So Day 1 completed 501.31 miles (see picture below for breakdown of trip) and arrived in Carlisle safely and as this is a blog on the perfect journey (hopefully) on time.
Day 2 is another early start for the long trek north and crossing the borders of England & Scotland.
Day 2 is the most complicated journey for me because apart from travelling Carlisle to Gretna and to Edinburgh, this will be the furthest North I have been in Scotland so entering the unknown and once I get to Inverness hope the trains are okay because there are limited services to where I need to be on Day 2, but this is “THE PERFECT JOURNEY” so I can dream everything will be okay and on time.
Only 3 changes of train today but 11 hours 30 minutes of travel with Trans Pennine Express and Scot Rail leaving Carlisle at 0652 to Carstairs before the first change-up to Haymarket. Quick 9 minute wait before the long journey to Inverness, passing through Kirkcaldy, Perth and the mountains of Aviemore hopefully still snow topped even though it’s May arriving just before noon in Inverness.
Hopefully the journey to Inverness will be pretty scenic and I know for definite the journey past Inverness to Wick will be amazing.
I have a 2 hours 22 minutes wait for my last train of the day to Wick, so lunch in Inverness in “The Kings Highway”, another Wetherspoons ticked off the list.
Back to Inverness Station for my train to my day 2 end in Wick, the penultimate night before journey’s end at John o Groats, its 4 hours 22 minutes on the aptly named Far North Line which is a mixture of single and double track railway through some of the most remote areas of Scotland, I’m expecting to see trees, trees, mountains, sheep (lots of them) and wildlife but not a lot of civilisation once we pass Dingwall. A more detailed story of the journey to the most northern railway station of Thurso and Wick is described by David Ross who wrote a book of his adventures (see link). My story will happen when I do the proper LEJoG in May.
A few interesting facts I have googled about the FNL ..
only 4 out of the 25 stations are manned by rail staff Inverness, Dingwall, Thurso and Wick ….
The FNL is 168 miles long …
Altnabreac only had 93 passengers either leave or travel in 2015 making it the 8th least used station in Britain …
Thurso is the most northern terminus station in Britain ..
See the YouTube link for a eye view of the Far North Line by train
So 452.52 miles later after leaving Carlisle at 0652 and arriving in Wick at 1822, time to freshen up after checking in at my BnB for the night, its food time again at the most northern Wetherspoons “The Alexander Bain” where I’ll compile my real journey blog and compile notes and stuff before retiring for an early night ready for the Main Event and my arrival at John o Groats.
DON’T FORGET YOU CAN DONATE AT LEJoG DONATION LINK
for Help Harry Help Others, Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide and Prostate Cancer UK
I have been promised £282 in donations so far still a long way off my target but a few weeks to go yet.
Day 2 complete .. more to follow on Day 3 and Journeys End next week