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Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Uber Challenge - Day One

The Marleys were dead to begin wait...that's The Muppet Christmas Carol. The Uberchallenge doesn't start so morbidly, however, will it end that way? 
To start this we need to come into this from two angles, myself (Duff) drove up to Inverness with my beautiful and magnificent Lauren who would have to navigate her way back to the wilds of Kilwinning from the civilised Highlands. We stayed in a lovely hotel and enjoyed puddings...

...and breakfasts that would be fit for a king.

Meanwhile Ewan and Russel had been haring up Scotland by bicycle at  a rate of 90-100 miles a day before reaching John O' Groats in a feat that pretty much makes the uberchallenge look like nipping to the shop to buy a paper, lets just ignore that fact.

More amazing still is that Russels bike broke under the immense strain of awesomeness upon it. After struggling on, a fellow cyclist drove by and lent Russel her bike to continue the final 40 miles as well as taking Russels before meeting back up at the end. A glorious moment for humanity and faith!

After travelling up to meet at Tongue I was devestated to discover that Ewan thought my evening wear of Jeans and two polo shirts as well as my Crocodile Dundee replica knife, 'Bertha',

 would cause an unneccesary strain on the bike and the great pannier cull of 2012 began. They never made the trip :'(

After that upsetting set back it was time to set off, Lauren on a grueling drive back down south, us on our Uberchallenge.

Things started well, a quiet single track road that ran for about 30-40 miles saw us comfortably start our journey. The weather was nice as we stopped to have a drink and take in our surroundings.

Again we carried on taking in the sometimes incredible scenary while trying to avoid the hungry little bugs that plague the north. We stopped off to point out the beauty that Scotland has to offer... well as take on board the serious environmental impact that deforrestation has on our glorious land.

As well as this we also stopped briefly in Scotlands coldest place Altnaharra where there were a ridiculous number of deer, in this picture I am pointing at some, not sure if you can see them though

Next up was the thriving metropolis of Crask, the town that never sleeps. It is said to have the most happening nightspot in the north of Scotland and we were not to be disappointed.

We popped into the Crask Inn to get some sustenance and refuel for the rest of the task ahead.

In a town, or whatever it is, that boasts two buildings it is unsurprising to see this Inn on the map as there is nothing for 9 miles either side of it. I'm quite sure if a sheep stood still for long enough in this place it would end up on the map too.

We went in and were greeted by a lovely lady who complimented Ewan on his Aardvark cycling top.

We sat down and were served a magnificent mushroom soup with chunky bread.

The food was delicious and was just what we needed, my water that was described as being "a bit peatey", despite its brown colouring went down a storm too.

The bonus addition of two lovely dogs gave the place a wonderful feeling and made a fantastic place to rest and gain the much needed nourishment to continue our challenge.

On we went, and if you think the cable on Ewans bike breaking, restricting him to his first 6 gears would hinder Ewan then you had better think again! It would take a lot more than that to get this champ down and he planned a stop the following day to get them repaired.

Even an attack by a Highland Wood Troll didn't faze the big chap as he stared it down, causing it to retreat back to the safety of its woodland home.

On we continued and after a strong first day we found our way into Lairg where after following a sign that had been turned round the wrong way we eventually got to where we set up camp.

After showering I made my way back to the tent to dry in the baking summer sunshine (I forgot a towel) to discover that Ewan had made himself two new chums.

 Ducks!!! We would eat well that night, I jest of course because far from wanting to eat the creatures my love of animals and curiosity in their behaviour inspired me to create my first wildlife documentary.

When we were ready we headed in to Lairg town centre and hit the chippy, a fish supper for Ewan and a king rib supper for myself. Well earned. At this point I would like to mention the vile children that were running in and out of the chip shop creating an obstacle as well as being loud and obnoxious while their mother looked on, ignoring the behaviour.

After recovering from this dispicable behaviour we went to the only pub in Lairg to watch the Olympics. The locals who wouldn't have looked out of place in Deliverence, The Wicker Man or The Hills Have Eyes amused us with their awful chat about some Olympic women looking like men, it was a very forward thinking conversation. After these insightful views it was time for bed. Let me tell you, camping is not fun or comfortable however Laurens Totoro head rest cover that survived the Jamieson pannier cull acted as a fabulous pillow.

Stay tuned for Day 2 of the Uberchallenge remember you can sponsor us with my charity being The Erskine charity - go here to sponsor or text LLCI81 £5 (or whatever amount) to 70070 and Ewans is for Alzheimer Scotland - go here to sponsor or text JGGO80 £5 (or whatever amount) to 70070

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