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Lots of ups and downs

It’s been awhile since we updated our blog, so we’re forcing ourselves to stay awake to do this – it’s 10pm!

30 July – we biked from Windermere (Troutbeck) to Carlisle. This was 43 miles. We biked up the Kirkstone pass without too much trouble (very pleased with ourselves), but ended up walking part of the way down when Rachel saw the height from the top down to Brotherswater. So we had a much quicker ascent, but a rather slower descent.

A wonderful, straight, gradual downhill into Carlisle, getting us in at 3. Though Carlisle centre was a bit of a nightmare with traffic, and it took us another hour to find our hostel.

Had a lovely afternoon/evening with Bridget, who very kindly made us dinner!

31 July – Carlisle to Peebles: 69 miles. Upping the miles again now after our easy runnings into, in, and out of the lakes. Another beautiful day through probably the most isolated place we’ve come across in Britain so far. The Southern Scottish Uplands. Beautiful scenery, no people (so no cars either) and a rather incongruous Tibetan Buddhist monastery, where we stopped for lunch and a little resource-collecting for Joe for next year.

Into Peebles in the pouring rain, and a fantastic B n’ B with a shower out of this world.

1 August – Peebles to Perth: 74 miles. From one lovely B n’ B to another. Edinburgh was an absolute nightmare. We lost our way, Rachel wasn’t feeling well and we were looking close to having to come home, when we finally saw the Firth of Forth Bridge, made a dash for it and, thankfully, didn’t look back, speeding into the beautiful Perthshire countryside. Perth itself was absolutely lovely.

2 August – Perth to Aviemore. 89 miles (!!!) This was epic. Uphill from sea level for 60 miles, gradual, but interminable ascent of over 1500 feet. Then an incredible descent for 30 miles into Aviemore. We didn’t think we’d make it. The Scottish Highlands are awe-inspiring. We saw a red squirrel and a whole herd of red deer up on a hill overlooking our path (horns and heads silhouetted over the top of the hill). Rachel now has a quite a chronic injury to her left hand, with constant pain and numbness, which she’s carried on and off since Preston. (Rachel in the background says ‘it’s not that bad’). But Joe was impressed we made it. We got in at 8.10pm, having started at 7.45am. We are absolutely knackered, and having let our dinner digest for a little while, we are signing out!

Joe (writing for a change) and Rachel

  1. Grandma & Geoff says:

    HiNow I can say “you’re nearly there; you CAN do it!” In fact by the time you see this you might already have finished and you’ll forget the aches and pains and remember the good bits.What a noble fellow you are, Joe, walking DOWNHILL with Rachel. Geoff would have just said “I’ll see you at the bottom” and whizzed down! Keep pedalling and enjoy this last stretch.Love G and’ G

  2. Gavin says:

    wow! just when it looked like getting better, but nearly there, well done!hope the last two days are OK and you can enjoy the view at the far endlove dad/Gavin

  3. fran wakefield says:

    Hi there,Last stretch for you! Marjorie phoned this evening, so we’ve emailed your link to her. She’s well impressed.WELL done, you’re both heroes. especially the epic stretch to Aviemore. It sounds like you’ll be back to Scotland at some point to explore – (but maybe not by bike! Do hope that the wrist injury gets better soon.All’s well here- looking forward to hearing from you on your return.much love,Mum

  4. Bob says:

    Mum & I hope the far North coast is as breathtaking as we imagine. a tremendous achievement! Do have a good meal out tonight. Now you can look forward to the next bike ride. Reading to Bath!!?? Not even a workout.From Mum – Well done!Hope the ups aren't too steep today-though I can see there are quite a few.Enjoy the taxi and train back-and Edinburgh! love Dad & Mum

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