Running and Cycling
My friends made it to the top of Scotland. Two of them (along with their wives and trainee hearing dogs) drove their campervans from one campsite to the next while two of them pedalled hard through wind, rain, sleet and snow (well wind and rain at least) and occasional sunshine for 1,022 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG). It should have been 986 miles but the odd navigational error added 36 unsponsored miles. Somehow they worked out that they climbed 60,208 feet. Now I know that if I hold my map of Britain vertically you climb about 2 feet from Land’s End to John O’Groats but where does the other 60,206 feet come from? I bet they have a clever app on an i-phone that tells them. (Other devices and apps are available).
Of course if they have climbed 60,208 feet they must have free-wheeled down 60,208 feet – wheeeee! Well perhaps not – on some sections the downhill bit meant that they just didn’t have to pedal quite so hard into the wind. Talking about the wind, that apparently is one reason why people LEJOG rather than JOGLE – it is thought that the prevailing wind is more likely to be behind you if you travel south to north rather than vice versa. There are other reasons as well – you won’t have the sun in your eyes and the place names will all be the right way up on your map (should you be using a paper map rather than an electronic device).
As a result of all this huffing and puffing, campsite setting up and breaking down not to mention meal preparation and consumption and hostelries visited they have raised well over £2,000 for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. I mentioned that they were accompanied by trainee hearing dogs; these dogs are not yet at the stage where they are learning to be hearing dogs but rather just learning to be dogs, living with a puppy socialiser for a year. After this they will go to Hearing Dogs HQ where they will learn the skills they need to help a deaf person. A big part of a hearing dog’s job is to alert their deaf companion to sounds they would otherwise miss such as text alerts, the doorbell, an alarm clock and even danger signals like the fire alarm.
My ‘secret’ blog
The LEJOGers have recorded their travels and travails on their own blog LEJOG986 which was set up by a friend who had been following my blog and which is why I set up my ‘secret’ blog. I called it my secret blog because, unlike this blog, I didn’t e-mail people I thought might be interested in it (although I did give a big hint on my Numbers, Numbers, Numbers post). Of course ‘secret’ is a total misnomer for anything on the internet, ‘unpromoted’ would be more accurate.
I started this second blog because I wanted to explore a different WordPress ‘theme’ (the layout of the page). My friend had asked for my help and while I was able to provide some advice I had been struggling with some features. Editing and navigation appeared to be rather different to this site (although some of that may also have been down to his using a tablet rather than a laptop). Since he was heading off to base camp at Land’s End, rather than play around with his site I decided to create one of my own. I needed to have something to put on it so grabbed a short write-up I had done for a travel writing competition and used that. And therefor tsatravels.wordpress.com aka ‘A Few Travel Stories’ was born.
Mind you I have been surprised that I have reached readers in 10 different countries with this site. Some like Norway and Australia are not a surprise but others are – countries such as the USA, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia. However I thought that tsatravels with a single post on it would just hide in the blogosphere and be ignored. I have been fascinated to see that people have discovered it and even started following it. Some have just dipped in and out but others are more regular readers. So I have posted a few more entries. Where will it all end?