Friday, June 19, 2009

Walk 219 -- Keoldale, via CAPE WRATH, to Blairmore

Ages: Colin was 67 years and 42 days. Rosemary was 64 years and 184 days.
Weather: Occasional showers this morning, then it brightened up. Windy, but what do you expect at CAPE WRATH ? !
Location: Keoldale, via Cape Wrath and Sandwood Bay, to Blairmore.
Distance: 24½ miles — the longest and most difficult Walk of the whole Trek.
Total distance: 2001½ miles.
Terrain: Ferry. Then a semi-tarmacked track for 11½ miles, fairly undulating and very exposed. Eight miles of rough ground, boggy in places and no path to speak of — very undulating with streams and rivers to negotiate. Wild! A beautiful sandy beach followed by 4½ miles of a rocky path, slightly undulating but boggy in places. I tripped over a rock near the end as I was so tired!
Tide: Coming in then going out.
Rivers: No.186, the Kyle of Durness at the very beginning. No.187, Daill River and no. 188, Kervaig River over bridges on the lighthouse road. No.189, Allt na Clais Leobairnich, no.190, Keisgaig River and no. 191, Amhainn Srath Chailleach on the rough ground — we had to jump over them using natural stepping stones and no.191 was particularly tricky to cross. No. 192, Sandwood Loch outlet on Sandwood Bay Beach which we paddled across.
Ferries: No.16 across the Kyle of Durness — fare £3 each.
Piers: None.
Kissing gates: No.192 at the very end of the Walk. We gave each other a big kiss and a hug because we were so elated that we had successfully completed the most difficult of all the Walks!
Pubs: None.
‘Historic Scotland’ properties: None.
Ferris wheels: None.
Diversions: None.
How we got there and back: We were staying in our caravan in Durness. Yesterday we drove to Thurso and picked up a hire-car. We drove both cars back to the caravan. Then we packed flasks, biscuits and other goodies into our own car and drove both cars to Blairmore, the end of the Walk. We came back to the caravan in the hire-car, leaving our own car to await us at the end of tomorrow’s marathon. This morning we drove the hire-car to the ferry point and parked it there.
At the end, we partook of the ‘goodies’ left in the car though the water in the flasks was not really warm enough for a decent cup of tea. (We were too tired to care!) Colin drove us back to the ferry point (he had great difficulty staying awake, but he did because I threatened to sing to him!) Then we drove both cars back to the caravan and went straight to bed. It was 1.30am by then.

The most challenging Walk of our lives!

Walk 219, from the ferry across the Kyle of Durness to Blairmore via Cape Wrath and Sandwood Bay, had been on our minds ever since we started this Trek back in 1998. People were always asking us, “How are you going to cope with Cape Wrath?” to which I replied, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!”
Well, we have come to it now, and we have been planning and changing our minds about how we were going to tackle it for about two years. In the end we decided to do the whole thing in one day. We didn’t want to carry bedding, extra food, stove etc. And the three bothies are not situated in convenient places — one is too near the beginning, one is too near the end, and the other is nowhere near the coast so we would have had to make a large detour to get to it.
Meticulous planning was the key, and a lot of good luck!


1. There were no bus services that were of any use, in fact even the very few buses we looked up on the ‘Traveline’ website didn’t seem to exist in reality. Taxis were another idea, but there were no taxi firms operating for miles around. There would be no traffic to thumb a lift. So we decided to hire a second car, particularly as we wanted to leave a vehicle overnight at the finishing point. We had to go to Thurso to collect it, I suppose we could have gone to Ullapool but that is just as far.
2. The Walk was going to take so long, we knew we had to do it very near the Summer Solstice so we could make use of maximum daylight. But before the midges arrived. The Scottish midges are INFAMOUS! They are like soup in the air, and if you expose a tiny bit of skin their bites look like a measles rash. The itching sends you insane! Although the Scottish Tourist Board’s best-kept secrets are rampant around Oban and Fort William at this time of year, they don’t reach the far north-west until the middle of July. So we had a very short ‘window’ in which to do the Walk.
3. We needed to know whether the Army ranges were open, otherwise we simply wouldn’t be able to get through. The Army use Cape Wrath to practice with live ammunition. The local Tourist Information Centre gave us a number to ring, and although the young lady who answered was polite and tried to be helpful, she couldn’t tell us for certain until a few days before whether the ranges would be open to the public or not. So we had to do all our planning hoping that they would be.
4. We informed two people in ‘authority’ of what we were doing and when we were due back — the caravan site warden and an official at the Durness Tourist Information Centre. They both knew that if we didn’t appear the following day to tell them we had successfully completed our mission, we were in trouble and would need help.
5. We packed extra food and water. Also we checked our first aid stuff. We had maps which we had studied closely for many hours, and compasses because for eight miles there is no path. We also made sure our mobile phone batteries were fully charged, though we knew it would be extremely unlikely that we would be able to get a signal.
6. We wanted to leave really early in the morning, but the first step was to cross the Kyle of Durness on the ferry. We contacted the ferryman, but he just kept repeating, “The first ferry is at 9.30!” We wanted to leave much earlier than that, and we would have been willing to pay extra for an early start, but he wouldn’t even listen to us. We were quite angry about that, but didn’t let it put us off.


1. We had reached that point on our Round-Britain-Walk in the middle of June so we didn't have to do the Cape Wrath Walk out of order.
2. The weather wasn't too bad. The high winds of the day before had died down, it wasn't cold and the initial showers cleared up.
3. We had maximum hours of daylight at the Summer Solstice — it was light until nearly midnight.
4. NOT A SINGLE MIDGE! They didn’t arrive early, and our Walk was completely midge-free.
5. The Army packed up their manoeuvres the week before and cleared up their ordnance before opening up the ranges. We had to make all the arrangements hoping that they wouldn’t suddenly change their minds and carry on exploding. But they didn’t, so we were OK.
6. The ferry across the Kyle of Durness was running — the day before it had been cancelled because it was too windy.
We were all set to go!

We arrived at the ferry three-quarters of an hour early because we were nervous — at least I was! We weren’t the first, there was a couple already there waiting. They told us that the ferry was cancelled yesterday because of the stormy weather, and they were hoping it would be running today. Panic! After all our arrangements and expense! Then the minibus driver arrived, and rubbed out the chalk notice about the cancelled ferry. He said he could see no reason for the ferry not to run today. Sigh of relief!
Colin went to water a bush, and got very excited because he thought he saw a pine marten. He wanted to chase after it, but I told him, “Nay!” He saw the sense in that, but he still talks about it, and the fact that he never went back to see if he could find it again.
Several other people turned up while we were waiting for the ferryman, and the boat was only small. So we made sure we were at the front of the queue — we couldn’t afford any more delays, it was bad enough not being able to cross on the ferry until half past nine. We had such a long and challenging Walk ahead of us, we could have done with being at least three hours earlier. We were still irked about the totally inflexible attitude of the ferryman. At last he arrived, a little late. He got out of his car and said, “I canna be bothered!” I think he meant it as a joke, but we were too anxious to be amused. But he did go down on to the rocks to collect his dinghy, which he had to bale out, and took it over to the main boat, which he also had to bale out.
It seemed an age before he came over to the concrete jetty to pick us up. He decided that there was room for all the ten people and a dog who were waiting, so we piled in — very cosy! He started to take us across and also to collect our fares — £3 single or £5 return. The minibus to the lighthouse would be £9 return. We were the only ones not coming back and the only ones not catching the minibus.
When they discovered that, the ferryman and the minibus driver couldn’t quite believe it! I explained that we were walking the coast, so we intended walking to the lighthouse along the road, then turning south and walking across country to Blairmore via Sandwood Bay. We assured them that we had got it all planned out and set up but they both seemed annoyed, especially the minibus driver. The ferryman pretended he hadn’t got change when he had. But the other passengers on the ferry were full of curiosity and praise, one said we were “Brave!”
The ferry only took about five minutes, so we were able to start walking at 09:45. The minibus driver made one last attempt at persuading us to go with him, “Do you know it is nearly twelve miles to the lighthouse?” Yes, of course we do! We waved ‘Goodbye’ and set off along the track. Minutes later we were passed by the minibus, then by a ‘Highway Maintenance’ lorry! That must have been parked near the minibus, and the driver and his passenger were two of the people who came over on the ferry with us. I don’t know what highway they were going to maintain, there is only one track which is partially tarmacked and just one-vehicle wide (we had to step off it every time a minibus passed us).
For the first couple of miles, the views along the estuary were magnificent!
We saw a group of seals down there on a sand bar.
We were really excited now we had got going, it was so wild and beautiful and we were actually there on the Cape Wrath peninsula!
A couple of miles further on we entered the Army range. There were all the usual notices about the dangers of walking across Army land (I was born and brought up within a few miles of Aldershot, so I know all about that) but the gate was open as we knew it would be — the day before I had rung the helpful Army lady who knows about these things to check that we would have free passage through. There was a yellow and black chequer-boarded building by the gate, and by it were the ‘Highway Maintenance’ men sitting about doing nothing in particular.
We crossed a river and the track turned inland, so we lost our views. We could see the track snaking away across the hills ahead — talk about bleak! We stopped to eat our meat pies, sitting on a bank partly out of the wind but not really very comfortable. It kept raining off and on, and it felt quite hard in the wind. We were really on our own, except when the minibuses passed us. There were two of them, and they seemed to run about every half hour or so.
Further on we passed a small lochan. Parked next to it were two ‘swamp-buggies’, at least that’s what Colin called them. They obviously belonged to the Army, and were the only military vehicles we saw on the range. Then we came across a saucepan sitting on a rock! It looked out of place in such a bleak environment, but it must have been something the Army forgot to take away when they cleared the range after last week’s manoeuvres.
We came upon a shed with a blue van parked alongside. Nobody seemed to be about, and we found that we could get completely out of the wind if we got behind the building. So we sat there to eat our next snack. Suddenly a large spaniel appeared — then five more all exactly the same! It was such a surprise they made us jump. It was mayhem for a moment, then their owner turned up and they calmed down. He asked us if we were going to the lighthouse or the bothy at Kearvaig, so we told him our plans. We asked him about the six dogs and he replied that they were “a lot of fun”! Then he got into the blue van and drove off towards the lighthouse.
We carried on …and on …and on, along the narrow track across that desolate moor. Sometimes it rained and sometimes it didn’t, but it wasn’t cold. It may have seemed bleak, but if we looked more carefully at the flora we could see a host of beautiful wild flowers, especially wild orchids. They were very small, but seemed to be everywhere and were absolutely exquisite!
We passed the track which led off to Kervaig bothy, the one that we considered was too close to the beginning of the Walk. Between the hills we could see the sandy beach there, and the rock stack called Stack Clò Kervaig. We had stopped to admire and photograph it when a minibus drew up coming from the lighthouse direction. It was the driver who had been miffed this morning because we hadn’t travelled with him from the ferry. “Do you think you ought to continue?” he asked us. Yes, why not? “You’re very slow, you’ve been walking four hours and you’ve only done eight miles!” So. That is our pace — two miles an hour including stops. Everything is going to plan. “Hadn’t you better give this up? You still have a long way to go. You haven’t reached the lighthouse yet, and then you’ll have to turn into the teeth of the wind!” But it stopped raining an hour ago, the wind has lessened, the sky is brighter and the forecast is for it to improve throughout the afternoon and evening. “Supposing it snows!” At this I nearly laughed, for it was not at all cold despite the wind. And even if a freak snowstorm did present itself, it was unlikely to last more than a few minutes at this time of year.
“People have died here!” he said, darkly. Yes, we knew about the lady who died. She was an artist, and a few years ago she wandered around by herself on the Cape Wrath peninsula in the middle of Winter without telling anybody where she was or what she was doing. Even the Army didn’t know she was there. She ran out of food, and sheltered in Kervaig bothy. She was found by chance, but by then she was so weak she didn’t survive despite being airlifted to hospital.
“This is the last minibus back to the ferry which will be the final one across the estuary today. You’d better hop in, this is your last chance to get back!” (That was a lie, as we were to find out later.) We assured our apparently-concerned friend that we knew what we were doing, that this whole expedition had been carefully planned, that we had maps and compasses and knew how to use them, that we knew where the bothies were and would shelter in them if the weather turned nasty, that we had extra food and water in our rucksacks, and that we had informed two quite separate people of what we were doing and if we hadn’t turned up by tomorrow they would send out search parties. In fact we gave him a resounding NO! At this he shrugged his shoulders saying, “Well, at least you’ll be able to buy hot drinks at the lighthouse!” Would we? How come? “Because he’s opened a café there!” Well, that was good news, we weren’t expecting that!
He turned his back on us then, and started pointing out features to one of his passengers. As we moved on I said to Colin, “All the planning and expense we have put into this Walk! If I’d had to give up now, I’d have thrown the whole journal into the bin, deleted the blog and gone into a deep depression!” He replied, “I wouldn’t let you! They can’t stop us from continuing and we have every intention of doing so. There is absolutely no reason to give up!” So much was in our favour — we’d not had to do this Walk out of order (like the Walk across the Army range at Dungeness), it was reasonable weather, the Army were not firing, there were no midges, we were well on our way, and it was the Summer solstice so it wouldn’t get dark until nearly midnight.
The driver had seemed very concerned for our welfare, perhaps he did think we were a couple of old codgers who weren’t prepared for the challenges of the walk ahead, and perhaps he didn’t want to get involved in a ‘rescue’ if we came to grief, but we couldn’t get over the feeling that his true motive was that he was upset because we hadn’t paid the £9 each to ride in his minibus. This feeling was strengthened when the second minibus turned up with yet another merry band of tourists while we were at the lighthouse — so he wasn’t our ‘last chance’! If the ferryman had only listened to me when I contacted him a couple of days ago, and hadn’t been so inflexible, we would be well beyond the lighthouse by now and making our way south towards Sandwood Bay. They are running a monopoly here, and I’ve an inkling it has gone to their heads.
It was another three miles to the lighthouse, and it didn’t seem to take us very long. We passed another chequered Army hut where we went out of the ranges, and crossed another small river. Soon we caught our first glimpse of the lighthouse, the halfway point. But that was the easy part — the second half would be much more challenging.
What a disappointment! This remote far-north-western part of the British Isles is nothing very special at all. We’ve seen far more dramatic lighthouses. There was really nothing to look at, even the sea was calm. We would have been furious if we had spent a total of £14 each for ferry and minibus to come to a very ordinary-looking lighthouse the like of which we have seen all round our coast so far for free!
Perhaps it looks better from the sea, but we were up the top on the cliffs and felt disillusioned that a place with a name like ‘Cape Wrath’ should be so ordinary!
Sure enough, an open doorway in the lighthouse accommodation building (all lighthouses are automatic now, and the Scottish ones are run by computer from Edinburgh) had notices each side announcing it was “The Ozone”, the name of the new café. We learned a little later that this café had only recently been opened — by no less a personage than Princess Anne! Only she arrived and left by helicopter — well, she would, wouldn’t she? No tramping across the moors for her, not even a ferry ride and a minibus.
We went in, but there seemed to be no one there, a bit like the ‘Marie Celeste’. I called out, and when the man eventually appeared it was the owner of the six spaniels! He was very friendly and encouraging when we explained what we were planning to do. He made us wonderful mugs of tea, which were a great boost to our morale. Then he insisted we got out our maps so he could show us the best way to proceed across rough terrain. “Go back down the road for about a mile until you come to this bend. Veer out to avoid two gullies, then make for the col between those two hills. After that stay as close to the coast as the cliffs will allow — it is less boggy than inland and the grass is shorter. I can make Sandwood Bay in three hours.” (It took us six!) I asked him about the river we have to cross as we approach Sandwood Bay as it is marked with a double line on the map meaning it is more than a mere stream. He told us there were stepping stones, “You will see where other people have crossed.” (We never found them, and had great difficulty finding a way to cross it safely.) He kept saying, “You’ll be fine!” even when we told him of the minibus driver trying to make us give up. He was very encouraging. He said he couldn’t see any problem with us carrying on as planned. I was quite relieved, because the minibus driver had unnerved me.
I asked him about his lonely life up here in this far corner of the world. “It’s fun!” he said. He and his wife came three years ago, renovated the building in which they now live with their six dogs, and have now opened ‘The Ozone’ café which never closes. Mind you, they don’t have many customers in the Winter! His wife told us they have to buy absolutely everything in, including the water — so that is why the tea he made us was so expensive! But it was beautifully hot, and made a good accompaniment to our sandwiches which he didn’t mind us sitting inside to eat. (The following Winter this couple hit the News again — his wife went shopping and couldn’t return for three weeks because of the snow!)
While we were in the café, the other minibus arrived full of tourists. This driver was not at all concerned about us, in fact he virtually ignored us. It was then that we really doubted the motives of the first driver who had seemed so concerned about our welfare and had practically ordered us to give up and get in his vehicle.
We set off at three-thirty — eight miles across rough ground to Sandwood Bay and then another four and a half along a well-marked path to our car. We retraced our steps along the road for about a mile, during which we were passed by what was the last minibus of the day. We didn’t meet anyone else until midnight! We turned off the road, and felt very lonely as we set off across the moors.
We used our map and a compass to take us southwards. The ground was uneven and boggy in places, so we had to watch carefully where we were putting our feet. Inevitably our pace was slower, but altogether the going wasn’t too bad. We veered round the gullies, as instructed, but there were still a lot of downs and ups. When we were down we had to rely on the compass to keep us straight, when we were up we could see the whole picture.
There were numerous streams, and always we had to find the narrowest point to jump over or use rocks as stepping stones.
There were flowers everywhere! Many of them were typical bog plants, but the wild orchids were so prolific they quite took our breath away. Very small, but each flower was heavenly when you looked close. When thinking of the wildness of Cape Wrath the last thing that comes to mind is wild orchids. But they were so numerous we had difficulty avoiding putting our great boots on some of those delicate plants.
After the gullies we made for the col between two hills. As we climbed, the spectacular coast began to reveal itself. We realised that very few people have seen these views, and it made us feel as if we were walking in the Garden of Eden!
We stopped for another snack — we had decided we were going to eat little and often throughout the Walk, lots of carbohydrates to keep us going.
Blue sky began to appear and it was definitely warmer than it had been this morning. It was still quite windy, but we had expected nothing else on this wild moor.
It seemed to take a long time to ascend to the col. Every time we topped a ridge and thought that was it, another higher ridge appeared ahead.
I just kept plodding along. I remembered the advice of Sir Ranulph Fiennes who recently climbed Everest at the age of 65. He said that is how he copes with his long and difficult walks. “I just keep plodding with no expectations. I don’t think of the destination at all, I just keep plodding!”
I found this advice very helpful, and it kept me going even when I was very tired.
We did top the col in the end, and down in the next valley we could see the fence (and stile, thank goodness!) of the MOD firing range.
It was extremely steep down to it, and I had to zigzag as I couldn’t cope with the slope. We crossed a rocky stream, then it was almost hands and knees to get up the other side it was so steep. We climbed over the stile, and now the MOD range was behind us forever! We were about halfway between the lighthouse and Sandwood Bay, and it had taken us nearly three hours. We were already behind time.
We were right by the coast by now, walking along the top of the cliffs. The surf was pounding below, and it was absolutely beautiful!
We seemed to have a lot of climbing to do after the fence. Every time we topped a ridge, there was another ridge ahead. I said we would stop for another snack break when we could see downhill, but that seemed an awful long way.
Sometimes there was the vestige of a footpath and we couldn’t make out whether it had been worn by humans or deer — but more often there wasn’t. But the grass was short in most places, some spots were quite rocky, and altogether the going wasn’t too bad.
It was certainly true that it was less boggy by the coast for we came across very little swamp when we were on the clifftops.
And the views — they were fantastic! The minibus crowd, who are driven every day during Summer from the ferry to the lighthouse, miss all this. We really felt that we were fortunate to be fit enough to do this amazing Walk!
When we did get to the top (and partook of a very large snack, almost a meal) we had wonderful views of Sandwood Bay ahead.
We began to descend, down and down a very long way until we reached the river called ‘Amhainn Srath Chailleach’. This was the river that I had been most concerned about because it is marked with a double line on the map indicating that it is fairly wide and big. I was right, it was wider than any other stream we had crossed and carried a lot of water. The man at the lighthouse had told us there were stepping stones, but we couldn’t find them. There were lots of stones, but there was always a gap that was too wide for me to get across. Perhaps if I had been young and athletic I could have leapt across in a dozen or more places, but I’m old, lack binocular vision and have a back problem — so I couldn’t. (Colin probably could have, but he knew my limitations so didn’t jump across.)
We were both very tired by then. We knew there was a footbridge about two miles upstream, next to the bothy where we had seriously considered staying the night before we decided to do the whole Walk in one day. But we didn’t want to walk two miles upstream, especially as the ground got boggy as soon as we moved away from the coast. We must have spent at least half an hour assessing possible crossing points before Colin found the one about half a mile upstream. The boulders were bigger there, and overlapped each other in the middle of the stream almost forming a tunnel. Colin was able to walk across. I didn’t trust my balance as those stones were by no means flat, so I shuffled across from rock to rock on my bum.
We were over. Phew! I felt an enormous sense of relief — we were almost there! But not quite. It was extremely boggy that side and we were half a mile inland. We climbed up a col because it seemed drier up there, but the way to the coast was across the swampy ground so that is the way we had to go. It seemed a long way — with every step we didn’t know how deep our feet would sink in. But the water never came over the top of our boots, so we kept our feet dry. It was knackering though!
Eventually we stepped down on to a sandy beach, a little north of Sandwood Bay. I felt a lot better then, I always do by the pounding surf. Colin had noticed that the tide was going out, so he led me down to the nearest point of the exposed beach hoping that, by the time we got there, the tide would have gone out sufficiently for us to get round some rocks into Sandwood Bay. His hunch paid off, there was just one pool which he jumped and I ran through so quickly the water didn’t have time to get into my boots.
What a beautiful place is Sandwood Bay! If ever a place on this earth could be described as heaven, this is it.
We crossed a very shallow river on the sand and then walked along this amazing beach. We were the only people in the world!
It was already 10pm (we were two hours behind schedule) and the sun was low over the sea. It gave everything a surreal orange glow.
As the tide was going out, the sand was pristine. We left footprints as we walked along, like treading in new snow. Yes, we were definitely in paradise!
We were also exactly 2000 miles into the Trek from Bognor Regis, so we stopped to take a photo of the pair of us. How did we manage to take such a picture when there was no one else to click the camera for us? You’ll have to ask my computer about that!
We still had food in our rucksacks, but neither of us fancied any more. We both drank loads of water.

We still had four and a half miles to go, but we knew there was a proper path from thereon. Reluctantly we left this heavenly place and made our way through the dunes as the sun sank slowly towards the horizon.

The pool marked on the map had dried up, but we found the footpath beyond it leading us up through more dunes and over a grassy col where sheep grazed. By then the light was too low to take any photographs, and we used our ‘night-vision’ for the rest of the Walk. We didn’t have to resort to the torches which we both had in our pockets.
It gradually got dark, but never too dark to see where we were going. The path was well marked so we had no problems. We were both very tired, but we just kept ‘plodding along’ at an even pace. We went across the moor and passed several lochans which we could just about see in the gloom. At one point we took a short cut which was a path, but less well-marked. We were under a mile from the end of the Walk when I tripped over a boulder and fell headlong into the soft greenery. I wasn’t at all hurt, but Colin panicked! I think he had been on edge all day, that I would trip and break my leg or something — which I haven’t done for ten years now! I quickly reassured him, but I was a bit winded and needed a few moments before I could get up.
Then we saw lights…..from houses…..where real people were living! We were fast approaching civilisation again. I can’t tell you how welcome that sight was, even though we had no intention of calling at any of those houses and the lights were being extinguished one by one as we got nearer because it was nearly midnight. Just before we came to the gate leading out to the road, we met a group of young people with big packs on their backs. It was Friday, after all, and they had probably finished work (or college), driven here and were now hiking to Sandwood Bay to spend the weekend wild camping. They were the first people we had spoken to since we left the lighthouse, nearly nine hours before!
As we went through the kissing gate, we gave each other a big hug as well as a kiss because we were so elated with our achievement.

That ended Walk no.219, we shall pick up Walk no.220 next time at the car park in Blairmore. It was five minutes past midnight, so the Walk had taken fourteen hours, twenty minutes excluding the ferry. We opened the car which was parked there waiting for us, and partook of the ‘goodies’ which we had left in it yesterday. The water in the flasks was not really warm enough for a decent cup of tea, but it was wet and vaguely warm and we were too tired to care! Colin drove us back to the ferry point. We were both extremely sleepy, and I was terrified he would nod off and we’d end up in the river. So, every so often I burst suddenly into raucous song! It was partly to keep him awake, and partly to let off steam after all the tensions leading up to this Walk. (Raspberries! to that minibus driver, the only person who had been discouraging.)
At the ferry point, Colin transferred to the hire-car and we drove in convoy the rest of the way. I yelled, “Stay awake! Stay awake!” But it was only a short distance to our caravan where we both fell immediately into bed. It was 1.30am.
The next day we informed the caravan site warden and the Tourist Information Centre that our mission was successfully completed and we were both safe.

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