I am opening a little window into my John O’Groats to Lands End (JOGLE) adventure.

These blogs are a combination of photo’s, lessons from the road and the ‘relive’ video that shows my daily journey through the UK. It is not the full story, that is something for a longer conversation or may be a book!

I hope you enjoy your peak into the days of an End to Ender.

Day Four – JOGLE

It is just past 5am and I am wide awake.

I knew I was in for a great nights sleep when I noticed I was sharing the hostel with a group of 20 something young men all preening themselves for a night on the town in Banavie!  The smell of Lynx Africa lingering in the hallway.

Still they tried to be quiet, in their own drunk way.

After several disruptions throughout the night I finally succumbed to the dawn chorus twittering its merry tune outside the dormitory window. Enough was enough time to get up and get my kit on.  Quietly, so as not to wake my room mate I opened the door and took all my belongings out into the large expanse of landing. I pulled on my shorts and jersey that lay drying on the benches outside the room. I decided that I would use this space to stretch out for my morning Yoga routine.

So there I am, in warrior pose, in the hallway of the youth hostel, when one of the young men took that opportunity to pop out to the bathroom.  I am not sure who was more shocked…. he really needed to be wearing more clothes!

With the giggles subsiding I gathered my belongings and went down to find breakfast. I surprised another young chap asleep on the sofa this one fully dressed thank goodness.  It was like waking up at a house party that you hadn’t been invited to.

So an eventful night followed an eventful day. A little weary I set off for Inveraray.

  • Miles : 77
  • Meters Climbed : 1,396
  • Average Speed : 10.8

Day Four #LessonsfromtheRoad

It’s the people you meet and the stories they tell that enrich your life.

Day Four – Relive the event

Day Four in Photo’s

It had been an eventful morning at the youth hostel and I hoped for some peace and quiet out on the road. Hope needed a little TLC before we set off and so I cleaned the chain as best I could and adjusted the brakes. I was ready to hit the road by 7:30.  I took a route over the bridge passing the series of locks I had seen the night before and then I took a wrong turn down the side of the river towards Fort William – there was suppsed to be a bridge to cross but it had clearly been demolished a long time ago. Yet it was a quiet cool morning and as I looked toward the Ben Nevis mountain range I counted my blessings.

After all what a view to wake up too.

There was an eerie quiet as I passed through Fort William. The cycle path along the lake was clean and smooth and I followed that as far as it would take me. Stopping at a cafe at Corran for second breakfast. A dull day beckoned, rain threatened and clouds rolled ominously overhead. The weather though did not dampen my spirit, indeed I did not feel the same darkness within today as I had yesterday. I focused on staying positive and worked on finding the energy to carry me to my destination.


As I reach the end of the loch and crossed the imposing iron structure my garmin beeped at me to say I needed to take a right turn. However no right turn existed!  There was only straight on. Below the bridge I spied a road that would take me right, however the only way to get to it was down a steep set of stone steps.

As I  pulled out my phone to check the route I realised it was dead.

I looked at the blank screen, I’d used it not 3 minutes before to take a picture of the bridge – the one above – it couldn’t have died. It’s moments like these you need to take a deep breath and calm your racing thoughts.

There was no other way around it, I would have to carry my bike down the steps and see if there was anything around the corner. As I descend the 50 or so steps I found a hotel and golf complex, hiding from view – phew!.  Now slightly damp and sweating from my exertion I entered the lobby of the hotel to politely ask if I could use a plug socket to reboot my phone.  TOTO – Turn of Turn on – who said I didn’t learn anything working for IBM!


Phone thankfully working I was back on the road, but not for long. Around the next bend I heard that ‘phsst’ sound. The one all cyclists dread. My back tyre had a puncture… Perhaps the off-road adventures yesterday were starting to take their toll on Hope.

Now the rain had really started to come down and I struggled in the wet with a very dirty back wheel. One of the patrons of the golf club approached me from the drive. I was nervous as I looked down at myself – filthy, wet in short a complete state. Fearing a telling off for sullying his entrance with my blacked face and hands and all manor of kit strewn across the floor – I braced myself. Yet as he came closer he simply smiled and offered me the use of the club facilities to clean up. I was very grateful.


Back on the road again I followed the loch and the signs of the NCN 78. It wasn’t long and I started to feel hungry. I had food with me, flapjacks, bananas and nuts, but I craved real food. I spied a pub high on the main road and I sought a way from the cycle route up to it.  Carrying Hope over a few grassy lumps and tracks.  I reached the building and spoke to the chef hoping for table for one. Unfortunately they were not yet open. I am half an hour too early. They took pity on me though and allowed me the use of the facilities! The building I stood in was over 400 years old and the dining room was a simple barn space. High walls and small windows and the smell of a wood burning in the fire. I was disappointed not to be sitting here eating – but I couldn’t wait – there would be other places further along the road.

Indeed 3 miles further on the NCN 78 I approached a beautiful restaurant on the lake shore. The owner settled me at a table by the window. I proceeded to charge my phone and Garmin as well as distributing my damp gloves, hat and coat on spare chairs around me.  He even brought over a local map and we discussed the route I was taking to Connel. Local knowledge once again helped me to make a few decisions.


The view changes so much through the day and even in the last couple of hours from Fort William. Leaving the brown and orange landscape of the highlands and mountains to the lush green and blue of the woods. It feels fresh here too. The rain gives the trails that clean new earth smell. I loved it.

Although I had a change of scene the roads were still undulating and relentless. The next 20 miles or so felt tough. I took absolutely no photos whatsoever during this afternoon ride – I was amazed at this when I look back. As I read through my journal though I am reminded of how I dug in and found that inner strength to carry on. I stopped at a cafe in Taynuilt, just before another rain storm. I ordered a cream tea at the ‘Robin’s Nest Cafe’ a tiny place with the most amazing homemade cinnamon and fruit scones. As I enjoyed the food I remember closing my eyes in quiet contemplation. Allowing myself a few moments of peace before I set out once again. It was in these moments of rest that I found the strength to keep moving on.

The roads are much busier today, but the patience of drivers is noted. There are no close passes or frustrated beeps. I was extremely happy when I set eyes on the sign ’15 miles to Inveraray’ and it was only 5:30 – so I had managed to make considerable ground considering the route I had to take.  I take the turning toward my destination and promptly found a lay-by to sit and eat my rice pudding and some almonds.  There was still a mountain to ascend.  In fact I would be climbing for about 4 miles.

This stretch of road is stunning. Very few vehicles pass me and all I can hear are the bleating of sheep and lambs. I sit and let my legs spin. Knowing that after the climb I will be rewarded with 4 miles of down hill – GRIN.



The B&B is down a little side street, juggling bike, instructions and key codes I managed to squeeze into the cottage.  The hallway was small and  just about enough room for my bike to sit against the wall but nothing to lock it too. This isn’t what I expected but can find no other place to store it. Once in the apartment I read the note left by my landlady – who is not actually going to be there tonight, but there are other guests….. curious.  I meet Ian and Lorraine who find the lack of host equally bemusing – but it is clean, warm and my fellow guests are a wonderful distraction from the odd circumstances.

Ian and Lorraine are off on their adventures too – travelling from Lands End to John O’Groats in their old MG – pictured below.  They are seasoned adventurers. I sit happily listening to their stories from around the world over a cup of tea.  I am tired, hungry and need a shower but the lure of a good adventure story keeps me seated.

Eventually it is time for them to leave for their diner date – a posh restaurant they have managed to book. For me I will simply grab whatever delights the town has to offer.  It turns out that would be a take away pizza and strawberries and cream from the local co-op eaten in bed whilst watching Harry Potter.  Oh the life of an adventurer.

If you want to check out their adventures in the MG then head over to their website – mcleavingmg

Day four complete and I am feeling the rhythm of my days on the road and I am happy.

Work with Nicky and live your adventure

As a bravery coach I support my clients to get curious about living a life full of adventure and find the courage to step out of their comfort zone. We work in partnership – I listen, reflect and empower my clients to create action from inaction and encourage them to follow their dreams and ideas through to conclusion.

Could this be the moment you stopped wishing and started doing?

Nicky completed JOGLE in May 2017 raising money and awareness for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court. To find out why Nicky chose this charity you can follow this link.

To sponsor Nicky you can head to JustGiving and pledge your donation.

Visit Other JOGLE Journals

Day 1 :  Day 2 : Day 3 : Day 4 : Day 5 : Day 6 : Day 7 : Day 8 : Day 9 : Day 10 : Day 11 : Day 12 : Day 13