Day 109 – Mey to John o’Groats – 7.67 miles

Monday 9th May 2016 – 1203.21 miles.

We didn’t have far to go today so we had an extra half hour and got up at 6am.

It was a strange feeling this morning packing our rucksacks and putting our tent away for the last time – at least for this trip anyway.

We left Mey just after 7am walking along the road towards our final destination on this walk – John o’Groats. A beautiful morning that promised to be a scorcher.

Above us at the top of a group of trees we were greeted by a cacophony of rooks in their rookery.
We looked back and could just see the Castle of Mey nestled in the trees and behind it, the most northerly point in the UK mainland, Dunnet Head.

A little further on we had a beautiful view of the Caithness coastline towards Duncansby Head. The golden yellow gorse blossoms against the blue sky was stunning.
Chris came by to say good morning – he was just going down to watch the ferry coming in from Orkney.

We met up with him a little later at a viewpoint where we took our 1200 mile selfie.

Can’t believe we’ve walked so far. We were chatting to Chris when we heard a car horn beeping. The car pulled in and it was Doug and Bev who we’d met earlier on our walk along the Great Glen Way. Those of you who have been following our blog might remember that they have been walking LEJOG in sections and they finished yesterday. They were on their way to take the ferry across to the Orkneys for a few days. Well done both of you and hope your trip is a good one.
We arranged to meet up with Chris later and continued on. Easy walking today as it was mostly level and not much traffic.

We walked by Canisbay Kirk. Although there had been a place of worship here since 6AD the present church dates from the 17th century. The Queen Mum regularly attended church when she was at the Castle and the tower was used as a beacon for sailors on the treacherous Pentland Firth.

Just a few miles more and we found ourselves walking past an old mill then along the seemingly endless straight road into John o’Groats. Chris was waiting for us and we stopped for a brief rest before turning left and taking our last steps towards the end of the road which marked the end of our epic journey.

We had our photo taken by the, now famous, signpost. Sadly the one that you could have customised (like we did at Land’s End) is no longer there. So, although it says that Land’s End is 874 miles away, believe me when I say that we have walked every inch of 1203.21 miles.
As we were having our photo taken a young woman, her name is Courtney, came out of Natural Retreats The Storehouse to give us a medal and certificate each and asked us in to sign the book and give them our details.

What a lovely surprise. Apparently they are in the process of setting up a website and need info about all the different journeys that people have had.

We went in and enjoyed a coffee and signed the book before Chris drove us back up to the hotel to check in. We took our bags to our room then, while I wrote the blog for yesterday, Dave and Chris went to Lidl in Thurso to get a few bits and pieces. So nice to sit with my feet up and relax. Needless to say we didn’t do anything much for the rest of the day – after all, we’d had enough excitement for one day!!

35 thoughts on “Day 109 – Mey to John o’Groats – 7.67 miles

  1. Well done both of you! I’m printing out your final pages to take for the walkers at Westport Lake (Stoke on Trent) to read. We’ve been keeping up with your progress on and off since we met you and I just checked in this morning to see whether you’d arrived yet, to find that you got there yesterday. How lucky, and well deserved, that you got such beautiful weather at the end of your trip. All the best.

  2. Congratulations you’ve done it!
    How much weight have you lost?
    Lovely to have met you both
    Elizabeth (in Lanark Tesco)

  3. Well dear friends, we are worn out having religiously read your blog each day. Goodness knows how you are feeling. Many, many congratulations on having achieved your goal and in doing so raised a large amount for MacMillan. You two are truly an inspiration to us ‘Older Folk’, if you don’t mind me saying. We were looking forward to seeing you for a few days on your way back home but understand that now you have other arrangements. It will lovely for your to see your children and grandchildren. What’s next? The length of France? Well done! Peter and Annie. xx

  4. Congratulations, both of you are truly inspirational. My wife a I have always looked forward to reading your blog since I cycled past you on the way to St Newlyn East, Cornwall. We are campers and are amazed at how you have camped all winter. Good Luck for the next adventure, how will we know what you’re up to next as we are keen to read all about it.

  5. Congratulations on completing your epic adventure. Inspirational stuff. I wonder if it will be a challenge getting back to normality when you get home? Two things to look forward to – the lawn will be desperate for a mow and you will have nearly 4 months of post to open.

    What a fantastic achievement. Well done to you both.

  6. Well done from Chris and Ian Lancaster canal (tewitfield).
    We have just arrived in bilbao to walk the camino del norte but only 16 days!!!

  7. Wonderful, congratulations to you both and it has been great to keep up with your blog for which much thanks. Chris Nb Bosley.

  8. Congratulations to you both – what an achievement! Been following your blog since we met early in the morning near the end of Great Western Canal in the middle of February. I shall miss reading the daily updates!


  9. Well done Dave and Dot,It doesn’t seem long since we met on the canal banks at Carnforth. We have followed your blog since and it’s amazing how quickly you get the miles in.Good luck in whatever you do next.

  10. Well done to the both of you an inspiration. The question is what is going to be your next venture? This one will take some topping.

  11. Well done Dave & Dot!
    Thanks to your daily blogs I feel like I’ve been with you every step of the way.
    I particularly enjoyed the tales from Scotland.
    Hope to see you soon.

  12. Congratulations and much respect from John and Andrew we met you on the WHW just out of Milngavie. Also a lovely couple. Take care and hope your next foray is as good as this.
    John n Andy

  13. Congratulations Dave and Dot! I’ve really enjoyed following your blog, and will miss it now that you’ve finished. I hope you enjoy the memories as much as the walk itself. Bravo!

    1. Thanks Mark, we really appreciate that. We loved doing the walk and have so many memories. Met every day lovely and kind people. Thanks again, Dave and Dot.

  14. Congratulations on your epic hike. It will be very odd getting back to ordinary life after such a long time. Enjoy relaxing and the sunshine and have a great summer. Janet x

  15. Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed reading your blog and following your journey. Came across your trip when Laura, ranger at SWT Falls of Clyde, mentioned on her blog that she had been speaking to you. I went back and followed your journey from Cornwall. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your walk and have marvelled at your fortitude as you have carried on regardless of the sometimes shocking weather. You have met some lovely people and impressed everyone. I notice daffodils in bloom at Mey, you really have walked with Spring. Well done both of you and I hope you have lovely memories of your “walk”.

  16. Congratulations! I just found your blog site, thanks to Ken Klug. Now I can go back and read all about your adventure and dream about returning to the UK. I’m glad to see the sign post is still there.
    Well done,
    Jack Frost, class of 2011

  17. “You really have walked with Spring”–love that comment.
    I’ve been following, and enjoying, your walk since I randomly came across your blog when you were back in Cornwall. An inspiring journey! Congratulations on completing it!! Yesterday, my daughter and I were in one of our local travel agencies, getting information on bus tours in Scotland. The agent happened to mention that her cousin had just finished a walk to JOG. It took about 3 seconds to figure out that you and Diane are cousins! Also, years ago, I taught a couple of your younger relatives, a cousin and a nephew(?). So after “getting to know you” on your blog over the past couple months, I find out that I already knew some of your relatives!
    Thanks for the great posts and pictures. Really enjoyed following along. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

    1. Hi Kathleen – it’s a small world and I am always amazed at all those little coincidences in life! So pleased that you have enjoyed reading the saga of our long walk. I hope that Diane was able to find you a good bus tour. Scotland is a beautiful country and well worth a visit – enjoy!

    1. Hi Pat. Lovely to hear from you after all this time. We remember walking into “The Red Lion” and being made very welcome. We hope all is well with you, Cheers, Dave and Dot

  18. Hi Dave and Dot, Congratulations on achieving your goal. It was so nice to meet you in Scotland and to have a chat. Let me know where I can send the photo I took of you both. Really enjoying reading your blog. Well done!

  19. Congratulations to you both, you are truly inspirational. You must feel great pride at such a personal achievment whilst also raising money for Macmillan, helping people affected by cancer – thank you bo so very much.

    Well done Dot and Dave,
    Very best wishes,

    1. Hi Emma. Kind words thank you. We have looked back through our notes and wonder when we might have met you?
      Kind regards, Dave and Dot

  20. Belated CONGRATULATIONS to you both. What an achievement!!! We admire you greatly and you have inspired us to do more walking.
    Since we met you on Day 38 way back in February, we have been reading your Blog with the wonderful photographs.
    We feel we did the walk with you and know you as friends. Good Luck for your next adventure.

    1. Hi both. Thanks very much for your lovely words. We remember that day well and talking with you at Worcester on the canal. Amazing to think it’s possible to walk from Worcester to just south of Kendal. Good luck on your future walks. Thanks again, Dave and Dot.

  21. Hi Dave and Dot,
    Congratulations on your achievement! I have enjoyed reading through your blog and following your adventure after the fact! My husband and I are aiming to do the walk next year so I found your journey very inspiring!

    1. Hi both. Thanks for your kind words. We would definitely recommend you do it. If you need any advice send us an email and we will help if we can. Cheers, Dave and Dot.

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