With no banana to keep me company in my nice new sleeping bag, I overslept this morning. I managed to be a bit more efficient in my getting ready though, so I still managed to be on the road at 10 o’clock.
The road from Hawkeshead to Ambleside was delightful, with lovely views of fells, countryside and bluebell woods. It was a real shame that I could not linger. Similarly at Ambleside it was difficult not to stop for a coffee and cake somewhere. But I couldn’t stop because I had a serious amount of mileage to cover.
Thankfully, my knee seemed a lot better this morning and I managed the hills, including the pass over to Thirlmere, with relative ease.
I could not help keeping stopping to take photos though. It’s so much easier to do this on a bike than in a car, because you can just stop anywhere. Also the handlebar bag means that the camera is easily accessible.
At Threlkeld I met two local cyclists who were out for the day. They accompanied me until the Mungrisdale turning and gave me some advice about my route, as well as telling me that the pub in Hesket Newmarket brewed its own beer. So that’s where I made to for lunch.
During lunch it rained hard, so I missed the worst of it, although it did carry on raining lighter for a couple of hours afterwards.
I found a good cycle path which followed the river Caldew into Carlisle.
From Carlisle to Gretna and on to Annan the route is fairly flat and uninteresting except for the obvious excitement of crossing the border.
By Annan my right leg was beginning to get very painful as a consequence of favouring that leg to protect my weak left knee. I stopped here for an energy snack before the final push to Dumfries.
The route did not go directly there, but instead wound its way around the coast via Caerlaverock and its splendid castle and peaceful foreshore nature reserve. This was well worth the detour.
Dumfries is just about exactly half way according to my route planning, although I have covered more miles that the plan said I would.
Here I break my trip. My father’s funeral is on Monday, and I have to travel back to the west country for it. Engineering works mean that I have to return via London to be able to transport the bike. So day ten will be on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on whether I get back in time to put some mileage in on Tuesday.
In the meantime I may post some thoughts about the trip, and the kit I have. So keep looking for updates.