Day 19, 5th June 2011, Haltwhistle to Carlisle

This was a very short day.  I woke up with a sore throat, our power adaptor had broken, Roz’ bike needed attention, we wanted a map for our next stage, the temperature varied between 8C and 12C, and there was just a little bit of drizzle.  So we bailed out at Carlyle at about 3.00pm, after only 53Km. 

Carlyle is where we finish the Hadrian’s Wall route, before turning north into Scotland.

We rode into Carlisle, saw an Ibis hotel and checked in.  It was then we found that the hotel had Travelodge disease.  WiFi is an optional extra, and just like in the Travelodge hotel, the optional extra doesn’t work.  Actually I walked away for an hour or so, and it decided to work at an extra cost of just 9.90E.

We actually rode alongside the path of Hadrian’s wall for quite some time today, and saw some of the fortifications and forts that were built to support the wall.  It was an astonishing engineering achievement. There is an outside chance that there is some possibility that Hadrian may have actually briefly stopped at one of these forts.

The riding was not difficult, but had its challenges.  The country is rolling and there are several steep hills with pitches up to about 14%, but they do not last for long.  We found out that we were very lucky that the wind for the last couple of day has been from the east.  Apparently most people ride from west to east as the prevailing wind is from the south west.

As is nearly always the case, the scenery improves as you move into hills.  It is also the case, that while you might wish for flat country, after a while the hills offer a change and they are something to look forward to.  So today’s scenery was classical English post card stuff, rolling hills of green grass, dotted with sheep and bounded by dry-stone walls.  This is also country of pretty villages and hamlets.

We have stayed in perhaps 150 hotels on these trips, and many more outside of Europe, and they share this common misconception.  They assume that their clients enjoy good coffee at all times of day, except breakfast, when they would prefer to drink really appalling, awful coffee.  Now why is that?

Tomorrow we begin another stage of this trip, with a tour of the Scottish west island.

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