This week saw a total change of fortunes ! The gales and rain were replaced by sunshine and light winds, the single track roads, sheep and cattle grids replaced by fast roads and traffic – the logging lorries threatening as they thundered past us making us feel very small and insignificant.
The dark craggy landscape replaced by vibrant green rolling hills, hedges, flowers and trees. The blossom fell in the light breeze showering us with petals like scented confetti. There was a heady smell of newly mown grass and flowers all bursting out in the warm sunshine.
The miles rolled by down the west coast Ailsa Craig still visible along with the Coast of Arran through Maidens, Turnberry and Girvan until we turned inland for a while through hills and forest. Then on to Stranraer where we turned East along the Dumfries and Galloway coastline.
Just before Annan I met up with my brother – off on a boy’s week motorbike touring with a couple of friends. They were off up north to JoG ( the easy way ! ) it was lovely to see him and after a brief catch up they went off north and we carried on South.
The weather stayed good all week and as we crossed the border at Gretna back into England there was a sense of elation that Scotland had been done and we were truly on the way back towards home – still a long way to go but a psychological boost nevertheless !
On we pedalled along the Solway Firth passing walkers doing the Hadrians Wall Trail. It felt good and positive as the miles slipped by – if only it was always like that. The Isle of Man was clearly visible in the distance. The hills soon appeared once again now we were in Cumbria making progress suddenly a little slower ! The flat roads of the last week a distant memory !
Now in Whitehaven and taking a couple of days off with a friend to explore a little of the Lakes. Back on the road on Wednesday and heading towards Blackpool for next weekend !
Very special thanks go to these wonderful and generous dog friendly hotels:
Queens Hotel, Oban
Tiree Lodge Hotel, Tiree
Arbour Guesthouse, Oban
Burnfoot House, Ardrossan
The Malincourt Hotel, Turnberry
North West Castle Hotel, Stranraer
The Bruce Hotel, Newton Stewart
Hillside Farm, Boustead Hill
The Cumberland Hotel, Workington
A brief encounter with my brother off on a boy’s biking tour up north with friends just outside Gretna !
Ratty ( Oscar’s mascot ) and Pooh Bear ( my mascot ) out for an airing in the sunshine !
We are now back over the border !
Looking for salmon – river Cree – Newton Stewart
Coffee stop in the shade !