The bar come restaurant at the Tushielaw overlooks Ettrick Water at the back and as we sat eating breakfast were were entertained by a family of wagtails on the far bank. Later, as we chatted with the landlord (we were the only overnighters) an otter trotted along the bank too. Good start to the day!
We were, once again, climbing from the word go but the gradient was gentle – it just went on for two miles. At the top we were over 1,000 feet up. There followed a 2 mile decent and then the whole process was repeated. On this second round, several cyclists passed us heading the other way. Just at the start of our decent towards Innerleithen and Peebles, a trio of riders came up the hill and stopped for a chat. We all stood on the road and the topic ranged from the bike, to the trip and weather and finally what tea shops we should look for once we hit civilisation again. Then the long, flowing run down to the Tweed just outside Innerleithen. We have come to enjoy riding the glens. Before we got to them, when the hills were still distant and looked foreboding, we were apprehensive about tackling them, but so far they’ve been gentle giants and it’s been the wild weather on them that’s been the issue.
As we approached Peebles alongside the Tweed, we were both tired and hungry from the two hour ride through the hills. So after finding the local loos we went off to cruise the main street and suds out all the potential eating places. The Crown Hotel won as it had free Internet which would allow me to find and pre book another night’s stop after Edinburgh. The food was good too and not overly expensive.
We left Peebles on the A703 for Penicuik. There was really no option but to use the main road. It was wide and most folks gave us a wide berth but there were a few that passed uncomfortably close. Our stint was broken by a brief stop to shelter under some trees while another heavy shower passed. At least out here you can see them coming and prepare. After that we continued the easy ride. No hills to speak of except the drop off the moor into Penicuik. All in all, a good day’s ride, despite the rain.