Woke up this morning to bright sunlight streaming through the windows. No, not really. It was raining again. Oh well, maybe by the time breakfast is over it’ll have stopped. One of the problems we’ve encountered on this epic is the temptation to go full English or Scottish every morning. But what one really needs rather that a plate full of fried stuff is porridge or muesli and banana – low fat, carbohydrate loaded food for the effort ahead. Today we were both good and had porridge. I added a banana to mine then chased it with I bowl of muesli with another banana in it. Toast and honey to finish off set us up for the mornings work.
Before we set off we popped in to the cake shop next door to the B&B to buy some sandwiches and a large sausage roll for lunch. We were heading out into forestry land with very few communities and didn’t know if there would be any tea rooms or cafes on our route.
First up was a big long climb away from Langholm. We were heading up Eskdale and for the most part the road followed the river, making the climbs long and easy but there were a couple of places where it headed over the top rather than go round. The consolation for the harder work getting over these hills were the wonderful long downhills back to the river on the other side.
At about 15 miles we came across the Samye Ling Tibetan Centre. We pulled into the place to have a look at the temple but noticed they had a tea shop too, so parked the bike and went in. Karon tried a Yak butter tea while I enjoyed a ‘revitalising tea’. We had cake too and rested a little longer than usual to let yet another shower pass. Soon after we climbed a nice gentle gradient that took us up to the watershed. Now we were really exposed and I looked over my shoulder to see very dark clouds above heavy rain bearing down on us. Up ahead was a solitary stand of a dozen or so trees at the entrance to a farm lane, so we raced the rain and got there to shelter from the worst of it. 10 minutes later the sun was shining and we were already on our way. From there it was pretty much downhill all the way to the Tushielaw Inn. It must be the only pub between Langholm and Innerleithen but has spectacular views of the Scottish Lowlands which Karon and I are now enjoying, sat in the bar looking out the window.