Land's End to John o' Groats
Land's End to John o' Groats is the traversal of the whole length of the island of Great Britain between two extremities; in the southwest and northeast. The traditional distance by road is 874 miles (1,407 km between the two extremities).
Many of Lands End to John O Groats journeys are completed but none undertaken by a solo female in one day and certainly not by an Indian female.
I undertook this journey to commemorate 70th Independent Anniversary of India and to promote the “Save Girls, Educate Girls” campaign. This record journey from Lands End to John O’ Groats has been truly fascinating and certainly very challenging. I not only had the responsibility to live to the expectations of all my supporters but also to stay within legal boundaries, human abilities and complete the challenge successfully with utmost honesty. The drive no doubt raised awareness amongst people, inspired many but raised lot of curiosity amongst people following my journey. The journey between Lands End to John O Groats or vice versa is historical travel and is a matter of pride and feeling of accomplishment for the Individual or a group completing it in either direction and I am undoubtedly no exception to that. Many people undertake this journey for variety of reasons, but the journey holds a prominent place in heart and mind of people undertaking it, and certainly for their supports. There are certainly emotions attached to the journey. It is my precept that when we aim high and want people to recognise us for the work, we must be truthful and honest in our efforts and in our heart.
When one wants to claim anything in specific such as solo driving or driving in a specific time the onus is on to the individual to prove being solo, the start time and the end time of the actual journey, as well as other evidences of time along the way in intervals, such as all receipts and independent tracker (best and authentic method to prove). However, the tracker can not prove one being solo therefore additional verifications are require. Of course being world records holder for solo driving and being a legal professional, I was geared up with all the essential evidences such as my car’s photos with clear view of registration number and the final destinations, human confirmations and most importantly satellite confirmation through live tracking. Anyone seeking my advice, I have always asked them to be truthful and honest in their attempts to celebrate undoubted victory with grace and true satisfaction. I apply this principle in my life and in all do. I believe in myself and in my ability and confident on my ability. I am never in completion with anyone, including with people who undertake same journey as mine. Driving is my hobby but moreover I take my driving activities as sport and enter in to it with complete sports person's spirit. So far, I have assisted number of individuals or groups in making their journey, with all honesty. All my advice is always how I do things and what I consider including any verifications required and many more.
Whenever I undertake any public activities I always bear in mind that I represent two countries and most importantly my native country India, as well as my home states, and the honour of my country and my states. Before, after and during the activity I should never do anything which would bring honour my country down in any ways. I never leave any gap anywhere for anyone to say, “that Indian lady did this or that”. I have always believed that my actions specially about my adventures are the honour of my country India and I represent each and every woman of my Indian origin as way of adventure. When one undertakes such activities, it places greater responsibility on an individual to be honest at every step. Such activities are not about individual, but we represent our society and country on a foreign land.
I started my epic journey solo from Lands End Visitors Centre at 0835 am. I was certainly in a position to start it very early but deliberately didn’t want to. For me the legality, authenticity and proofs of anything I do are very important. I wanted a human touch, proof and safety. The reception at Lands End Hotel is opens between 0800am to 0800pm and this is the only place one can obtain verification stamp. I wanted the staff at reception of this hotel to verify, stamp, sign, date and time my start of the journey and confirm my solo staus. I also wanted to have heavy breakfast and plenty of caffeine in my body before embarking on such a long journey. I had good night sleep and was very fresh to start my journey. Bedsides, waking too early to start journey would have made me very tired, hungry, which could lead to loss of concentration whilst driving. This would not only have put me in risk but also others using the road. I was attempting something amazing, which no female had attempted before. It was a solo, nonstop car journey hence onus was and is on to me to prove it. In such circumstances, more the evidences better is the recognition by the wider population. One should not consider others fool that they wouldn’t understand cheating etc. I have utmost respect for every individual hence it is my overriding responsibility to prove myself with all authentic evidences so that no one could doubt my abilities neither doubt my honest records. I have adapted this principle throughout my life, which I genuinely followed throughout my previous 32 countries world record journey and now my new record of solo fastest car journey by female from Lands end to John O’ Groats.
I had a grand flag off from the Brent Indian Associations in Wembley on the auspicious occasion of 70th Independence anniversary of our native country India. From there me and my family went to Lands End in two separate cars as mine was going to be a solo drive and my husband and children were required to return back home to catch a flight next morning from Luton Airport. My solo departure and our family departure in two separate vehicle was witnessed by many dignitaries at BIA and then at Lands End. At Lands End I had greatest honour ever to hoist India’s flag at one of most prestigious land mark of Great Britain. I did not want to exhaust myself as wanted to be very fresh for next day’s driving challenge hence from there went straight to the hotel I was staying in. Unfortunately, being school holidays I could not get room in Lands End hotel hence had to choose hotel 13 miles away from Lands end. My husband and kids made their way back to Luton to catch early morning flight from Luton to Inverness next day after waving bye to me.
Next day with good amount of sleep and with fresh mind I had heavy breakfast at hotel’s restaurant, had extra tea to carry with me and I went back to Lands End to start the journy. After verifying and confirming the Lands End authorities stamped my form, confirmed that I was doing solo drive, time and dated the form and endorsed it with their signature.
The Lands end to John O’ Groats journey is called nonstop when only 2 breaks of matter of minutes are taken for fuel and toilet. Since my journey was a nonstop journey I took exactly two stops for matter of some minutes where I finished all activities including evidence gathering. At the 2 petrol stations, where I stopped for fuel and natures break, the managers there verified, confirmed that I was driving solo and properly documented with their address, name and signature on the form I had to submit. I have submitted diesel filling receipts also to back up what I am saying. Usually at the fuel station, sales representatives don’t take such chance and would ask a manager to do the needful, which happened in my case.
I was alert and meticulous in my record journey attempt hence took photos of my car at both Lands end along with full view of my car and at Duncansby Head light house (John O’ Groats extreme point) so that there would be no place for suspicion in anyone’s mind. I feel that taking photos as an evidence, which could be authenticated is extremely important and I advise same to others also who wanted to follow my footsteps. Since I started the journey from Lands End after their reception opened, I was fortunate to get the human verification at the starting point. However, by the time I reached the final destination it was 2300 pm, the gentleman verified my arrival solo but did not help me taking my photo. The light house is the further most point, which is two miles away from the finish line of the journey. The light house is a remotely located and road to the light house are extremely narrow. Despite this I made my way to the Light house. Needless to say, no one being around, I had no option but to take photo of the car in dark to verify my car registration number. However, I made sure that my car is seen clearly with the monument of end journey. This was certainly backed up by my tracker with satellite tracking showing location and exact time when I was at that location. Adventure is a risk taking activities and when one undertake any type of adventure they certainly accept risk associated with respective adventure. I am know for taking risk in my chosen adventure and on occasions I have put my self under risk during my adventures for my own mental and emotional satisfaction of completeness.
So far whatever I have done or achieved, I have done it gracefully with truth and honesty. I am a great believer in time keeping also. I completed the Arctic Circle drive in record time as well as the most visited countries in record time, which then reverenced me with world record holder title. Similarly after thorough research and many enquiries it became evident to me that no female had done solo drive from Lands End to John O’ Groats and off course not in one day. The google estimated time for this journey is around 14 hours 29 mins and for my nonstop journey with two small breaks this time seemed appropriate. Obviously I did not want to break the law, speed and reach far before estimated time. Hence I had planned my journey including the breaks in such that I not only become the first solo female to drive this historical route to completion, become the fastest female to reach the destination in record time but at the same time stay in legal limits and complete the journey in legally estimated hours. I am so delighted that I successfully completed this challenge in a record time (fastest by any female ever), in 14 hours 33 minutes and within all legalities.
My husband was given access to my tracking map, who was continuously tracking my car’s position every 15 minutes. As I was crossing major cities or major points, he was taking screen shot of the map and posting it on to social media to update my many thousand followers and supporters. I was behind the wheel and did not want to get in to any illegal activities by taking photos whilst driving or using social media whilst driving. I was only concentrating on my drive and my husband was doing the needful in terms of updating people. However, I have taken photos at two fuel station where I took my two permitted breaks. Needless to say, when one decides to embark on achieving something this big, most certainly required to carry out complete homework, assess own abilities, have back up plan and most importantly have strong evidence to prove. The advance preparation well in advance are fundamental to the success. I have purchased the tracker for my ongoing use, hence with some minor formalities I was able to use it again.
I am a world record holder for my driving, having driven solo in Arctic Circle creating a world record as well as driven solo through 32 countries, I had decided to create another record of first solo female drive from Lands End to John O’ Groats. I am very proud that I have successfully achieved it on 16th August 2017. This has been widely followed by many thousands of people and been widely publicised in media in UK as well as UK. The sole reason for mentioning this background is that my achievements are beyond rise of any jealousy in my mind for anyone. No one would be able to take away these titles from me. Besides this I have always helped many in past to prepare for their desired journey and will continue to do so, despite anyone simply copied the journey from my event on facebook. I have always promoted and worked strenuously for “Save Girl Educate Girl” campaign as well as woman empowerment, and would help and support greatly in achieving their goals.
As much as I am proud of my Britishness and my adopted country, I am equally proud of my Indian heritage and my roots. I am also proud of the heritage of this historical route including honesty of everyone who have completed this journey.