76 miles & 915 metres climbed
The YHA at Keswick was ‘intimate’! Peter kindly volunteered for the top bunk bed and I didn’t argue.
In fairness to the hostel about the size of the rooms then having a balcony was a bonus and the view was delightful.
Also this was the best view at breakfast so far.
So after this plateful it was time to hit the road. Yesterday had been tough with awful legs and I’d been to Boots for various lotions. How would today go? The first five miles were rolling, the sun was out and the temperature was fresh. As we moved away from the Lakes the hills became less dramatic until there was a fork in the road to ‘go climbing’ as per the Guide’s route or the option to stick to the A road and get to Carlisle by a longer but easier route. Peter ascended and I pedalled off on the flatter roads.
In fact I encountered light traffic until nearer Carlisle and got there feeling quite sprightly: a real relief. (By the end of the day I’d clocked up 616 miles with around 10,000 metres of climbing without a rest.) How could I feel so good? Lunch was taken in the square at Carlisle after we met up again. The weather was glorious.
Continuing north we met the M6.
So many times I’d driven up and down this motorway, on my way to Scotland, to do business either as a sales director or in charge of installation sites and the operation to deliver the service. Often I went up after work in the dark in fearful weather. To think that had I known I’d be cycling up in the mid 20’s Centigrade on a bike around 15 years later I wouldn’t have believed you.
Soon we reached the border and after numerous selfies and a brief trip to the Blacksmiths, where the famous early age weddings took place, we continued.
We trundled north on the old A74 that ran beside the motorway. It was a great road albeit fairly dull but mainly with small gradient ascents and descents.
A major town in the area was Lockerbie. I was aware that in 1988 flight Pan Am 103 exploded over the town killing all 270 of the passengers. A senseless and tragic loss of life. A disaster that changed air travel and it’s safety protocols for ever. We visited the memorial. As you might imagine there were some very touching plaques and inscriptions.
That done it was about completing the last 16 miles to the B&B in Moffat where a Yorkshire couple ran this establishment. We were given a very warm welcome including cups of tea and cake. We were taken aback at their hospitality.
Dinner was our usual calorie feast and this dessert rounded things off nicely.
It’s up to Glasgow tomorrow with accommodation booked on the banks of Loch Lomond. Sounds lovely doesn’t it, although the 85 miles to get there doesn’t!