Day 12 - Wednesday 22nd August – Sedbergh to Castle Carroch
Daily Distance = 50 miles (expected = 55.5)
Total Distance = 648 miles (expected = 601.5)
Weather: Dry, bright and sunny with little or no wind.
Contour: Up and down, but longer more gradual climbs.
Today was probably the best days cycling so far. Perfect weather conditions, and fantastic scenery. We cycled over the Cumbrian Mountains. There was hardly any traffic, only cattle grids and disinfectant mats to worry about. Rolling hills mean at last we can enjoy the downhill sections after the hard grind up. I limited myself to cornflakes and toast for breakfast, and we set off by 8am. Joyce Cox from the B&B gave us £3 towards the charities.
A good cycling first thing, and John’s knee was not giving him too much trouble. We bought cheese and ham sandwiches from Orton Post Office, and refilled our water bottles. Even bought an insect bite relief, just in case when we get to Scotland. After Orton there was one very steep, long climb (which we had seen marked with black arrows on the map). This was hard work, and I wondered whether John’s knee would survive, but we got up it OK and the views from the top were breathtaking.
We stopped at a small village just past Gulgate to eat our sandwiches, then set off again and made good time in the afternoon. The lovely countryside continued and we arrived at Castle Carroch at 3.15pm. The mileage was lower because it was based on getting to Brampton tonight, which is 4 miles further on. We will have to do those extra miles tomorrow.
The B&B is a working dairy farm, which has just handed in notice to ACC and is about to join First Milk. We didn’t see the husband, but the wife worked very hard. We disinfected on the way in, and were met by the wife in her baggy shorts and Wellington boots (with her painted toenails underneath).
My bottom hurts, it has continued to hurt for over a week now, but I think the gel saddle is helping. It seems to be worse when I’m hot and sweaty.
We tried to get a drink and meal early tonight, but were told to leave by the owner of the pub. Met a lady in the road who told us there was nowhere else to go, and nobody liked the landlord. When we eventually got in the meal was very nice, lasagne and chips followed by apple and raspberry pie. The landlord and landlady are the grumpiest people I think I have ever met in my life.
No punctures and no breakdowns.
B&B was a twin room, but when John started snoring at 8pm, the landlady offered me another room to sleep in, which I gratefully accepted. Shared bathroom, tea and coffee on arrival, bikes in the cattle shed. £16.50 per person.