Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Well, another day over...
Started out from a wild and windy Androssan this mornin at about 8:30ish, started out dry ish with little showers of light rain but after an hour or so the rain set in good and proper.. away dawn the coast through Irvine and then a steady climb up into Kilmarnock, nice familiar town with its rust-red coloured buildings and churches where I lost a good half an hour mending the first puncture of the trip, where a big angry looking thorn decided to bury itself in my back tyre. At least it had the decency to stay in there making locating the puncture and fixing it a simple straight forward task. Rejoining the main road I headed south again. With the road closed for roadworks at Mauchline to all but 'local traffic' it was nice and quiet with the long swooping decent out of the hills on the newly surfaced road an absolute pleasure. It was around then I caught up with a couple of guys on shiny new hybrid bikes with shiny new panniers, all obviously bought for this trip, who were heading south 5 days into there John O Groats to Lands End trip; we rode together for a few miles with them quizzing me lots about the route I took when I did the same trip in the other direction a few years ago.. then remembering I still had a laminated copy of my route still selotaped to the inside of my handle bar bag, I handed it over, wished them luck and pedalled off into the distance leaving them in peace with their iPods.
With the rain now breaking into showers I plodded on to the grey and rundown town of Sanquhar where s friendly woman at the local store furnished me with sandwiches and cakes and I sat happily in the first bit of sun of the day and munched the lot washed down with an obscene quantity of lucozade I was cohersed into buying because it was on offer. I'm a sucker for a bargain.
Whooshing into Dumfries I did my usual trick of looking so closely at the shops and building I hadn't payed any attention to where I was supposed so be going and wasted a good half an hour riding around trying to get my bearings on which way I should be going.
Bearings found I headed south onto the edges of the solway firth and along the coast into Annan before making the last push into Gretna on the Scotland-England border. It was my original plan to spend the night on one of the two campsites in the town, but wanting to get back on home turf I pedalled over the border at the river Sark and into Cumbria and England! \o/
Happily on home turf I pootled down the road and into the first campsite along just west of Longtown, where as the only one here have my choice of pitch.
The site here is run by a friendly blonde floppy haired surfer guy with a three legged cat and an electric guitar, but is clean, tidy and cheap.. my three favourite things for a campsite!
Pasta for dinner! Surprise Surprise!
All showered and clean and ready for an early night.
Not quite a record breaker today but a healthy 107 miles ain't bad going me thinks.
The sun came out for just a few minutes just now and the sky is clearing up nicely, so i'll be praying for a dry day tomorrow!