We have arrived in England! Day Five of Peak to Peak 2014 is over and we have now travelled over 330 km from the summit of Ben Nevis, south towards Mt Blanc, completely under our own steam.
Continuing from the last blog, day two saw us overnight in the small village of Tyndrum. We are carrying a tent and camping gear however due to the enormous amount of H2o falling from the heavens, we have made a senior management decision that we are far too old and wise to camp in the rain and are taking refuge inside warm dry buildings which preferably sell alcohol.
Day three saw us wake to 50mph gusting winds and rain showers so after fuelling up on haggis, black pudding, sausages, eggs and bacon we braved the elements and reaped the rewards of the previous days hard climbing with a beautiful downhill run for 20km all the way to the mighty Loch Lomond.
We then followed the shores of Loch Lomond with a tail wind, enjoying the views of the misty lake and watching the huge gusts of wind barrel down the lake. The traffic was heavy, being the last Sunday of school holidays and lots of tourists. We stopped in the pretty lakeside village of Luss for lunch before moving on towards Glasgow.
Once we left Loch Lomond, the traffic became intense on the motorway leading into Glasgow and fired up by the adrenalin of cycling along with waves of speeding vehicles ripping past at 60mph half a metre off our handle bars we fair raced along. At one stage we were even lucky enough to get invited to some locals house for dinner! Well, according to Alan they were abusing us but I could not understand the thick Scottish dialect although did pick up something along the lines of ‘cyclists are a pack of f _ _ _ _ n w _ _ _ _ _ s!’ then I am sure he said something like “Mums cooking dinner tonight and feel free to pop over!”.
We cycled right into the heart of Glasgow and were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful old city, streaming with people, buskers and beautiful old buildings. Bed for the night was the Youth Hostel, and after a very enjoyable Indian meal washed down with a pint of Kingfisher beer were happy to hit the sack with another 90km down for the days ride.
Day Four saw us navigate our way for 20km out the maze of windy Glasgow streets (I cheated and used the GPS on my blackberry phone), then we headed south, following smaller roads alongside the mighty M74 motorway. Alan unfortunately has picked up the flu, so in between shaking and sneezing and blowing his nose and feeling terrible, did very well to make good pace. We arrived in the small village of Moffat in the District of Dumphreys and Galloway at 2:30pm and 85km from Glasgow. Alan was in need of some horizontal time by now, so we found a small B & B and checked in. My bike gears were having all sorts of problems so I found a repair store and had the back sprocket replaced by a friendly Scotsman named Gordon, who was voting YES in the upcoming referendum on whether Scotland should gain independence over England. I had last been in Moffat 16 years back when I walked the Southern Upland Way route from the west coast to the east coast of Scotland so it was nice to be back in this lovely little village.
Day five today and we headed south again through the villages of Lockerbie (famous for the Pan Am air disaster) wand Gretna Green (famous for a place for english to elope to get married) before leaving bonnie Scotland and entering jolly England. Tonight we are staying in Carlisle, being put up with Sally and Tim Sarginson in their lovely house. They have been great hosts taking us for a tour of the area to see Hadrian’s Wall and the local watering holes. Alan is recovering from the flu so we hope to put in a big day tomorrow, attached us some photos from the road. Ciao!