strathy he was getting glimpses of the coast.  He arrived at about 4.00, rested and then was rudely interrupted by the arrival of some noisy visitors!  He’s done an extra 41 miles today, bringing the total to 1100!

 

day 25.2

 

Travelling up here reminded me of something some of you may recall.  Dad loves Scotland and about 15 years ago some of us received a letter from mum and dad with news of their retirements plans.  The letter informed us that they had bought a Scottish bothy and were planning to move up to a remote area and live a simple life with mum spinning wool and growing vegetables.  A little surprising perhaps and the letter gradually became more eccentric with details such as the recycled tea bags hanging out to dry so they could be re-used.  It took some people a while to notice the date.  April 1st.

Staying at the Crask Inn another 50 miles closer

After a lot of rain overnight, dad was fearing a cold, wet day… but as he was about to set off he saw a stunning rainbow, which got things off to a great start!

It’s been a beautiful day with amazing scenery and only a few showers (although it’s certainly getting colder as he heads further north!).  He cycled up over another pass and various hills as he headed across from Dingwall to Bonar Bridge and then North up to the Crask Inn.  He’s been travelling on A roads today as it made it shorter than the Sustrans route – but these are A roads with a difference… single track and even with the bike he had to get into a passing place if a car came!

Along the route today he met someone who’s walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of a cystic fibrosis charity.  They took a selfie together – so if I get a copy I will post it with some other information!

Tonight dad is staying at the Crask Inn, which sounds quite a special place – the website is worth a look if you’re interested… (https://thecraskinn.com/#post-2)  it’s probably the most remote Inn in the UK, and unusually it’s owned by the Church (the Scottish Episcopal Church).  As well as food, accommodation and the pub, they also hold daily services!

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