Thursday, 11 August 2011

Day 10 - Okehampton - Lands End!

Day 10
Okehampton to Land’s End
98 miles
6 hours 20 minutes 

Before we had left for John o’Groats, we had booked train tickets from Penzance station at 3pm thinking we would have enough time to get to Land’s End and back. However, the previous couple of days had taught us that we would need an early start. After 4 hours of sleep, the alarms were ringing at 2am to which we dragged ourselves out of bed.

The night before, we were told the radiators would be on all night so we could wash and dry our clothes. However, we awoke to find the radiators were off and the clothes were all wet. We shared out any dry clothes we had but reluctantly had to wear some damp clothes just to cover up!

At 3am, it was time to go. The last thing either of us wanted to do was put ourselves on our bikes and cycle nearly 100 miles. With half an eye open, tired legs and heavy bags, we set off in the pitch black with nothing more than two small bicycle lights.

After a few miles of small lanes, we put ourselves on the biggest A-road around which was a dual-carriageway all the way to Penzance. Now we have done some strange things in our lives, but cycling in the pitch black on 4 hours sleep with huge trucks flying past is right up there with them all!

At about 4:30am, we had done 23 miles and we were ready for a stop. We saw a sign for a cafe and pulled right in. I don’t know whether it was the tired minds but we were both gutted when we arrived to find it was obviously closed! We were both freezing after cycling for 90 minutes in wet clothes, we would do anything to find some warmth from somewhere.

We then saw some toilets next to the cafe and wondered if they would be any warmer than the cold open air. Now again, this has to be one of the strangest things we’ve ever done. We found ourselves huddled around the hand dryers for about 20 minutes repeatedly pressing the button to try and put some warmth through our bodies. It was a memory I will never forget but we simply had to get on the bikes as we both agreed failure was not an option!

We did indeed carry on and soon after, found a petrol station which was also closed. We would do anything to find some warmth so we both used the plastic gloves provided by the pumps to keep the wind off our hands. It sure was a strange picture. Any passing trucker would think – what on earth are these two jokers doing?

After 60 miles, it was 8am and the sun was out. We were both beginning to realise what we had done this morning. We could finally see the finish in sight just 38 miles away and we were both thrilled. We stocked up on food and drink and set off for the finish.

With 2 miles to go, we exchanged water bottles for beers and rolled through the final few yards
trying to take in what we had just achieved. The beers went down without any trouble and we had our picture taken by the famous sign.

We were both absolutely shattered, we had given it everything we had. We had pushed ourselves to the absolute limit but in the end, we have completed the most incredible journey. We will remember this trip for the rest of our lives and although it was mad at the time, we will take great memories from the experience.

The final score for our trip was:

Overtaken: 32, overtaken by: 3

Finally, we would just like to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has supported, donated and wished us good luck throughout our adventure. As I write this, our fundraising total stands at £2,149.48 which has completely blown us away. It has provided us with a huge lift and helped us through the pain and tiredness we have put ourselves through.

We hope you have enjoyed reading our blog. Thanks again.
Nathan + James

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