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Day S1 - John o' Groats to Lower ReissHeadwind in Highland Day S2
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North of England
English West Country
Friday, Feb 8, 2008
Time of departure: 8.15 am
Time of arrival: 2.00 pm
Place departed: John o' Groats, Highland
Place arrived: Lower Reiss, Highland
Cum miles: 13.7
Percent complete: 1.4
Wellington Guest House, Wick ****
Cost for bed and breakfast: £30 ($60)
| Overview of both hikes
What others say
|Left: The JOG sign has no "arms" when the official photographer isn't there
Right: A fierce wind impeded first-day progress
The first day of the hike was brutal, and the only consolation was that things could have been worse.
I set out from JOG at sunup, 8.15 am. Just a few minutes earlier, the clouds had turned a wonderful orange when splashed beneath by sun rays from beyond the horizon.
It wasn't too cold, and it was mostly dry - but headwinds battered me all day. In the morning, they were 20 to 40 mph; from noon more like 60 mph. [Later I learned that it had gusted to 79 mph.] At times steady, at times blustery, it was often hard to walk, even when leaning forward. In the afternoon, my steps were as short as 18 inches - and often they were merely balancing efforts to the left or right.
I was aiming for Wick, about 18 miles. But as I toiled against the headwind, feeling increasingly wacked, I realized that I'd done enough for a first day. So, at Lower Reiss, after about 14 miles, I hitched a four-mile ride into Wick, where I had booked at the Wellington Guest House, a place I knew from the past. Of course, I first marked my Lower Reiss stopping point on my map (58deg 29.345min N, 3deg 8.638min W).
I will return there tomorrow, depending on the weather, and arrive in Wick the way a hiker should.
|© 2007 and 2008 Daryl May Day S2|