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Day 21 – Edinburgh to Norham

Day 21 – Edinburgh to Norham

So. Now in England, by about 300 metres.

Shored up at a pub in Norham.

Am feeling mega tired, so have decided to take a day off.

The ride down to Newcastle is  80 miles or so.

At current energy levels, I don’t think I could handle it.

I’ve decided to have a day off around Norham, the first village in England.

Yesterday was pretty hard. I had to get up and get my laundry done.

Dalmore Lodge guest house

My host at the guest house had a go at me for leaving my bike in the back garden. I didn’t even know he was the host until he started serving breakfast for me in the morning!

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(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)
Day 20 – Dundee to Edinburgh

Day 20 – Dundee to Edinburgh

“All down hill”, said the host at my last B&B.

Tayside isn’t particularly a flat place.

It is very picturesque, and when I woke up, it was covered in fog.

Rolling..

Spent most of my day going up and down little hills.

Roll-on the disused railways lines of route 1.

Today was a simple 60 mile jaunt.

Finally, my body and metabolism recovered from the excesses of my night out in Aberdeen.

Don’t do it. Need to talk to someone?

The signs said going over.

The Forth bridge looked good as I was crossing it. Again, in fog.

Tomorrow I power on toward the border, I want to stop in Newcastle and see what gives.

Here’s some pictures from along the way.

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(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)
Day 19 – Aberdeen to Dundee

Day 19 – Aberdeen to Dundee

Hard day. As expected.

Wasn’t helped by the fact I went out in Aberdeen and didn’t turn in until around 1am.

Up and out by 9 and it was raining.

Have a slight knee injury from the other day when I tried to ride over one of the speed styles on route 1.

Speed styles

Are put in when the cycle route meets a road or a junction.

It consists of a U shape then an l which the U is shaped around. The l is very low sometimes, and you can ride over it and straight through the speed style.

In this particular case, it was peddle height, so I wound both pedals mid height and went though slowly without putting my legs down.

Just as I was exiting, over-balanced. It didn’t cause a problem at the time, but it placed a slight strain on the muscle in my leg.

For this reason, I’ve been riding relatively slowly.

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(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)
Day 18 – Buckie to Aberdeen

Day 18 – Buckie to Aberdeen

A long old day. Buckie to Aberdeen is touching on 80 miles.

Cycle Route 1

Spent the entire day on cycle route one. Stopping for lunch in Turriff.

Very much like a colder version of France.

A night out in Aberdeen

At least for some food. This Lindhome Guest house is a fair jaunt from anywhere.

Tomorrow

It’s Dundee which stands to be my hardest day yet, at around 90 miles.

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(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)
Day 17 – Inverness to Buckie

Day 17 – Inverness to Buckie

Learnt a few lessons today.

  1. Googlemaps crashes your phone.
  2. Googlemaps runs your battery down real quick.
  3. Eat a good breakfast.
  4. Get a good nights sleep.
  5. Try and get a good lunch in.
  6. Buy Lucozade for the journey.

Today, I had a problem with 4,5, and 6.

Staying in a shared room in a hostel always pisses me off.

You’ve got so many considerations over and above organising yourself and getting your shit together.

You’ve got to consider security, other people’s comings and goings in your room. That puts and additional level of stress on your general organisation, and when you’ve been cycling all day, it’s not the greatest thing.

Still, I thought I’d try it to see how the two mixed.

It was bearable. There are other things to recommend the YHA, but in terms of getting remaining on top of your planning and organisation, it can cause problems.

Sleep

I didn’t get much sleep.

  • Because people were snoring
  • People coming and going

Breakfast

Was good.

It was an as much as you can eat continental buffet.

I had 3 round of toast, 1 with ham, 1 with pastrami, 1 with just cheese.

It was a sheer delight and made the whole visit worthwhile. Plus the staff in AYH are often friendly.

Got going about 10am, purely because I thought it was going to be a much easier day.

Due to googlemaps problems, this turned out not to be the case, it was actually a longer and slightly harder day.

The problem with Googlemaps cycle planning

There are a couple of problems with it:-

Firstly, if you leave the maps on visual it EATS your battery.

Secondly, the route planning is often not what you’d plan automatically as a cyclist. For example on my first day, it sent me down some gate blocked farmers access roads. You need to check your route, and familiarise yourself where Googlemaps is sending you.
Even this is not much good, as you have to confirm, each time you start Googlemaps, that it’s going to send you down the same route.

Thirdly, it crashes your phone. Usually, it retaliates for taking it off visual, (you can turn your screen off and let it simple run on audio cues to save your battery), by ceasing all other services, including the hardware function buttons.
It does this when you power down, then switch back to re-check your route.
It’s very annoying, and it led to me turning my Googlemaps off today, which led to me taking a wrong turn, (to Lossiemouth), and adding 8 miles to my journey.

This won’t be happening again.

Today

I cycled along cycle path 1.

This took me away from the main roads, such as the A9, that I had been following previously.

The countryside was pretty impressive. I actually thought I was in France at one point.

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(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)
Day 16 – Helmsdale to Inverness

Day 16 – Helmsdale to Inverness

Another 70 mile job. This time the wind wasn’t in my face, and it wasn’t raining.

Stopped for a £3 meal deal in Tesco in Tain, the home of the Glenmorangie brewery, which was closed.

Otherwise, it was a day of straight cycling.

Took some great pictures along the way.

Today, I have to go from Inverness to Elgin, or there-abouts.

Here’s some pictures I took along the way.

Evanton view across the bay
Evanton view across the bay

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(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)
Day 15 – Helmsdale

Day 15 – Helmsdale

Due to a booking falling apart in Lybster, I’ve arrived in Helmsdale one day early which has meant a day of rest.

Helmsdale

Helmsdale has a fairly interesting story. It was set up by Thomas Telford and his industrialist compatriots as a fishing fleet base.

More or less the whole village was planned and build, on spec according to the need of the herring industry in the 19th century.

Despite that, it’s a fairly pretty place.

Food

I stop at two places for food La Mirage and Bannockburn Inn. Because of it’s busyness, I assumed the food would be good in Mckkays.

It was bland and boring with big portions.

Bannockburn, I had steak with peppercorn sauce which you had to pay £1.75 for. Then I had a coconut bomb, which was also very nice and an Irish coffee which kept me awake the whole night.

Here’s some photo’s

Helmsdale harbour.

Helmsdale Harbour
Helmsdale Harbour

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(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)