Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Day 18 - Last Day!

Day 17 - Ulverston to Stoke-On-Trent

Day 15 - Carlisle to Waswster via Cockermouth

You'll be glad to know that after a few slow days, today we made some impressive progress!
Aiming for Cockermouth by the end of the day, we eventually finished the day off at the foot of Scafel Pike (Woo one more mountain to go).

We arrived at Cockermouth sometime after just after lunch & briefly considered pitching our tent due to being so far ahead of schedule. However 3L of Lemonade later, one sonic/stereo burp from Dave & a whole lemon cake (probably for about eight) later...well lets go!

This was all good and well until we were once again thwarted by the weather 30 miles shy of Wasdale. Naturally we were soon back in the nearest pub, to be greeted by a rather peculiar welcome.

A few quotes from 'The Central Pub'
"Your doing what!?....Your probably students arn't ya?"
"What are you doing!? Nothing, bloody lazy students. At least these bikers here have to do something! *motions twisting throttle*"

Leaving that madness behind, we soon found another, rather upright problem. The last road on the way to Wasdale Head was defiantly designed by someone who hadn't heard of gravity & it's effects.
For example, up one particular hill we were passed by a landrover (just) slipping and whining on its way up. More worryingly, shortly later we discovered a hill that was for lack of a better description, 'too steep to cycle down!'

The ridiculous path to Scafell did have one major upshot though, I will let you judge for yourself...


Eventually we slumped into the campsite around 10pm, casually noticing the 'green travel' discount (I should bloody think so) before heading for the tent. Through the night we were filled with confidence of the day to come as a thunderstorm rolled in over the hills.

Day 14 - Crawford to Carlisle

Our first port of call for the day was once again the Crawford Arms Hotel, or in this case water point. Thanks to our previous colourful visit to Crawford, we were granted the honor of free water from the closed/locked Hotel. That and called mad again.

Before long we stopped for quite a considerable time at some Edinburgh Woolen Mill outlet. There was good reason for this. We were distracted by food, Whisky (though Dave refused to let us have any free samples...the fool) &....rain.
Whilst stopped we devoured an awful lot of chocolate amongst other things (supplied by BRAWNDO powered assistant! ...."Brawndo will make you win at packing!!")

The other interesting moment from this here stop, was a coach bearing the number plate "HI WET" (says it all doesn't it?)

For dinner, we stopped again in the town of Ecclefeckin (fantastic name) for a quick burger. Once again we were quickly recognised as those 'mad buggers'. Most seemed somewhat shocked to see were still alive in all this.

Setting off about 7pm from the pub, we finally settled firmly back on English at the end of the day (by a good mile or so :P)

Code alpha: We won't talk about that
"It's happened again, we've gone mad."

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Day 13 - Loch Lomond to Crawford

With a late start to the day and knowing it took us a day previously to navigate around Glasgow to avoid it, we decided to head straight through it. Some cyclists the day before had mentioned that there should be a cycle path that follows the river and leads through the centre of Glasgow.

There was in fact a cycle path somewhere near the City centre, however being a City the signs naturally all pointed in the wrong (and generally circular) direction. Telford & Warwickshire have similar issues for those interested.

Quote of the day: "Why is it these people decide to design these places with a Spirograph?"

Anyhoo! After a lot of time going backwards and forwards (just to confuse you) we eventually managed to get out of Glasgow and start heading towards Crawford again. As we passed through Hamilton we stopped at a sandwich shop that we almost put out of business on the way up once more.
If a sandwich shop says that you can have as many toppings as you want for the same price, they really should expect a couple of gits (yours truly & co) to come and ask for everything. Twice. Each.

Once fully fueled we headed onwards again, only to get stopped shortly after as we entered (from the wrong side) a local parade. Eventually (though I'm not sure when or how) some movement happened again, reaching the ever haunted Crawford about 8pm.

In other News:
Random wave/cheering due to topless cycling count: 5
Some general advice:
If by see an iceberg. My suggestion is to almost defiantly stop!
[Aside] Iceberg != Mountain

Day 12 - Heading South!

In a vague attempt to avoid having to go over Rannoch Moor again, we headed for the coastal route towards Oban. Although this added a fair few miles to the journey, it proved useful as we found yet another flat and smooth cycle path.
Cunningly, a fair amount of dynamite and the like had been put to use on this path, cutting through the rocks around the Loch and keeping the path relatively flat (though I think they must have had budget cuts in some places).

Even with the wind behind us and a smooth path, the extra miles meant it was early evening by the time we reached Crianlarich. We eventually stopped (quiet suddenly) halfway down Loch Lomond, finding a nice little 'campsite' (In the loosest sense of the word) right on the Loch...literally.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Day 11 - Assault on Ben Nevis

We woke up 'nice' and early, managing to catch a lift to the bottom of Ben Nevis from a couple staying at the bunkhouse (whose names I still don't know...only spent three days with them after all!).

Quote of the day: 'Your dog's come loose again'

We set off from the visitors centre at about 10am thinking we had a full days climb ahead of us. By lunchtime we had reached the summit after apparently 'forgetting' to pace ourselves again. Thanks to this rather brisk stroll up to the top, we didn't see a thing from the summit as the cloud level hadn't had chance to lift. On this bright side, 'it's all downhill from here folks!'

After a brief scout around the plateau & a baguette or so later, we headed back down into the sunshine. Once again taking full advantage of gravity and then some, we were back with our feet safely on the ground after just over 4.5hrs of climbing/running/sliding etc.