Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Bettered by Bettyhill

Today we took half a day off. So close to our destination yet still so far. This morning’s journey ended in Bettyhill at lunchtime, just a few kilometres further on from our startpoint, Tongue. We hadn’t intended to rest here, but the wind and rain and relentless hills were just too much. Even the bed in the luxury Youth Hostel last night hadn’t renewed our energy.

Viewpoint, Bettyhill (Weather permitting)

On the phone to my mother I had tried and failed to explain why we were doing this. “Why John O Groats? You’ve got to the top, why not just go home?” she pushed me. Even the kids are curious about why we can’t let it go. “If that’s the end and there’s nothing out there except the North Pole then it must be John O Groats now Mummy,” said Cameron this morning as I made him dismount and walk, something I haven’t done since Devon and Cornwall. But the simple truth is we now have to get there out of sheer bloodymindedness. If I have to crawl there, in the rain, dragging the buggy behind me, powered only by a winegum I will, and I’m pretty sure Stuart feels the same. After seven weeks, and nearly two thousand kilometres, we’re not about to be beaten back by a bit of Scottish weather.

“It’s not going to be like the Kinross experience is it Mum?” asks Matthew as we peel off our sodden coats, leaving a puddle of water in the bar. The ride out of Edinburgh has become labelled the Kinross experience and everything else is being compared to it. Perhaps everything always will.

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