Jogle Blogle – Day 6

IMG_1572And so for the Jogler, day 6 turned into a bit of a damp squib – or at least a very overcast one. But make the most of it bro – the bank holiday is coming and we all know what that means, it’ll be peeing down no doubt! Once again Steve managed to avoid the A9 on his journey south from John O’Groats to Land’s End, so a minor victory in avoiding the traffic as he headed out of his overnight stop in Evanton.

IMG_1578If you’ve ever wondered where old oil rigs go to die (and haven’t we all at some point in our lives), the answer is Cromarty Firth. In the distance my brother could make out the unused platforms stored up waiting for the price of oil to rise and the business of drilling the North Sea to become profitable again. Perhaps if the oil barons weren’t involving themselves so much in fracking that day may come sooner rather than later – I suppose it all comes down to which part of the environment you want to destroy first. (Bit controversial that – blimey, I’m starting to sound like Ben Elton, remember him?)

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Continuing his charity walk for Macmillan Cancer Support – here’s Steve’s ‘justgiving’ link http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi  our intrepid explorer passed the Forgandenny horse trials being set up for the weekend and, highlight of the day, (fanfare and drumroll) some ducks.

IMG_1600Which leaves me, the Blogler, drumming my fingers on the desktop wondering what else to tell you, loyal reader, given the paucity of information feeding down to Blogle headquarters. I can of course add the obligatory pictures taken by our stroller, so here they are.

IMG_1584And! Oh yes, since you ask – Bertie Blister (it now has a name) is no better, no worse according to my brother’s self diagnosis. But in a rather exciting development, even as I type this report, moves are afoot (afoot, get it? Oh dear, I make myself laugh sometimes) to remedy the situation. One of the N.H.S.’s crack nursing staff is already making her way to Birmingham International Airport and will be parachuted in somewhere near Inverness at a secret location.

IMG_1590Yes – Steve’s wife, Sue will meet up with him armed with potions, lotions and various field dressings to attend to his injury. In an act of selfless bravery she will then accompany the Jogler for the next two weeks waiting for Bertie to surrender or Steve’s foot to drop off, whichever comes first. For the duration of this mission she will go by the code name – The Jogleress.

IMG_1595Don’t tell anyone though, it’s a secret, let’s just keep it between ourselves. Hopefully she’ll also bring fresh supplies to the walker – let’s face it there are only so many times you can reverse your undercrackers before they start to get a bit riffy! I’ll update you on the success or otherwise of the mission tomorrow. In the meantime here are the stats for Day 6 of the Jogle.

Mileage a paltry 16.8 so now a total of 111.53. Mind you, he did climb to 404 feet, so I guess some of it was uphill. He walked for 5 hours 17 minutes and 12 seconds and took a total of 33,916 steps which takes him up to of 144,825. Only another million or so to go Steve.

Catch up tomorrow everyone as the Jogler heads for somewhere we’ve actually heard of – Inverness!

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Jogle Blogle – Day 5

Did you notice yesterday, there was no mention of the blister. No, I didn’t like to ask either, I was rather hoping that the Jogler had managed to lose the unwanted companion on his journey from John O’groats to Land’s End. Sadly it lingers on and although he tried, my brother Steve discovered that the only chiropodist in Dornoch was closed on Wednesday’s. Thanks to an email from Antony, one of his clients, he has now applied an @CompeedUK blister plaster, so we’ll see how that goes. (Actually, I suggested exactly the same thing a couple of days ago, but he ignored me. Tsk!🙄 Bloody kids!) By the way, I’ve added the Twitter handle for the aforementioned medication in the forlorn hope that the good people of Compeed might send him a lifetime supply.

Anyway, back to his charity walk in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support (add your own support here if you’re so minded at http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi ) He left Helmsdale en route to Tain even later than usual, waiting for a break in the weather, but having donned waterproof coat and leggings he ventured out into the howling maelstrom of the ferocious storm. (Actually it was a bit of rain that lasted for an hour, but I’m trying to build dramatic tension here, o.k?) Consequently, when he stopped in Dornoch for some lunch and an abortive visit to the foot doctor our brave soldier rather resembled an overly-cooked boil in the bag meal.

IMG_1540IMG_1556On the way there he did manage to follow the coast road rather than the A9, which meant some moody weather shots and that he thankfully did not have to leap out of the way of every passing juggernaut. Here are a selection. Nature at its best eh! With the obligatory discarded plastic bottles in the foreground of the coastal shot. People of Britain I salute you!

 

 

 

IMG_1566IMG_1538Wildlife featured prominently too. There was a possible sighting of an Osprey – it certainly wasn’t a Thrush, our amateur ornithologist tells me. Sheep (yawn), ponies, Oystercatchers and Common Seals (the posh ones weren’t around apparently) That’s them lying on the sandbank in the picture below. I tried to blow the picture up, but unfortunately they turned into the common blurry seal. IMG_1530

IMG_1516Not in evidence however were the Otters, So rather a misleading road sign then.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1549As previously mentioned, lunch was in Dornoch, not far from the rather tiny Cathedral and then on across the Dornoch Firth Bridge, past the Glenmorangie distillery (I know, I know, I wondered, but apparently he was too late and it was closed).
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IMG_1562IMG_1563And so into Tain and his stop for the night.

 

Interestingly he came across some fellow walkers doing their own version of the Jogle (or Lejog – as it’s known to us professional Bloglers – in the opposite direction). An Irish couple who are doing it in stages criss-crossing various national trails and are 5 years into their trip. Also an older gentleman Jogler who it turned out hailed from Blackheath in The Black Country, which strangely enough is where bro and I are from. He then moved to Wollaston, where curiously enough Steve lives now and the old chap currently resides in Bromsgrove, where spookily, Steve  has worked for more years than he cares to remember. And the moral of this story – Steve will talk to absolutely anyone. Oh sorry, apparently that last sentence should read – it’s a small world isn’t it?

Anyway, Day 5 stats for those of you remotely interested are.

Mileage 18.9 so now a total of 94.73. He walked for 6 hours 35 minutes and 59 seconds and get this – did 37,383 steps which takes him into the giddy heights of 110,909. Well done Steve.

We’ll catch up with Steve and his blister tomorrow as he heads out to Evanton.

Jogle Blogle – Day 4

IMG_1471It was raining in Helmsdale as Steve Robertson left on the next leg of his charity Jogle, pausing only to snap this picture of the harbour. John O’Groats is a fading memory and Land’s End a distant dream.

But I do get the impression, here in Blogle towers, that my brother is now settling into his routine. I’m receiving messages and pictures here, courtesy of the world wide interwotsit, showing places of interest, scenic views and downright quirky sightings he happens to stumble across.

fullsizeoutput_78fFor instance this stone is inscribed, ‘TO MARK THE PLACE NEAR WHICH (According to “Scropes Art of Deerstalking”) THE LAST WOLF IN SUTHERLAND WAS KILLED BY THE HUNTER, POLSON, IN OR ABOUT THE YEAR 1700.’ I’ve no doubt that the brave hunter also posed for a selfie oil painting of himself and his bloodied trophy in a manner similar to big game heroes of today.

IMG_1492Coming across an abandoned petrol station near Brora our eagle eyed Jogler noticed blackbird chicks nesting in the void above the nozzle of the closest pump.

IMG_1493After snapping the war memorial clock tower alongside the Brora river, Steve stopped in at Linda’s Cafe for his lunch, Jogled past Brora Rangers footie ground with a capacity of 4000 IMG_1496

(a tad optimistic as the Highland village has only just over a thousand residents – best hope the away team is very well supported, eh?)

 

 

IMG_1495Then in the same village, more quirkiness as witnessed by this Land Rover wheel arch window box.

fullsizeoutput_78eThe origins of this Iron Age ‘broch’, or drystone hollow wall structure, at Carn Liath are unclear, but archaeologists class them as ‘complex Atlantic roundhouses.’ (Stick with us folks, this is better than the Open University!

 

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A mile out of his final destination of Golspie, Steve passed by @Dunrobin_Castle, the most northerly and largest of the Scottish Highlands great houses. Formerly the home the Dukes of Sutherland it has seen time as a naval hospital during the First World War and as a boys boarding school in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. It is now open to the public for six months of the year, April to October.

IMG_1510IMG_1512And in contrast to the dismal start, the Jogler was able to enjoy the evening sunshine down by Golspie harbour.

Day 4 stats for the nerds among us,

Mileage 17.9 along the A9 giving a total of 75.83 steps 34,711 so grand totals to date are 75.83 miles and 143,499 steps (Blimey – no wonder he’s always eating!)

And he took 5 hours, 33 minutes and 55 seconds to complete the journey, which is hardly surprising given all the sightseeing.

Next stop Tain, wherever that is – see you all there!

In the meantime, please visit his just giving page for this walk in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support at http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi

Jogle Blogle – day 3

IMG_1426Here we go, eyes down look in, Day 3 of the Jogle. Firstly an apology from Mission Control, the Blogle omitted to mention the mileage yesterday. So, Day 2 was a distance of 18 miles, giving a total of 40 miles.

Firstly as you’re all on the edge of your seats today’s blister report. No better, no worse is the news from the Jogler as he makes his way from John O’Groats down to Land’s End, but it must be playing on his mind as he’s admitted to singing, ‘The Blister Exists,’ by Slipknot (no, I’ve never heard of it either), but toward the end of this leg that tune was replaced by, ‘Singing In The Rain,’ which tells you quite a lot.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, let’s go back to his departure from Latheronwheel. Obviously shell shocked from the previous days walk, my brother bought and paid £5 for a packed lunch. The Blends guesthouse duly provided the no doubt delicious meal which Steve forgot to take with him. On the upside the money he paid has been donated to his chosen charity for this walk which is Macmillan Cancer Support at http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi so fair play to the good folks at The Blends.

Then, to add insult to injury he forgot to leave his room key and had to leave it for collection at the local Spar shop, a couple of miles down the road. Hope you got it back o.k. guys! Not the most auspicious start to the day then!

IMG_1441IMG_1425The walk was a touch more scenic than the previous days – there were bends in the road for a start. Around one such corner he came upon the River Bothy Tea Room as recommended by those wonderful folk at The Blends. Now have you heard the one about the Irishwoman, the Irishwoman who lives in Australia and the Irishwoman who lives in Australia’s, Australian daughter. No, neither had I but that’s who the Jogler shared a table with in the packed establishment as he finally got his lunch (highly recommended by the way).

Some time later he passed by the Badbea historic clearance village and from there crossed the border from Caithness to Sutherland.

IMG_1454At some point the road changed from lovely fresh tarmac to a rougher, more uneven surface, which plays havoc with blisters apparently. The cloud closed in and the closing miles to Helmsdale were wet and miserable. 

No wonder Steve headed for the pub as soon as he’d dried out.

IMG_1462Day 3 stats are as follows,

Mileage 17.93 giving a total of 57.93 (better not leave that out, eh. It’s the Blogling equivalent of forgetting your packed lunch and room key).

Steps 35,262 so grand total to date of 108,788

It looks like he managed to rise slightly earlier today and set out along the A9 at 09:19:27 BST and finished some 5 hours and 39 minutes later (give or take a few seconds).

Steve went a bit higher today and reached a maximum elevation of 753 feet, which explains why his head was in the clouds then.

We’ll catch up with him tomorrow on his continuing journey as he heads toward Golspie.

Jogle Blogle – Day 2

 

So, dramatic news here at Jogle headquarters on Day Two of Steve Robertson and his adventure from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Remember the blister I told you about yesterday? It’s getting worserer. (Don’t write in, I like new words, o.k.?)

Now I don’t think it was entirely necessary for my brother to send me the quite graphic photograph which he’s taken and out of deference to your tender sensibilities, dear reader I won’t post it here.

Perhaps I should explain its origins. Steve as we know has been training for the Jogle for three years now and prior to that he’s run marathons and the like. So it’s somewhat ironic that this unwelcome abrasion to his foot should reveal itself only a few short days before he set out on his quest. But our brave lad is not about to keel over like a Premier League footballer though. No, he will soldier on south and hope that it pops of its own accord. I’ll keep you updated on the ongoing crisis.

IMG_1393Anyway, yesterday’s leg was from Wick to Latheronwheel.

IMG_1412The weather improved a little on the previous days miserable conditions and with long straight roads of the A99 there was little to occupy the Joglers thoughts other than the deep incessant throbbing pain of the unwelcome attachment to his foot with each interminable step. Perhaps I should suggest that he hops the rest of the way?

 

IMG_1399He passed Thrumster railway station, home of the shortest train journeys in the world. As you can see from the photo passengers board at one end of the platform and disembark at the other. I should imagine there’s no locomotive there at the moment as the line is closed for electrification or some such thing.

IMG_1409Another landmark was the rather small building which housed the Clan Clunn museum. Our intrepid walker did not visit however in case the clan had any ongoing feud with us Robertson’s. I looked it up, Clunn has several derivations of the name, one of which is Clooney. I messaged Steve, but he hadn’t seen any redundant American actors desperately trying to sell coffee from a lay-by.

IMG_1418And so into Latheronwheel.

Contrary to the road-sign warning there was no ice in evidence. But if it needs a sign it must be a common occurrence, so perhaps he’ll be snowed in when he gets up tomorrow.

For those of you who like to know such things, here are the stats for the journey on Day Two of The Jogle on the 19th. May 2019.

Start time 9:40:22 What!!!? He likes a lie in doesn’t he? Mind you, it was Sunday I suppose, so we’ll let him off,eh?

Finish time 16:09:18 

Duration of walk 5 hours 28 minutes and 1 second.

IMG_1406Yes I know that’s what I thought, there’s a rather big discrepancy between start, finish times and the duration of the walk. Perhaps this picture of his dinner in the Portland Arms at Lybster will go some way to explaining – he’s spending most of his time in the pub!

Anyway, when he did bother to Jogle he took 32946 to do so, which gives a running total (or should I say walking total) of 73526 over the two days so far.

And so loyal Jogle Blogle followers, we’ll catch up with you tomorrow on day 3 of this epic adventure. In the meantime if you’d like to visit Steve’s just giving page to discover the reason behind the Jogle, here’s the link. http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi

Jogle Blogle – Day One

I suppose you noticed did you?

Yes, that’s right, there was no Blogle yesterday! Due to technical problems (they say a bad workman always blames his tools) I missed a day would you believe!? So you know what that means don’t you? Ten quid in the kitty from me at http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi as Steve begins his Jogle in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. You can add some dosh too if you’re so inclined.

IMG_1374So anyway, the Jogle is indeed now afoot, and what else would it be really?

IMG_1372The Jogler started out from Duncansby Head Lighthouse at 9:30 a.m. on the 18th May 2019. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Blimey, he likes a lie in, don’t he?’ But I do have to say in his defence that he got sidetracked by quite a large group of people scanning the seas with binoculars on the lookout for Orcas. That’s right – Killer Whales. Apparently they’d been spotted the day before. I don’t know where they were going, perhaps on their holidays or something, but unfortunately no sighting for Steve. There were some Risso’s Dolphins about, but our intrepid walker didn’t get to see one of those either. However, he does now regard himself as an honorary member of The Scottish Whale and Dolphin Group. Check them out at http://www.whales.org

IMG_1366So, after posing for the obligatory piccies under the signpost (thanks to a random Australian for taking the photo) the Jogler duly headed off from the furthest north east point in Britain on his way to the furthest South West in the gloom and drizzle (I told you so in an earlier pre-Blogle, didn’t I?) 

He in fact made it as far as the local pub, where he stopped for, ‘cup of tea.’ Yeah right! A rather pleasant gentleman (who he later met in Wick) kindly offered him a lift. Fortunately for us, dear Jogle Blogle reader he turned it down, otherwise this whole enterprise would have been rendered entirely pointless.

IMG_1377En route on the 20 odd mile trek to Wick he spotted a rather interesting new pipeline – yes, I yawned too – and that was rather the highlight of the trip.

IMG_1386And so at…. he arrived in Wick. And if you’re wondering why the cup final didn’t start at the traditional 3p.m., it’s because they were waiting for City season ticket holder, Steve to take his seat in the local Wetherspoons.

Unbeknown to him at the time he was sitting next to fellow City fan, Pete Nash from Cornwall. They only found out when they each cheered the first goal. Pete and his mate, Nick (a fine fellow who supports a team from the right side of Manchester) are up there cycling the North Coast 500 – Scotland’s Route 66). Fair play to Pete though, apparently he’s offered to help Steve out if he gets stuck, no matter where he is in the country – nice one! (Personally I reckon it just goes to show that City fans don’t have many friends – not that I’m bitter or anything!)

To summarise then, the Day One Jogle of 22.0 miles was completed along the A99 in 7 hours 12 minutes and 1 second in a total of 40580 steps. He ascended to a maximum elevation of 328 feet, which is pretty unimpressive as we’re higher than that here in The Black Country. So much for the Scottish Highlands then! Worryingly there are concerns about a blister which could be quite problematic, much like Lewis Hamilton getting a flat spot on a tyre. I’ll keep you updated as the Jogle progresses.

So, he’s off tomorrow (probably already completed by the time you read this) to Latheron.

20/5 Latheron to Helmsdale, 21/5 Helmsdale to Golspie, 22/5 Golspie to Tain, 23/5 Tain to Evanton and on Friday 24/5 he’ll be yomping from Evanton to Inverness.

He’s in my thoughts as I lie here on my sun lounger, composing this Blogle. Keep up the good work bro.

Happy Jogling Eve

Happy Joglingeve.

Yes the Jogler, my brother Steve Robertson is on the starting blocks for his epic trek from John O’Groats to Lands End.

He arrived up there earlier today after a torturous journey from here in the Black Country. His original flight was cancelled which meant four train marathons and a final taxi trip. As he told me earlier it is a real life planes, trains and automobiles.

57969999982__571AA754-643F-4058-B6B4-C9133878D28FHe stayed last night in Edinburgh so of course he did the touristy thing of jogging on up to the castle but apparently couldn’t get near the place as loads of inconsiderate people were already there queuing for a tattoo. (I wonder if they all had a butterfly on the ankle or did they go full ‘Beckham’ and have an angel on the back?)

He sent me a lot of pictures of stations – he was obviously bored, but not to worry he’s there now. I would imagine he’ll be doing stretching excercises, lifting glass to mouth as he limbers up for the ‘off’ tomorrow.IMG_1325

We won’t join him straight away though. We’ll catch up on day 2 with a report on day 1, which is the John O’Groats to Wick leg.

I’ll give you a run down of the Scottish sections of the Jogle tomorrow in case you’re inclined to get out there and cheer him on.

If you’d like to donate to his just giving page for Macmillan Cancer Support here is the link. http://bit.ly/2Tzmjwi

In the meantime here are some random photos from the man himself, taken as he made his way to the start line. I’m guessing Usain Bolt used to do the exact same thing as he made his way to the start of his Olympic finals.

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Follow the Blogle on this site folks and keep up with the adventures of the man himself.

Good luck bro. Catch up with you soon.