LEJOG61: Alness to Tain

I got dropped off on Tuesday morning back at Alness. It felt weird being ferried around, almost as if I was cheating. I knew I wasn’t, for one thing loads of people have a support team and I don’t think that they are cheating. I think it just felt different to what I was used to.

The road was nice and small with farms and forests on either side and wooded hills in the background. I bumped into a JOGLEr coming the other direction. He told me that he was doing it in five weeks, an average of 25+ miles a day and no rest days, but that his route was mostly on roads and was around 900 miles long. He also told me that he’d done about 750 miles in training which was both impressive and made me feel less bad about his greater pace. He was very friendly and full of enthusiasm and energy, partly I’m sure due to being at the very beginning of the walk. As I walked away I reflected more on how each LEJOG (or JOGLE) was different for different people. I wondered how mine compared with other peoples, maybe not as completely freeform and chilled out as some but definitely not as muh of a series of sprint as others.

 The walk was nice, the weather was warm although the sun did keep popping behind clouds which saved my skin from any potential burning. Tain, a small town built from local stone, looked lovely in the sunshine when I got there. There was a very new looking park area that I found some shade in and ate my sandwich. Despite the relaive smallness of the towns size it seemed quite busy with kids and adults everywhere enjoying what I’m guessing is a rare occurance of blissfully hot weather. I’m definitely getting to see a very positive side of northern Scotland due to the weather. Everything, built and natural landscape, looks fantastic and you can see why there’s so many caravan sites and holiday parks. I wonder what it would be like in a more grey atmosphere, maybe the big skies and open land would seem more dramatic and imposing.

Tuesday was the day of Andy Murray’s quarter-final at Wimbledon, so I hunted for a pub with a tv to watch it. There were two options, a cavenous sports bar filled with the local jack the lads, and a small (but spotlessly clean) old mans pub with a bar surrounded by locals staring ino their pints and whisky chasers. I went for the second option, and was later joined by Jenna for the match. The match was very enjoyable, the shots being punctuated frequently by the non- threatening but practically indiscipherable high pitched strongly accented rantings of a small man sitting at the bar. The friendly barman shook his head at him knowingly and told me that he’s normally incredibly quiet when he’s sober; judging from the look of him that was probably a long time ago. However it just added to the atmosphere rather than detracted. As soon as Murray won we started making plans for how we were going to fit the semi and potential final around the trip, all very exciting. And then to cap it all off we had some really lovely fish and chips. Some days everything seems to work out well. Sent from my iPhone

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1 Response to “LEJOG61: Alness to Tain”


  1. 1 Jenny July 5, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Hi Brendan, Just a wee note to say good luck on the last leg/s!!Sorry not to be inviting you in for a bath & meeting you in person but at least it gave me the opportunity to enjoy some time with Mum & natter nonstop after a 2 year break…Hope the promised rain on Mon/Tues doesn’t spoil the ending, Dunnet Head is a brilliant place. All the best, Jenny


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