Friday, 27 June 2014

Lejog 2014 - the awards

As we hurtle back to our homes at a speed that seems quite alien to us, it is time for the Academy of Mid Life Cyclists to announce their winners. Naturally such an event is a black tie event, so rest assured as I am mistyping on the tablet I am adorning a dinner jacket, bow tie and snazzy shoes combo.

On behalf of the academy, here are the winners

King of the hills - Tom
Spotter of the most fish in a loch - Tom
Best rendition of singing on the bike - Ian
King of the comfort - Neil
Ability to eat the most on tour - Ian
Best B&B breakfast - Dumfries
best B&B shower experience - Bristol
Best B&B room - Ardrossan
Best B&B overall - Tiverton
Best day - day 11 drumnadrochit to altnahara
Best random act of kindness - Alison the physio
Best evening meal - fiddlers rest Drumnadrochit
Best serving of Nachos - steakhouse in Oban
Best local beer- Ludlow Gold
Best picnic spot - lock gates on Loch Ascraig

Day 12 Altnahara to John O'Groats

The last day.

You would think that the last day would be the easiest. Adrenaline carrying you through the hills.

We set off slowly with some weary legs, but fuelled by yesterday's random act of kindness of home made chocolate flapjack. First 20 miles seemed quite tough, little inclines but a strong north easterly wind seemed to be biting into us. Progress was slow.

After an age we reached the "main" road just outside bettyhill. We heard at breakfast that it was downhill all the way to bettyhill - which it wasn't!! Upon asking what was it like after, our source just laughed. More on the hills later.

The cove around bettyhill is fabulous. gorgeous, golden sands with some dramatic cliffs, along all of the top of Scotland we were greeted with such views along the pentland firth.

Then there were hills. Not overly high, jiust loads of them. Reminding us of Cornwall with the constant up and down of them. To combat them it was a case of adding up the number of climbs that needed to be done and adopting the "one less" philosophy. It got us to Thurso.

Before thurso we felt we needed to recharge our batteries, what better place than Dounreay, home of the nuclear power plant. Or to be correct the village of Reay.

So with the hills behind us and indeed some the most dense sheep I have ever encountered we navigated through this so with its grid street system not unlike New York. The similarities end there.

Thurso indeed brought us some sunshine, first of the day and only 20 miles to go.

Fatigue was settling in, and we had run out of flapjack. The wind that had been in our face for the last 55 miles was ever strong, but the end was in sight.

Indeed John oGroats happened upon us sooner than we thought. Purely for the reason its not right at the end, but who were we with over900miles in the saddle to start getting picky now.

We rounded the last corner and took the last downhill as we had started. Together.

John o groats gets a bit of a beating as having nothing there, or run down. I found it to be as it should. It wasn't as over commercialised as lands end ( no 4d cinema or Brian Blessad voice over). the hotel stands refurbishes and with eco lodges in the grounds offering stunning views over to Orkney. The place ain't that bad.

So we trundled up to one of the 2 famous posts ( the free one - which I like to think as the original one) to greet us were Sam and Anna, our heroines from Day 10, and some eager photographers.

So we'd finished. We were being congratulated, we had done something epic. True it felt epic, and an achievement. Although none of it would have been possible were it for the support of our partners, Stevie, Anna and Sam. True stars.

So is this the end? Or the beginning?

Day 12 stats

Day 12 miles - 75
Total miles - 962
Number of hills pushed up today - 0
Number of days a week the shop in Bettyhill is open - 8

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Day 11 Drumnadrochit to Altnahara

A long lie.

Breakfast not till 8, so we reaped a long lie. After such a scurry round the village for supplies then a proper repair to the gearing system saw us set off for 10. Oh no was this going to be another late night?

Heading out of Drumnadrochit and past Nessieland (with no sign of Ted Danson). We encountered the biggest hill of the trip. A definite walker, we were even offered some horses to help get us out.

So definitely warmed up after some 2 miles of that, and ready to crack on towards Beauly with some great downhills notching the speed up to 38 mph.

Weather conditions were dry but noticeably much colder. Stippled in Dingwall for the obligatory warmer upper of the ride of rolls and square sausage. Delicious.

Route carried on with the scenery really picking up, invershin had some lovely riding around the shin falls, and into Lairg, whereupon the sun was brilliant.

The best leg of the trip was next with Lairg to Altnahara. A gentle incline for 15 miles on some real smooth roads, with clear views across the glen and the mountains around, lovely cycling going through that.

Arriving at our accommodation in good time and staying at the functional lejog cabin, where we fluttered our eyebrows and got the bar meal time extended, we are such tarts.

Good day today. No mechanical problems. No physical problems. We were buoyed on by the news that we have bow reached over 4000 in donations which is amazing.

Day 11 facts
Miles today - 82
Total miles - 887
Number of hills pushed up - 1
Number of shops selling square sausage in Dingwall -1
Day that tattie scones get delivered in Dingwall - Friday

Day 10 Oban to Drumnadrochit

Woke up and looked out of the window to determine the weather, well what else can you do when you are on a budget staying in a youth hostel?

It was chucxkinf it down. Set the expectation for the day really.

So we set off after the usual morning rummaging and packing, which included stripping our own beds and clearing our own plates and separating waste, cutlery and crockery. But it wasn't all bad.

So we set off. 2.9 miles in, first problem. Another broken spoke. We could resolve this as it was "on the right side". Tom our handy mechanic was on hand to help. Whilst performing repair we encountered another set of end2enders. They looked far less bedraggled and stressed than we did. Got chatting and today was day 11. We were made up as today was our day 10. Finally someone doing it slower than us. Nice bunch we wished them well.

So for the first 35 miles there was rain, and low clouds, but TT he views were still spectacular. The lochs we passed were like dark glass, the mountains were moodily set in their cloudy shroud.

We made excellent progress to fort William, although the last 10 miles was a little hairy. Fort William itself was milking the tourist thing real well, with many a gaping visitor to be seen. Having refueled we followed the great glen way. Starting at neptune's staircase and following the Caledonian canal presented yet more fabulous views. The surface was a tad bumpy, but passable. The road veered off and tarmac replaced canal path, once again more splendid views and fantastic houses on the shoreline. With the sun in full pelt, all was well.

Until a niggling problem in the gears was encountered. These bikes have taken quite a pounding, this time gear cable was the fault, with a replacement installed. However thus was hampered by the outer casting which had perishes. Alas we hadn't carried one of these. A fix was attempts, yet the time taken was excessive.

This resulted in going from 8 gears to 4, then over the course of the last 14 miles down to 1.5. Some tlc required there tomorrow.

So we arrived well, and late, shattered and hungry. Some repairs required tomorrow before we set off.

Day 10 stats

Day 10 miles 95
Total mileage 805
Random acts of kindness 1
Hills pushed up 1
Mechanical challenges 2

Monday, 23 June 2014

Day 9 Ardrossan to Oban

Early start today. Tom managed to do the exercise routine, really a beauty to be hold.

Out the door for 6.15 with the smell of burning house in the air. I would like to point out that the building was empty, with no reported injuries, I'm not that heartless that I'd mock a series house fire.

Anyhow to the ferry. We enjoyed the Brodick 7.00 ferry and headed straight for the breakfast. After an irn bru and 2 square sausage sandwiches. The world seemed a better place. Nice wee ferry the ardrossan to brodick ferry.

When we got to Brodick it was shut, it reminded me of the last time I was in Brodick, height of summer. Saturday afternoon, shut.

The truth is you shouldn't venture to Arran if its for anything that you want to be open, but rather embrace the lovely countryside and views across the waters. Most amazing was spotting 2 dear. Not in the distance but barely a few metres away and not phased by our presence,

We faired well of our traversal to Lochranza in time for our next ferry to Clanaig.

Back on the mainland we kept to the main roads, the A82 and A816. Good roads, reasonably quiet.

2nd breakfast was held in Target before a lovely 8 mile stretch up to lochgilphead.

For the first time there was some rain, yes it was the fine rain that soaks right through.

Not much going on our journey today, no dead badgers like there was outside Dumfries.

And so that was the story of the day, main roads, light drizzle and lovely scenery, before arriving into the pretty town of Oban

After we freshened up we had a lovely act of kindness in the form if a bag of medicine, supplies, supports and other such medicinal aids

Day 9 facts

Day 9 mileage 77 (not including ferry mileage)
Total mileage 714
Random act of kindness 1
Number of hills pushed up 0
Number of highland coos spotted 3

Day 8 dumfries to ardrossan

After being buoyed by the arrival of the Findlay girls, the team felt ready for the off. Breakfast was a doozy, with the best tasting porridge yet.

Sunday in Dumfries was a sombre experience. We scoured looking for an open shop to get us through the first 40 miles. Should point out the night before was parade day and hence why the place was so quiet.

Weather was spot on and the countryside over those 40 miles was pretty spectacular. Hill after hill was reached with the general feeling that they were gentler than we had encountered. Got to a useful public convenience in the middle of nowhere to receive a call that a professional physio had been located and was willing to come out and tend to Tom's ailments.

Much jibes were voiced about the difference between a professional physio and a professional masusse. Indeed another 40 miles of jibes. Nonetheless Tom was primed to get 7 shades knocked out of him to try and relieve some of the immense pain he had been through for the last 200 miles.

Got through the hills and found ourselves on Britain's worst road A713 through to Ayr. A right boneshaker through dalmellington and into Patna.

It was indeed at Patna that we saw today's first random act of kindness. When the boy Graham and the boy Glen appeared to egg us on with hugs, love and words of encouragement,. The lads were indeed impressed with our feat and really did struggle to comprehend that we'd not taken the train at any point. Great to see the lads.

After our wee chat we moved on with Tom having a bit of a headstart. We passed through alloway, past rabbie's cottage (he wasn't in), through Ayr, Prestwick, into Troon and past the old school. Into Irvine, where this young blogger hailed from, before meeting a most remarkable old boy outside Kilwinning. Kilwinning isn't known for remarkable old vboys so you'll see why this if particular interest. The gentleman was cycling through after some 2700 km on the bike over 43 days. We talked for some time before wishing him well and feeling our achievements were small in comparison.

We reached tonights accommodation in good fettle and only 45 minutes left for tea.

Our final random act of kindness came from a visit from Shug, who bought us a beer and raised our spirits.

Before beddy byes we were entertained by the 50 inch tele, Ian attempting tom's exercises and a house fire further down the road.

Day 8 facts

Day 8 mileage 80
Total mileage 637
Random acts of kindness 2
Number of hills pushed today 0
Number of dwellings on fire 1

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Day 7 Kendall to Dumfries

A big day today. Our highest climb, and monumentally we would reach Scotland.

Breakfast was scoffed, with another kind donation from the b&b which showed promise of another day of random acts of kindness.

Set off well. If a little late. Truth be told, each day we are a little later each time.

A couple of miles out of Kendal, in the direction of Shap, before another mechanical problem, which set our rider back to kendal for repairs. As the others both set on the climb over Shap fell. Some blisteringly stunning scenery as we climbed to the summit and a nice downhill section pretty much through into Shap.

The A6 was quiet enough for us to make decision to keep on this to Penrith where we stopped for lunch and our friend with mechanical problems caught. Reunited we joined the C2C route and encountered our first puncture of the trip, a speedy repair was made and ready to go., the route followed the rather busy C2c route encounting many coast2coasters as we headed for Carlisle.

Reaching Carlisle we detected our proximity to the border and pushed on to Gretna. Surreal bit of cycling alongside the A74, by Metal Bridge, before finally arriving into Gretna.

The route undulated towards Annan where we were met by the Findlay girls and a rendition of Spandau Ballets Gold. Great to see them and really boosted our spirits.

We were helped with some of our luggage as we looked to rebalance our weight before heading to Dumfries. Again the direct route.

Day 7 facts

Day 7 mileage 85
Total mileage
Random acts of kindness 3
Number of hills pushed up 0
Number of people Tom saw wearing a kilt 1

Day 6 Northwich to Kendal

Today was the day of random acts of kindness. More on that later.

Weather again was fabulous, and a busy section into Warrington along the A49, before stopping for supplies. Navigating through Warrington into Newton-le-willows, where we were greeted by Lucy. Complete with supplies, hugs and words of inspiration. Really great to have a friendly face to cheer us along.

Up through into haydock and joined the A 6 which we would follow for the next few days and our king not the mountains developed a painful leg, niggles earlier in the day had multiplied to the point of actual pain. So a stop for lunch in Euxton delivered some more magic cream and a 20 pound donation from the pharmacist. Very generous.

Shortly after we encountered some more mechanical problems that presented yet another act of kindness. We located the reknown wheel builders of Tarty Bikes who fixed our ailment, set us on our way whilst refusing any form of payment.

With some miles to make up. The planned route was scrubbed instead for the direct route, which meant for a hairy few miles through Preston city centre into the outskirts, made up some good time but tired out the pedallers.

Good progress saw us make it to Lancaster reaching the half way point and circumnavigate the tricky one way system. Enjoyed some magnificent scenery north of Lancashire into Cumbria, then caught some hills before arriving Kendal. B&b was lovely with the surprise that Karl and Sue had come over to relieve of us some of our unnecessary kit. A final act of kindness

Day 6 facts

Day 6 mileage 86.5
Total mileage 472
Number of hills pushed up 0
Random acts of kindness 4

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Day 5 Ludlow to Northwich ( well Acton Bridge)

We awoke to blazing sunshine and soaring temperatures today. Setting up the bikes was an effort in itself. Fortunately after setting off cloud cover set in. Meaning a rather cooler 30 miles. Nice change.

With not many towns on our route today we were loaded up with provisions and water.

Passed through some pleasant green Shropshire countryside as we crawled north. And was making good time until 50 miles

When cycling its common to see the odd Closed Road sign. Today we saw another and did the same as we did with the previous. Ignored,

Alas after 5 miles we found a jobsworth man in a hiviz vest, telling us there was no way through. Rather than a potential 10 mile detour we decided to go into the field, then another. After some rambling we found a gap in the fence, and a road roller driver sympathetic to our plight waved us through.

Today also came with our first bike maintenance. They've all been running well in the past days. Noticed a bit of a wobble in one of the back wheels, turned out a loose spoke and a broken nipple. Nothing major. Duck tape to rescue and soldiered on.

Got to Nantwich and went past a bike shop where the guy said he could fix, would take 3o mins, so we had an impromptu break.

All resolved and bikes running well. Reached our accommodation, and the lovely owners dropped us off at the pub and picked us up. Priceless.

Day 5 stats

Day 5 miles 84
Total miles 385.5
Number of hills pushed up today 2
Number of fields carried bikes through 2

Day 4 bristol to Ludlow

We left Bristol with full bellies and clear skies. Amazing route out under the Clifton suspension bridge, fortunately we didn't need to climb to go over it. Lovely ride through and then over the jaw dropping Severn bridge.

Into Wales, although only briefly as we climbed out of chepstow and into Gloucestershire. The route followed Offa's dyke for a bit before entering the forest of dean, splendid scenery coming out of the forest.

The ride undulated through to Hereford, where surprisingly the legs felt strong.

Bit of publicity on the local BBC radio station which was slightly surreal before heading off towards Leominster and a surprisingly tough 11 miles to Ludlow, with a lovely welcome at our b&b of the night,

Day 4 stats

Day 4 miles 78 miles
Total mileage 301.5 miles
Number of hills pushed up 0
Number of Spars spotted in 15 mins we were in Wales 4

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Day 3 tiverton (just outside) to Bristol

With the hills of Devon and Mt Cornwall behind us. Today suggested an easy outing to loosen the legs. That was the plan anyway.

Not the case as there is indeed no such thing as an easy day cycling lejog. It was pleasant though. For the average speed up. Enjoyed some fantastic sections, and visited the lovely Staunton and Bristol, 2 places I'd Luke to return to.

Of particular noted was the taunton to Bridgwater canal, with some gorgeous houses ( or rather properties if you watch Kirstie and Phil). They've even ripped off the planet trail that runs between York and ricall. Although its rather confusing as there was 2 neptues, and they weren't in the right order. Later we decided that its a circular route.

Secondly was the Strawberry Trail just outside of cheddar towards Bristol. Lovely ride through there, with a first for me. Cycling through an orchard!!

Day 3 facts
Day 3 miles 73.5
Total miles 223.5
Number of hills pushed up today 0
Number of orchards cycled through 1

Monday, 16 June 2014

Day 2 bodmin to tiverton (just past it)

Epic day today. Epic miles, epic hills, epic hedges.

Yes for Cornwall sites were indeed hampered by the famous tall hedges. Mile upon mile.

Land it is today we said good bye to Cornwall and hello to Devon. Just before we passed there was a flat bed truck, and I'm not going to stereotype but the registration was P1 KEE. Oh how I laughed

Apart from the hills there was a good section along the granite way into Okehampton, skirting around Dartmoor. Some pretty views.

Weather was pretty amazing today with a break from the temperature highs of yesterday. The lovely Carol from BBC weather tells me that tomorrow is going to be hot.

Day 2 facts

Mileage today 78.5
Total mileage 149.5
Hills pushed up 3
Hills Tom's pushed up 0
Streams traversed 2

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Day 1 lands end to bodmin

Day 1 started with some fine fair at our b&b in Sennen before freewheeling to the start.

As you would expect there were quite a few others embarking today, and although you may think I am to generalise, but they were all tossers. There was team mamils that muscled in on the photograph with calls off "who's got the most expensive bike." There was the supported ride with team Canada who really should have worn a supportive bra at the end of land

So we got some photos and off we went. Mile 1.5 hit our first Holland up later still hitting them. Lovely countryside. Penzance was lovely with St Michael's mount ( although nowhere as awesome as St mont Michel). We reached Penzance which is about 10 miles in and the team mamil were having a cup of tea in their support transit van. Team Canada were coincidentally ambeling along 10miles in and still no supportive under garments.

As there is no official route we never met them again. Who knows if our paths will cross in the remaining days. Let's hope not.

So our route ambled from Penzance, hayle (where they sell in bru) redruth, Truro, and eventually Bodmin.

We now venture for food

Day1 done

Day1 mileage 71
Total mileage 71
Total number if hills pushed up 3
Pieces if Toblerone walloped before my tea 6

The day before

So here we are on the cusp of something epic.

The drive down was lovely, which has set expectations for an easy day tomorrow. We got to our accommodation in a little village which is busier than I thought. Pretty little place called Sennen.

We ventured for a little walk to the end. That is lands end. Ironically I could see some land after lands end.

Lands end was not quite what I expected. It has its own 4d cinema. Just what Cornwall needed, past the Brian blessad experience, the end to enders museum we found a lifeboat, got a little excited cause we thought we could climb over it. Alas it was securely fenced off with red and white plastic tape. No way we could get through that.

Around the corner was the second famous post at lands end. The most famous post at lands end had been removed as a Cornish entrepreneur had taken it home and returns daily. For the tune of 12 quid you can get your photo next to that. So we got our photo on the free one,

We topped off the day with a pint of Cornish lager at the lands end, where signs a plenty points d out that there was no room for evening meal. There must have been a coach party due cause there was bugger all people in the place, so we had Cornish pasty flavour crisps and mustered back.

Chippy for tea which was nice. Rumours that you can't get sauce in the south are exaggerated as fine curry sauce was sourced.

Day 0
Miles today 0
Total miles 0
Local ales sampled 2 (doombar and Cornish lager)

Friday, 13 June 2014

The day before the day before

Well. Today is packing day. I could lisdt out to the smallest of detail what I'm taking, but that would be even duller than this short brief post.

Indeed this post is But to prove that I can write whilst en route, therefore saving me the need to carry pencil and paper.

So the training is done!, the packing complete, the tires pumped up and polished the seat.

Wow rhyming!!

So nothing else to write bar looking forward to it. Not one ache in my body. That will be the last time for a good 2 weeks!!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

94 Days to go

94 days.

That's double figures.

That's like really close.

OK, blog fan(s) we have some more news for our up and coming ride. The route. The proposed route, including link to the garmin map is as follows...

Day 1 Lands End to Bodmin map
Day 2 Bodmin to Tiverton map
Day 3 Tiverton to Bristol map
Day 4 Bristol to Ludlow map
Day 5 Ludlow to Northwich map
Day 6 Northwich to Kendal map
Day 7 Kendal to Dumfries map
Day 8 Dumfries to Ardrossan map
Day 9 Ardrossan to Oban map
Day 10 Oban to Drumnadrochit map
Day 11 Drumnardochit to Altnahara map
Day 12 Altnahara to John O'Groats map

There is some "fine-tuning" going on, but that's roughly the route we are taking. How real does it become when you've got it all mapped out in front of you?

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

102 days to go...

So much can happen in such a short period of time.

Well the fundraising is starting to kick in and the response has been phenomenal. At time of writing we are sitting at £715 without gift aid.


Initially we set a target of £1007 - that is the number of miles that we are set to travel, we always knew it'd be an easy target but had no idea that we would be smashing it within 2 weeks. So we've reset the bar and set ourselves a new target. Staying with the same theme £1007, but that's each! so £3021 is the target. Which by some weird coincidence is not just 3 * £1007, but also a nice little figure

3 of us doing the ride
0 support
21, Trisomy-21 is another term of Down Syndrome relating to the 3rd copy of chromosome 21

So it's almost as if 3021 is the number that we should be raising. Spooky coincidence.

As well as fundraising, which includes our rather nifty webpage -, we've sneaked a training ride in.

Last weekend was the turn to be hosted by Sheffield. which as you may not know, Sheffield is roman for "thon hilliest of places". Weather held up, and we reached Worksop and back. Worksop (or Brugge of the north as it's not called) was pretty uninspiring however the small village of Thorpe Salvin did turn our heads as there was a telephone box, that was converted into a little library. How quaint!

Good day was had, left me wondering at which point would i start to feel a benefit from the training. 102 days to go and it's not yet.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

110 Days to go

110 days to go.

Then I realised I've not even talked about the who or the why

So who are the team?

Three of us in total, I've put together a little bio

Name - Tom Buil
Age - Younger than Ian
Nickname - elBuilio, Buildog, Thomaaaassssss
Bike - Genesis Croix De Fer, pimped to the max
Number of bikes currently owned - Millions
Interesting fact - In his youth Tom used to do freeriding stuff on a bike, that's when you jump crazy heights and crazy stuff, with no seatpost or saddles. Interestingly Tom now loves saddles and is on his 2nd Brookes saddle in 11 months.
Loves - his family, his daughter, his girlfriend, bikes, crazy heavy metal, milk bottle chews
Hates - track to Penistone, cycling offroad where there is a perfectly acceptable road beside it, getting punctures on Marathon pluses
Most overused phrase - Holy shit!

Name - Ian Whiteley
Age - Younger than Neil, Older than Tom
Nickname - Mr Whiteley, Whiteley
Bike - Whyte Charing Cross
Number of bikes currently owned - 2
Interesting fact - Ian has great capacity for alcohol, which is surprising considering his diminutive size. Ian also is quite the whizz at puncture repair, which is made even more remarkable considering he hadn't changed one up until 5 years ago
Loves - his newly wed wife, watching films, Stella Artois, the casino, Snickers
Hates - Ian has not got a hateful bone in his body, unless it involves rain and wind.
Most overused phrase - I need to use the facilities

Name - Neil Findlay
Age - Older than Tom, Older than Ian
Nickname - Finders
Bike - Genesis Day One
Number of bikes currently owned - 2
Interesting fact - In a previous life Neil has frequented with the stars, bringing room service to the likes of Jason Donovan, Kim Wilde and Dani Behr
Loves - the family, the bike, the Irn Bru
Hates - Hills
Most overused phrase - It's all about the comfort

Thursday, 20 February 2014

115 days and counting...

Various attempts at keeping a blog have indeed failed terribly. Indeed my longest record of consecutive posts seem to be 2.

Lets start again shall we.

Ok 115 days to go. We are committed. As they said in Oblivion, we are an effective team.

Training is going well with the usual commutes to work and then a big bike ride (about 50/60 miles in this crappy weather) at the weekend. When Spring ramps up this will increase. Indeed quite scarily so.

Other training, with the affectionately known Fitness Pete is going well. Going to that twice a month and looking to up that to weekly.

So today's big announcement is that the fundraising page has gone live. I've facebooked, I've linkedined, I've twittered, and now i'm blogging.

The place to be is..

Mapping wise we have a route, and that route over the 12 days look like...

Day 1 Lands End - Bodmin
Day 2 Bodmin - Tiverton
Day 3 Tiverton - Bristol
Day 4 Bristol - Ludlow
Day 5 Ludlow - Northwich
Day 6 Northwich - Kendal
Day 7 Kendal - Dumfries
Day 8 Dumfries - Ardrossan
Day 9 Ardrossan - Oban
Day 10 Oban - Drumnadrochit
Day 11 Drumnadrochit - Altnahara
Day 12 Altnahara - John O'Groats

So far we're looking at 1007 miles. Sharp intake of breath!