John O'Groats to Land's End - Heading West

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John O'Groats to Land's End - Heading West

Wednesday 4th August 2010

After waking at 7am and having breakfast with the family I was finally ready to set off at about 9am. It was hard to leave the comfort of home and family again. Part of me felt that I had done enough challenge, thank you very much. But these few dissenting voices inside me were drowned out by a chorus of renewed determination to see this challenge through to the end. And I could also take comfort in knowing that Catherine, James and Rhea would follow down to Cornwall the following day.

Leaving home, I cycled past the road leading up to the railway station where my journey up to Scotland and the start of this adventure had begun. I headed for the A3 and ignoring the Sat Nav, which always try to avoid main roads, chose to use the hard shoulder of this road as far as Guildford. I then came off and the Sat Nav took me through the town and up a steep hill as I joined the A31.

Entering Hampshire - Jane Austin Country

Up until now my journey from John O'Groats had been about trying to travel south as quickly as I could. Now it was about going west or south-westerly. The forecast was for rain and it wasn't long before I'd been through a number of brief showers. During one particularly heavy shower I pulled over into a lay-by to put on my shower jacket and stopped next to fast food trailer. As it was nearly 12, I took the opportunity to get a hot cup of tea and some food. My burger, bacon and onion sandwich was 'to die for', really good quality and I was given a discount for being on the cycle ride.

Sheltering from rain on A31

Within a mile of setting off from the cafe the clouds opened and this time it wasn't just a passing shower. I was getting very wet so when I noticed a turning off which immediately went under a railway bridge I headed for it. I took refuge under the railway arch but it was a narrow space with no pavement. Instead there was a bit of grubby soil with the odd plant or two that separated me from the single track roadway that weaved a path through the pot holes. Keeping myself away from the occasional vehicle using it I began to dig out my wet weather gear. Outside the rain became heavier and heavier until even the road workers in their head to toe orange waterproofs sought shelter.