To John o’Groats

21 June


51 miles

Climbing 834m

Total Distance 1128 miles

We arrived at JoG late this evening but it was well worth it to feel that the first part of the trip is behind us now just the islands to come which we are really looking forward to.


We had quite a late start this morning after an itchy night caused by the usual midges, it was overcast all morning but in fact we stayed dry. Our neighbour on the campsite was a surfer , when we woke this morning there was a big surf and he was already down in the bay- a lonely figure searching for the elusive perfect wave


It is the solstice. This was the campsite at 10pm


Our other neighbour made a donation and was full of encouragement. We had been warned about the ups and downs along the coast- in fact it wasn’t too bad they aren’t  too steep. The scenery was good, dramatic skies and the hills rising out of the flat coastline.

20160621_214020-1600x113520160621_212423-1600x1200DSCF3367-1600x1200We gritted out teeth and the 5 hills slowly passed. We stopped for a late coffee  at a traditional scottish bar complete with a multitude of single malts, resident drinkers but a very warm welcome and a fine piece of chocolate cake for Martin, Gayle watched enviously as she ate her disapointingly small piece of blackberry pie. We met some friendly cycle tourers from Manchester doing the NC500- a circuit of Northern Scotland being promoted for cyclists but also motorbikes and cars- they had had some trouble with unthinking motorists on the single track roads.



We set off refreshed and sustained (well Martin was) and pushed on past the Dounreay nuclear power station, now being decomissioned and still a large employer locally. Nearby there is a large windfarm and posters about consultation on how to spend the community money paid by windfarms in Scotland. There are also posters opposing further windfarms, and yet only two miles from the nuclear power station with not the best safety record.

These fellows clearly felt they owned the road, walking sedately down it causing traffic jams in both direy

These fellows clearly felt they owned the road, walking sedately down it causing traffic jams in both directions

Views over the Orkneys

Views over the Orkneys

Coastal views

Coastal views

The offending windfarm

The offending windfarm

We pressed on Thurso and had a late lunch ,

Lunch on Thurso sea front

Lunch on Thurso sea front

We then stopped at a bike shop called- The Bike Shop, to get some supplies. The owner Sam was extremely helpful, Gayle mentioned the difficulty she had been having with gear changes for a few days , he couldn’t have been more helpful, coming out on his bike to follow her whilst she changed gear, leaving Martin to watch the shop. He ended up getting her bike on the stand and tracing the problem to a hidden split in the cable housing- and fixed it without charge- what a great guy, nothing was too much trouble.

The Bike Shop, Thurso

The Bike Shop, Thurso

After a bit of delay we knew we would be late getting to John o’Groats but decided to press on, in fact the last 20 miles were flatter on good roads so we made good time. In Caithness by now, flat land, big skies, sheep and sea.



All day the scenery was fantastic- views back to the mountains and then out to the Orkneys as we got nearer.


After a quick supper we were rewarded with the site of a whale out in the sound- as well as seals.

These walls are everywhere,  huge slabs of stone

These walls are everywhere, huge slabs of stone

The campsite is busy- mainly with rows of campervans, we hope that the ferry tomorrow will have space for us and the bikes- it is a small foot ferry but takes people to Orkney for a coach tour around the island so is popular.

We have one approach to camping....

We have one approach to camping….

Some people have another

Some people have another



View more posts from this author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *