LeJog Blog Day 11: Dornoch to John O’Groats
Sunday 10 June 2012
Six of us were in the Hilton Lodge B & B just outside Dornoch. We cycled the 5 miles to Strath View, it seemed a long way. The night before it had seemed without end! The terrain along the A9 was undulating and until the morning break at the harbour at Helmdale we stayed together as a group. There followed two steep hills followed by more undulations where it seemed impossible to free-wheel and this separated us into several groups. All of us passed the lunch stop at Cairn of Gets just off the main road, three of us were not so far away and we turned back. The others carried on to Wick and had coffee and cake at a bookshop in the town.
Once we had moved on together, the continuous undulations seemed relentless. Finally, we happened upon police and lots of traffic and were told that the Olympic flame was due at 17.30.
We passed some surprised Scottish dancers and pipers, and the Olympic flame organisers were cleared from the John O’Groats sign post area so we could have our picture taken. The official Olympic photographer snapped away missing Fran who was organising the signage for us. Afterwards we gathered around the support van for our celebratory bubbly and to listen to the pipers. An hour earlier and there would have been no welcoming party, 30 minutes earlier and we would not have been able to have had our photo taken, the circumstances of the day were just right!
It was a 12 mile ride to the Northern Sands hotel at Dunnet. We all passed up the 11 mile round trip to Dunnet Head, the most northerly point, so that we could get to the hotel in time to break up our bikes and pack them into the van. I don’t know how we do it, but it was again a rush to be able to make dinner in time at 8 pm! More bubbly and thanks, how could I have done it without the help of everyone, cyclists and support.