I'm a double cancer survivor, cyclist and walker who does various challenges for different charities, mainly cancer-related.

In 2016 I climbed every single 'Birkett' in the Lake District - all 542 fells over 1,000' within the National Park, including all 214 Wainwrights. I've also done a three-week cycle tour of Tasmania in February 2015 and amongst other things, I've cycled from Land's End to John o'Groats (2003), Rotterdam to Lemvig (Denmark) (2005), walked the Pennine Way (2008) completed (my first) ascent of all 214 'Wainwrights' in the Lake District in only 55 days (2009), cycled 4,500 miles around the coast of Great Britain (2011), cycled all 42 of the accessible Western Isles of Scotland in under a month (2012), twice abseiled 230 ft from the top of The Big One in Blackpool, cycled the WWI Western Front from London to Compiegne via Ypres and Arras (2014), cycled 750 miles in the Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton (2014), done a bit of sky-diving and cycled Australia's Great Ocean Road - just before lockdown in 2020.

Altogether I've raised over £120,000 for my charities including The Christie, Cancer Research UK, the Rosemere Cancer Foundation, and ABF (The Soldiers' Charity) and I was mightily chuffed to receive the British Empire Medal in the 2014 New Year's Honours List.

I'm a Rotarian and give illustrated talks about my adventures in exchange for a donation to charity, so if you're looking for a speaker leave me a message. I am also Event Organiser for the Ribble Valley Ride Cycle Sportive, to be held this year on Sunday 5 September 2021 - more details at www.ribblevalleyride.org

You can also follow me on Twitter - @CancerBikeMan and on Facebook - just search for Bill Honeywell

Cancer Research UK is the world's leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research, whilst The Rosemere does fantastic work for patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Friday 4 May 2012

Islay to Jura

Our accommodation on Islay last night was so luxurious we were loath to leave. Thanks to Gerry and Linda for allowing us to gatecrash their holiday, and for feeding us so well last night.

This morning we set off (reluctantly!) and went through Port Ellen, past the Maltings factory (which presumably supplies the malt for all those lovely Islay malts), and then out to have a look at the Laphroaig distillery. What a shame there isn't room for a bottle in the panniers.

We then took the B-road north towards Bridgend, battling against a strong headwind for mile after mile. Then we turned on to a minor road and had the added problem of a steady climb for miles. The roadside ditch was full of tadpoles and a Red Deer watched us nervously at one point.

We reached Port Askaig at 1205, just in time for a quick loo stop before getting on to the 1215 ferry across the narrow strait to Jura. As I came out of the loo at 1210 the ferry had left! I ws not happy! I don't expect the timetables to be like Switzerland but leaving early isn't on. Then, as we sat in the waiting room in an attempt to keep warm, one of the crew happened to mention that the 1310 would be leaving "10 - 15 minutes early". Lucky we heard that, or we could have missed two on the trot!

The tide was running really quickly through the strait and the ferry skipper had his work cut out to land at each side. Bur soon we were on Jura, perhaps the most sparsely inhabited of the larger islands.

It's 8 miles from the ferry at Feolin to the island's largest settlement, Craighouse, and the first mile is possibly the most beautiful stretch of coastline anywhere. It's absolutely breathtaking. The road then climbs on to moorland before dropping into the small town (tiny village, actually) which is home to the Jura distillery. This is one of my favourites, if you're stuck for a Christmas present. Along with all the Islay malts.

There was a sad note. In 1993 four of our friends - Bob Watts, Trevor Balmforth, Ian Giles and Jack Greenwood, were killed when their plane crashed on one of the Paps of Jura en route to Mull. Richard should have been in that plane too, but had to cry off at the last minute. Life turns on the toss of a coin sometimes.

I'm writing this on the iPhone so I'll post this now and continue later, if you don't mind. It's safer than losing the whole lot if the phone crashes etc.

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