I had a reasonable night’s sleep even if I had to put my earplugs in. The noise from the A9 was a bit annoying and there was one of those air fresheners in the room that goes off every fifteen minutes or so. I guess the room used to be a smoking room at some point and, having clearly not been decorated for some time, the air freshener was keeping the stale smoke smell from the carpet etc. at bay? That kind of describes the Belgrave Arms hotel across the board: tired. Don’t get me wrong, the bed was comfortable enough and Craig, the landlord, was a lovely chap, but I’d certainly not want to stop there for more than the one night. I wasn’t feeling the best this morning and had a headache to boot. Maybe it was the room, maybe it was just because I was exhausted after two tough days – physically and mentally? I don’t know, all I know is I wasn’t right this morning and really didn’t fancy anything for breakfast, but after the last disaster back on the Pennine Way of walking on an empty stomach I tried to eat something.
After a really good, quick day’s walking yesterday I awoke feeling pretty good. Yes, my feet were a little bit tender when I first put them on the floor but by the time I’d pottered around sorting my stuff out they were actually feeling pretty good. Not having even gone downstairs last night after going to my room I didn’t know what time breakfast was. All I could hope was that as I sorted myself out and go downstairs at my usual 8am it would be about the right time. As it goes, my breakfast was ready before 8am which meant I was running early by the time I’d eaten it and grabbed the last bits of my gear. Toremore Farm B & B was perfectly adequate for a night’s stay, and I was very grateful to Mrs. McDonald for giving me a bed for the night as she’d had a fall recently and was struggling with a very swollen wrist. Everything looked very difficult, especially making my breakfast for me.
It’s weird to think that today will be the final day of this little stroll of mine. Getting my things together on my bed, as I’ve done every day for since starting this journey, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it all to be honest. Matt and I went down to breakfast and I had my usual cooked mound of food. I really wanted to make it to John O’Groats without stopping for lunch if I could. I guess we’d see if that would be the case or not? Breakfast out the way I strapped on my gear and left Matt at the front of the hotel. Yes, I could have taken an easier day today and left pretty much everything in the room but then I wouldn’t be able to say I’d carried everything so that wasn’t going to happen.