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Day 14 – John O’Groats to Helmsdale

Day 14 – John O’Groats to Helmsdale

Started the morning in Bowen Wigwam.

Bowen Wigwam, Scotland
Bowen Wigwam

This was a 07:30 start.

Had to go back for my shades, made it about 08:30.

Reached John O’Groats by 10:00.

John O'Groats sign
John O’Groats sign

Googlemaps took me down some non-existent roads, which is something you have to look out for.

I made it, got a nice cup of coffee and sat by the front.

Made this quick video about the journey ahead.

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Inverness and over the border

Inverness and over the border

Managed to get to my hotel booking.

Here’s a couple of pictures I took along the way.

Adam SmithAdam Smith

The inventor of modern economics has a statue here on the Golden Mile.

He said – “Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.” That make any sense? No? Well never mind, a lot of what he said did.

Stopped in Deacon Brodies Tavern, gave some money to a tramp then moved on down to the station which took me to Inverness.

City Hostel

Didn’t fancy a dorm on my first night. Also didn’t want to pay over the odds.

Staff are friendly. Did a review of it on Google, it’s central.

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Tyke’s travel tips

Tyke’s travel tips

Tyke tips

Here are some travel tips for those planning a trip to south america.

1- NEVER ARRIVE AT NIGHT – chances are you’ll be making those gruelling 20 hour plus bus journeys, the last thing you want is to be wandering round a strange town with all your stuff at the dead of night.

2- YOU WILL GET ROBBED – depending on your outlook, this may be funny, mildly annoying or a personal tragedy. Keep you passport and sexually integrity intact, these things are more difficult to replace.

3- BRING A RUCKSACK NOT A SUITCASE – it may have handles, but I’m afraid that won’t cut it. Lima doesn’t have a Marriott, holiday inn, motel 8 or McDonald’s. Expect to get sand in your wheels and strange looks.
my advice buy a nice purple rucksack (like mine :)).

4- LEARN TO SPEAK SPANISH – better than waving your arms around, you can make friends and get yourself out of trouble, converse in shops etc. etc.
it costs nothing.

Fort William – MacTavish’s Scottish Sword Dancing

Fort William – MacTavish’s Scottish Sword Dancing

Full version

MacTavish’s is a Scottish Theme restaurant, one of the popular places on the drag of Fort William.

The service is abysmal but the food is excellent and you have the additional treat for £2, of being entertained in an authentic Scottish style whilst you eat.

I have captured a little of the Scottish festivities – click for a video.

Jacobite Steam Train – Mallaig

Jacobite Steam Train – Mallaig

If you are going to book the best tickets are the ones with the lower numbers 12 represents an aisle. People aren’t enthused about swapping.

6 station stop offs along the way and many photo opportunities. The train stops in Mallaig, terminus fishing port.


Sheets of rain flush the streets as I make my way round.

Mallaig is a fishing port which in the summer receives a lot of tourists.

After two hours in windy, rainy conditions, tourism aesthetic has given way to grim realisation that Mallaig is a dirty fishing village with knobs on.

The novelty is how it has become a tourist destination in the first place.

The fish and chips are rated the best in the country and you can catch ferries in many of the Scottish islands, but I would rather catch a flight to the south of France or Spain.

This is what the Scottish tourist industry is up against.