23/07/11 It’s the end of the world as we know it…

Keiss is a village roughly halfway between Wick and John o’ Groats. That was where I lay my weary head after a fairly uneventful walk.

After belting out the miles with lou these past few days, I decided that an early night would keep me healthy, something or other and maybe even wise.

I think it’s safe to say that it was here I encountered my windiest wind so far. Don’t worry, fair reader, the tent wasn’t likely to desert me in the night.

When I took the pegs out in the morning, well that was another matter. I could almost hear the curtains twitch as the locals bathed in the entertainment that was me trying to put my portable home back in it’s bag.

I’m sure there were times when it looked like I was being devoured by a giant amoeba – still others when it appeared that I’d pinned it down and was trying to mate with it.

“Did ye sleep ok in yer tent last night?” the woman behind the counter of the local shop could conceal it no more – she just openly laughed at me.
I can rise above all that safe in the knowledge that in a few months we’ll hear the patter of baby wigwams…

John o’ Groats or JOG to those in the know, has a strange ambience. It’s full of people at the point of collapse as they finish their huge journey from Lands End (or LE for people who clearly have no idea what they’re talking about) or folk all sprightly and chipper to the point of mania as they are about to embark on the reverse of that journey.

I, being neither, was still happy to receive applause from some random folk as I staggered over the finishing line.

JOG is walk a mile central. Nearly everyone you meet is walking or cycling some huge distance for charity – usually one that reflects the maladies of their nearest and dearest.

One chap, for example, is cycling to the four corners of the uk (pedants need not apply) – these being JOG, Cape Wrath, Dover and Lands End to raise money for bowel cancer and Downs Syndrome charities. He only has Lands End to go – I understand it’s all downhill.

That may not be true.

It feels kind of big that I’ve – we’ve reached this point. I have now officially turned left and am going west.

That’s not before I heard that JOG is neither the most northerly or the most north easterly point of the UK mainland.
Cue Eastenders end music.

And I think the wigwams may not be my children….

Walk a mile


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