Day 3: 270Km, Day 4: 232 Km, Total: 919Km
Its been an unexpectedly eventful 2 days of riding. What was meant to be a relatively mundane ride down to Newcastle, pulling into Edinburgh and a couple of other places along the way to say hi to some friends turned into a bit of an adventure. And it all started with Bruce’s questionable spelling.
So according to Bruce the picture below is the centre of Stirling, where we had planned to have a quick bite before heading down to Edinburgh. In fact it’s Sterling, in the middle of industria somewhere in Dundee. All there is left to say really is all garmin addresses shall now be double checked…
Anyway that cut Stirling out of the planned route and it was straight to Edinburgh instead. However the weather decided that wasn’t on the cards for us either as a torrent of hail drove us off the highway and sent us scurrying into the kingdom of Fife to find a coffee shop, pub or really just anywhere with a fire that would have us.
Turns out Fife, or the area we were in, was decidedly short on warm hearths and so we spent a rather dismal half an hour or so riding in circles in the hail only to find an Inn that we must have passed by no more than 100m when we first came off the highway. If anyone reading this ever finds themselves in the quaint village of Kinross do us a favour and pop into The Muirs Inn and give that man a high five. It turned what was rather a miserable morning into a very happy afternoon with an incredibly accommodating host and the best fish and chips I’ve had in the UK.
Unfortunately us hiding from the hail saw us having to cut Edinburgh and the coastline out of the picture as well and head directly down to Northumberland instead where we were staying for the night. After a couple of hours of riding it was a rather sad experience to cross the bridge and enter England. Scotland you were amazing, and never cease to surprise and delight.
Day 4 was what Bruce has fondly started referring to as a greyhound day. The bikes stripped of their panniers and piles of baggage and set free on a day of pure exploration. The goal for the day, Northumberland national park and Hadrian’s wall. I’m afraid I must be honest here and say I’m rather sick of the sheep, once again the national park was inundated with hordes of the buggers. Sheep, sheep and a couple more sheep. The only redeeming factor for the woolly buggers are the new born lambs scurrying around the place which are, and all though explicitly told not to I’m going to quote Bruce here, “Aww cute”.
Hadrian’s wall on the other hand surpassed expectations. The ancient wall put up by the romans to protect their Northern border against the feisty Picts spans the UK from coast to coast. The ruins can still be walked on today and although not very high, the scope of the undertaking is quite breathtaking as it crawls away over the horizon, following the natural contours of the land.
The rest of the day was spent humming through the local countryside, following some lovely rivers and almost accidentally riding through a military base. I’ll take full credit for that one. We got some rather serious looks.
Today sees us heading through to the ferry where we leave the intermittently rainy and rather cold UK for a hopefully sunny and warm Europe.