Saturday, June 10, 2006

Day 16 - Achnairn, Lairg

So close yet so far. Martin is almost there, approximately 100 miles to go, yet the two days left to cycle are two hard days. The terrain will be similar to that of Cornwall – rivers on high ground draining into the sea, creating steep drops and inclines on the coast.

He set off later today, at 7.20am, as he didn’t get such a good sleep last night after a late finish. It was hard to get going and Martin had a heavy head all day. So the distance covered today is 57.47 miles, ending at 4.30pm at Wood End Camp Site, Achnairn, a little north of Lairg in the county of Sutherland.

The mist rolled in off the sea this morning, but as Martin left the coast, the afternoon was incredibly hot. The scenery has been unspectacular, although he found a quiet road that led to some waterfalls, which was pretty. He could see hills in the far off distance, but the surrounding countryside was pastoral and Forestry Commission. Martin had quite a lonely day again, although he met two ‘end to end’ walkers – John and Paul. For one it was his second Land’s End to John O’Groats. He had also walked the Pennine Way seven times. One of them had been walking for 8 weeks!

Good news for the journey home – Martin has washed and dried all his clothes, except the ones he was standing in! He says he has ‘cyclist’s nose’, i.e. one that drips all the time. That’s a new one. It was also a feature of his many backpacking walks, apparently. He is not looking forward to the train journey home, as it will take about 10 hours. I suggested cycling home – in fact my neighbour offered to double his donation if Martin did just that, but he declined for the lame reason that he has sent all his maps home (to reduce his load) and wouldn’t know the way.


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