Day 20, 6th June 2011, Carlisle to Dumfries

We had a delayed start to today as we had to get some work done on Roz’ bike. This was work that should have been done by the bike shop in Canberra before we left, but was not.

So we had to hang around in the town centre of Carlisle until 11.30 while I drank good coffee.  British coffee, like British beer is greatly underrated.  There are two major chains, Costa and Nero, with outlets in most major towns in England.  Both chains offer coffee that is vastly superior to anything I have had in Holland or Belgium.  It is served in a very big cup, if you wish, and they use fresh milk, not UHT, which make a huge difference.  There are also a lot of little coffee shops that also offer excellent coffee.  The style is very similar to that served in good coffee shops in Australia.

Our usual practice is to stop for a snack around 1.00pm or whenever we roll into a town, and I have a cup of coffee. Roz doesn’t do coffee.  The snack is usually a pastry from a local baker, if there is one.  We do not do lunch, and if there is no appropriate place to stop, then we make up for it at dinner time.  I do enjoy these breaks and look forward to them.  Coffee has a special place in my world.

The ride tody took us north into Scotland and then west along the northern shore of the Solway Firth.  We had a weather change over night and the wind is now blowing from the south west as it usually does in these parts. The villages and towns do not look as affluent as in the part of England that adjoins here.  The houses are tiny and many look a bit rundown.

With a cool wind blowing in our faces and a partly overcast sky the Solway is not strikingly attractive, but improved as we moved into the low hills around Dumfries where it is the common pleasant European vista of rolling green grass, sheep and stone walls.

We stopped at a sign on the Nith River shortly before Dumfries, which stated that this was one of the most attractive regions in Scotland, a statement that at this stage of our tour of Scotland left me mildly disappointed.

We got into Dumfries just after 5.00pm, quickly found a B&B of which there are many.  We rode only 83km, but this was almost entirely in the afternoon against a headwind, so not a bad distance all things considered. We then walked to the loca supermarket and bought dinner which we ate in the garden.

I have had a bit of a problem with the website dropping daily reports more than ten days old, but this is now fixed and all of the reports should be there.

I am able to post this today, as our cheap B&B has free WiFi, unlike the Travelodge chain or Ibis.

You may have to zoom to get the map to show properly.

View 6 6 2011 Carlisle to Dumphries in a larger map


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