Phew, tough day. We started out on the outskirts of the Lakes in Burton in Kendal and we were glad to be away from the traffic – especially the traffic lights, which made it such slow going in parts yesterday. It was nice to be surrounded rolling countryside again too. It’s pretty amazing that we’re covering the length of the country and we’ll only have had to spend one day in heavily urban areas.
I’d say the biggest challenge of today was the 10 mile climb from Kendal to Shap. It’s a long, steady climb, on a rough surfaced road and today we had a head wind. It was a real tester but we’ll all pulled through it (admittedly, some quicker than others!).
Passing into Scotland through Gretna gave us a good sense of achievement and we had a team photo to celebrate the moment. We also bumped into an End 2 Ender going in the opposite direction. He was riding a mountain bike, carrying 30kgs of luggage and riding alone. He was aiming to do 80-100 miles a day and so far this had taken him approximately 12 hours a day. Plus, he’d had 6 pints and a curry the night before! I think for a moment it made us feel like we’re taking an easy option, but this was quickly replaced by a sense of relief as we went for a sit down in a van full of food!
The road into Dumfries, the A75, was busy and would be avoided if we planned the trip again (if you look at our route we had planned to largely avoid it, but we ended up turning on to it too early. D’oh!).
After turning off the main road to cover the last 16 miles into Moniaive on a very scenic B road, we were joined by a local cyclist who was out for a spin. This has been one of the nicest things about the trip so far – the community spirit when people find out what we’re doing.
Once we arrived in Moniaive we went for a drink in the hotel in the centre of the village and decided to eat in the restaurant a few doors down – The Three Glens. Definitely recommended, good food and very friendly staff.
Feeling well and truly spent, we returned for our last night in a Travelodge, roll on luxury hotels from tomorrow onwards, starting to feel like we’ve earned them now.