Thunder thunder thunder
Armathwaite, Cumbria to Moffat, Scotland.
Although this day was long it was also relatively flat (only 2200 ascent), the weather slightly cooler, and we set off quite early. So altogether easier.
We set off as people were starting their day, off to school, walking the dog, buying a paper. Everyone says hello, and that makes a great beginning, especially as we know the day is going to be less demanding in terms of climb.
We happened on a post office that was open and so, mindful that Scotland is quite hilly, we took the opportunity to divest ourselves of yet more gear. The soap went in the bin. Not worth carrying or posting home. Keith was wearing the shorts he wanted to send home, so changed in the street. Away with the electric toothbrush- a manual one will suffice for the next ten days. And so on.
The post office was also general stores: great value with one toothbrush, two coffees, one Irn Bru and one vimto, two cheese salad sandwiches and two large envelops :£6.98. You can’t complain. And all this came with tales of previous end to end cyclists who had dropped in at the stores, once again a great sharing of travellers’ tales.
We spent much of today on more busy roads with a cycle path, of varying quality, running for several miles between the A74(M) along a major trunk road,with a busy railway line to one side.
Passing by Lockerbie I was struck by how closely the silent wheat fields resembled the fields of Flanders, thinking of the task faced by those who collected the fall out from the plane, the effect locally and so forth.
We also passed through Ecclefechan, birthplace of a person unknown to me before starting on my masters: Thomas Carlyle, philosopher and great influence on Bentham and John Stuart Mill. An unprepossessing place but a great man.
So in uneventful day, again to thoughts of smalls. I think we may have bought gender specific ones wrongly. I have both blue and pink. The pads are very different shapes. They end up at the end of the day folded into a shape reminiscent of my hair at the end of the day. Terrible picture taken yesterday. But you get the idea.
And so to Moffat. The Buccleuch Arms (pronounced how?). Looks unexciting from the outside, is beautiful inside, great food and lovely staff.
Mechanical issues: 1. Routine maintenance completed.