The longest day! and one of the hilliest. 78 miles and 1,300 metres of climb (don’t you just love the mixed imperial metric units?).
The first couple of miles we were led by Rob as the route started from the other hotel in Talkin, with the two routes merging in Brampton. The advance party (ie us) decided not to wait for the other group, but to continue following the purple guideline
We each have a Garmin GPS on our handlebars, which is accurate to within a few metres and shows us exactly where to go. You only have to remember to glance at it as you see a junction up ahead, and maybe check when you have gone past it to make sure that you are on the correct road. Though, sometimes when you get into the spot and are just cycling along it can be easy to forget – I think we have all been saved by a friendly shout from another cyclist, though Norman has managed to go several miles off piste at times. But, as Pete said in the initial briefing, “If you can’t see the purple line then turn round and go back until you find it again. We do also have printed maps with the route marked on it as backup.
Anyhow, after Brampton we stopped briefly to look at Lanercost Priory
The nave of the original priory is the parish church and the rest of the buildings are in ruins.
From there we had a series of steep up and downs that were tiring until our tea stop on the Liddel Water and across it into SCOTLAND.
We watched Scottish Fire and Rescue togging up for a practice rescue in the river which took them over 20 minutes – I hope they do it faster for real. You can also see Norman cycling into Scotland with his typical panache
more ups and downs to lunch beside the Buddhist monastery at Eskdalemuir – a weird thing to find in the middle of nowhere.
From there we had a series of gentle, but very long, ascents followed by the most fantastic descents that went on and on and could be taken at speed
and so into Peebles with one final ascent.
Friday is a rest day.