Friday, 29 October 2010


Mikey, my nephew was a great friend of our son Lachlan, similar aged and neighbours too, they grew up together and were like brothers, the kind that get on. Mikey he's turned out to be something of sportsman, as in, running, hill walking, climbing, cycling and c. He comes with us on some of our jaunts. Always mustard keen for whatever's on. At the moment it's French mustard, as he's just done a route to Paris from John o Groats, cycling wi his mate Kriss. Cairn o Mohr's sort of sponsoring him,( I bought him a jacket and a shirt)

But it's for charity like, cancer, ken. I took them up in the transit. What a good run.

It's beautiful way up north, up above Lairg. Along the top we picked up a hitchhiker, French guy, put him in the back and along a bit there's an other man, thundering along the grass verge, short, stocky from the back, carrying what looked like a hat in a poly bag, hitching arm out into the road. Walking. He's local sounding, loud, and into the back with him. He'd already met in with the French back packer before and went to, continuing with more stories and dodgy advice for the young man. I pulled into the Bettyhill hotel/bar, a wee placey along the north coast and we went in. Jock, the hitcher was delighted with this stop and insisted on buying the round. One of these familiar guys, face o scars, he said he hadn't had a drink for five weeks but showed no hesitation, a double whisky and a half for him. I'm wondering if I'd wrecked the poor mans resolution, till we worked out how he hadn't had a drink for five weeks. The jail's no licensed.

We acknowledged and referenced the mid day drunk there, then chatted up the chek girl. Looked at the pool table. Back in the van I gave my precious cargo an elderberry and gooseberry to share and what a merry time we had all along the sunny, twisty strap that dips down into yellow beachy oxters, the coastal road to Thurso. The music blaring, Bob Dylan telling us again.

Jock delivers what's clearly his favourite line, he's three bairns to three different girls fae the same scheme in Thurso. I'm still no sure what I'm to do about it, just wonder.

We stopped to look at Dounray, three shoe boxes and a golf ball, and Jock explained about this plants undeniable significance in history. The very first, like it or lump it and he's proud and possessive of this powerful monument. I took pictures. He said ' You'll get shot if you do that, the guards are armed here and it's no just British weapons its German rifles they're armed wi. 'But surely the British rifles will dae a gid enough job' Heckling the guide. Then he started rotating on about modern weapons with their killer name/number combinations and we all stand to attention. I'm feeling led into asking if he's ex army, which he was.

But he was delightit when we let him an the Parisian out at Thurso. 'Wait'll I tell them I got a lift in a wine van and stopped off at the pub and everything.' Man hugs all round.

I saw off Mikey and Kriss at John o Groats and went home.The boys did the trip in twelve days averaging ninety three miles a day.

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