Apr 13, 2008

Rain and Kindness in Scotland

Leanne here, with the latest news on John and John's trek down the country. You'll all be pleased to know that after a week on the road, things are still on track and going well...even the "delightful" weather hasn't put a dampener on things as yet!

Wednesday 9th April-Day 5:
Still making good use of the makeshift pub campsite, the day got off to a nice start with lovely hot showers and toast courtesy of the pub landlord, and continued in a similar vein. The weather was fine, if cold, and the lads made a camp just outside of Brora in the county of Sutherland (an area attractive to fishers and golfers, according to their website; see, you get all the interesting facts here!). With a view of the sea on one side, and the snow covered hills on the other, the Johns enjoyed a much deserved hot meal using mince, onion, mushrooms and curry powder bought at a Co-op en route. With fresh milk for a cup of tea, and Tunnock's wafers for dessert, it was practically a night of luxury!

Thursday 10th April-Day 6:
The wafers clearly did the lads the world of good as they were in a cheery mood today despite continually freezing cold and dull weather (I know; sounds very unlike Scotland, doesn't it?!). The walk was up to its 95th mile by the end of the day, with camp set up somewhere between Golspie and Tain (I have taken the liberty of posting a picture of Golspie Castle and beach above for your pleasure!).

Friday 11th April-Day 7:
The lads woke up to pouring rain, which thankfully didn't last too long, although the weather remained freezing for the rest of the day. This was a day for high spirits again though, as the Johns discovered the generosity and hospitality of the Scottish people. With their large luminous John O'Groats signs on their backpacks, a lot of attention was garnered, all of it very positive. A cafe owner in Tain insisted on providing the lads with a free full Scottish breakfast (an offer happily taken up, I'm sure you can imagine!) and a number of people stopped them to give sponsorship donations, which they were of course very thankful for. The day was ended with a campsite set up by the roadside at a T Junction near Invergordon (home, incidentally, of the Natal Garden, which some people may remember as forming part of the BBC1 show Charlie's Garden Army a few years ago).

Saturday 12th April-Day 8:
After bravely managing fourteen miles of walking in pouring rain and hailstones, John and John popped into a cafe called Harry Dowe's for breakfast, where they were yet again the recipients of a generous offer-this time, a packed lunch to take on their way. They reached Dingwall ('the Viking capital of Scotland') late afternoon and found a pub called The Mallard (considering the weather, a very aptly named place!) to rest their legs and watch the Newcastle -Portsmouth game on the telly. During the game, while John Sinclair was on the phone to Gill, John Dickinson was apparently accosted by big, hairy Scotsman demanding to know the particulars of the trip...I can only report disappointment that I don't have a picture of that to post, but I'm sure you can all imagine the scene in your heads!

And that's it from me...one of us will be back later in the week with the next installment!

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