Saturday, 29 May 2010

Final Day Sat 15th May Betty Hill to John O’Groats 62 miles

Breakfast was a bit slow because the hotel seemed to want to take individual breakfast orders. I set off with The Famous 5 and stopped for a photo at Brawl. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't pass Twatt, of which there was a photo in last night's hotel - but it's on Orkney it seems. The scenery was nice and we had views of the high cliffs of Orkney. Then we passed through some more gentle countryside near the Dounray nuclear power station, which is being decomissioned.
I was keen to buy some gifts for Jo, Andy and Kenny and Steve Huckle had started a collection. I thought it would be good to buy a momento or give them a bottle of something, rather than cash. As we'd be in Inverness quite late we called to the shops at Thurso and after dashing into several tacky shops I eventually found a silk scarf and earing set in turquoise that I thought would suit Jo, and got a massive card I hid up my jumper. We gave Andy and Kenny bottles of whisky and Tam O'Shanters. We then pressed on and with a strong headwind and hail for the last 3 miles made it to the pub where everyone else was waiting. We all cycled to the finish together and went a few times around the roundabout before several photo opportunities. We then waited for the coach in the cafe then travelled to Inverness which took about 2 or 3 hours. The hotel in Inverness was good, full of Japanese, and I shared a room with Mike again. After a drink in the bar we went to a Chinese restaurant where they kept bringing out starters for about an hour before the main course. We ended the meal with the issue of certificates and speeches from the Discover Adventure team Jo, Kenny and Andy. I then presented their presents and said some heartfelt words of thanks to the Discover Adventure team who did an excellent job of looking after us, keeping up morale and sorting out any problems. I have already recommended DA to others and may well be back for more myself!
Alice's American fiance Scott was at the end and he'd stayed in Inverness the previous night. Rather than just sit in the hotel some of us were keen to party, so we went on to the Hootenany Bar where there was a ceilidh band. I danced a jig and reel with Alice and random young people on the dance floor, including 2 girls who knew all the right moves. It was a good night and we got to sleep before the final leg of the journey, that involved train trips, our flights being cancelled because of volcanic ash! I got home about 10.30pm the next day, whilst Mike had to take the overnight sleeper from London to Penzance.

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