Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Carlisle to Ayr via Dumfries

 Down to breakfast this morning, the full English as usual 'this tastes like a Cumberland sausage' I suggest.  'It should do we're in Cumbria' was the answer in scornful fashion. As a menial Stoker I am now use to this condemnation. 
We leave the hotel and head off towards Scotland. It's another chilly morning and once again the wind seems to be following us just like all the idiots have. Again the exit from the city is busy with rush-hour traffic. I reflect on the first day when the captain declared 'The gods are with us' and that's the way it seemed. The blue sky is dappled with lazy cloud and for some strange reason there was a flashback that reminded me of that painting by numbers stuff we used to do when we were kids.
We are at Gretna Green by 9 AM. We take a few photos next to the welcome to Scotland sign. As we make progress we discuss a right to fly the St George flag. 'We are proud of it' - 'it's not a statement merely letting everyone know where we came from' - 'The Scottish fly their flags in England' - Many other qualifications  but whatever we are justified in flying the flag. 
As we progress I mention that John and Jules of Winchcombe cycling club got married at Gretna Green on their own marriage adventure. There was a pause  and after a statement. 'Don't think that would've worked for us' pontificates the captain - 'We'd  have been barnying by Dumfries'
Last night we had a curry and it proved to be a strong catalyst towards digestive disarray. The captains bottom was particularly unpleasant this morning. I was getting fed up. He knew I was getting fed up. ( He likes  the fact I'm fed up  but pacifies me as he explains the humour of passing wind)
As we pass by a field  that seemed to be full of crows we hear the noise of a strange bird. 'What's that call? I enquire. The captain stands out the saddle with the usual pre-empt - passes wind whilst explaining to me it's a lesser spotted curry hawk?  He chuckles to himself clearly pleased with his own humour.
On to Dumfries via a beautiful B road. Hot chocolate and cake where some nurses at a  conference from Northern Ireland insist on us posing for a few photos with them. This was very confidence building. 
Then onward to Ayr via Moniave which apparently houses the oldest pub in Scotland. It's an amazing road and we both agree it was cycling at its very best. The now normal tail wind is still encouraging us. Surrounded by forests, babbling streams , all manner of wildlife and void of any cars - In fact we estimate less than 10 vehicles in over 30 miles.
In Monaive we stop at the Village shop and purchase two steak and haggis pies. They are King size as  we are more remote and have to take advantage of the opportunity to fuel when we can. 
Alfesco picnic is enjoyed  at the top of the climb. 
Onwards then to Ayr where we reside this evening. We have planned tomorrow carefully as it involves a few Ferry hops in and out of Arron. We are conscious it's the weekend and the accommodation will be more scarce supply. 
93 miles today and nearly 5000 ft of climing. 
Everything good with the bodies except for the backside - for some reason and unusual for both of us, we have been suffering today. 
Questioning  whether the Brooks Saddles we purchased were Chinese copies we agree that two male tandem partners shouldn't discuss anal respite in public places.
Into Arron tomorrow - and out. Then heading up towards Oban. Check in tomorrow.
The Tourists. X

1 comment: