The little Ape has finally reached Land’s End after travelling from the northernmost tip of the country to the southernest poinst in the space of 6 days.
…another beautiful bright morning for heading into Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, but don’t let anyone tell you that Scotland has a monopoly on hills…
The Mendips have lots of Dips but an equal number ridges and with speeds dropping down to 10mph it was quite a struggle.
Good progress through the Somerset Flats (ah that’s what APEs like) then into Devon in the afternoon where I managed to lose support driver Stuart and his SatNav and discovered some very muddy country lanes, eventually emerging onto the A30 and a straight last leg into Cornwall.
In spite of all the hills the APE continues to sing sweetly and we chug into Bissoe near Truro at around 7pm where it’s a perfect evening to break open a stubby with Linda, Alan, Hannah and Lauren Susnjaya whose kind hospitality we intruded on.
Yes! Only 50 miles to go now and after a delicious cooked breakfast Alan takes the APE for a spin down the lane and I think he’s never coming back – but it’s not THAT comfortable, and soon we are approaching Lands End and the end of the quest…another peerless morning…the Atlantic is first sighted around Camborne and a flood of relief courses through me. Surely I won’t break down now! Then at exactly midday after 874 miles and 50 hours of driving, we pull in at the finishing flag. Amazingly the distance on the speedo is the same as that marked on the Lands End signpost.
Then the long tow back to London and a little concern over slightly worn Ape tyres after nearly 2000 miles. Peter at Mac Motors had said that I could have gone to Frankfurt on those treads, well, we went to Frankfurt and back twice!! The question is, where do we go next year?!
There are many people to thank.
- Lombard in particular, then HB Ingredients and Grosvenor for generous sponsorship.
- Stuart Boreham for planning the route and keeping me on it and for putting up with my angst during the week away.
- Mechanically we wouldn’t have got anywhere without Mac Motors preparation, Autocar Repairs of West Dulwich advice and loan of a tow truck and Doug of MOT Welding Services in Worthing for a beautiful custom-weld job.
- Treloar’s, Sense and WaterAid for help & support organising everything.
- Tom Coady for keeping track of me with the help of Directions Ltd tracking device and for keeping this blog going.
- Peter Whyman for his wonderful hospitality and good sportsmanship in co-piloting the APE age 90!
- The Rogers, Wightwick and Susnjaya families for their great hospitality.
- Chantal, Bob, Fergus and Millie and the Rococo team for keeping the house together in my absence.
- And last but not least all of you who have generously contributed to the different charities.
The three charities that will benefit are: Treloar’s, which provides education and much more for disabled children, Sense, the leading national charity for deafblind people, and WaterAid which is an international non-governmental organisation improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the 3rd World.