Posted by: paulgilders | September 7, 2012

South West Scotland

After about 4 weeks off the bikes, we had mixed feeling about cycling again – well Poppy had fallen in love with the van! We decided to take an easy progression back into cycling by travelling through Sustrans route 7 through Dumfries and Galloway, which starts on flat roads and gets gradually more hardcore over a week of riding.

We started out of Carlisle and were soon across the Scottish border. We met another tandem couple doing a 600mile audax ride over two days – they were slightly faster than us and had already ridden 120 miles by 11am. Our tandem was sporting flash new paintwork – hammerite is great!

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Our first stop was at a coastal campsite at Powfoot. You will notice that once in Scotland the blue skies appeared!

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We passed a few highland cattle along the road.

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Further west, we cycled through Dumfries – a beautiful river flowing through town.

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We pass through the small village of Blackcraig after descending a scary 20% gradient road.

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After Newton Stewart, we headed away from the coast and towards some wilder landscapes. We cycle over two major passes in wonderful conditions.

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After a big day of climbing we finally get over the last hill of the day to see the Isle of Arran in the distance.

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We camp close to the west coast at “Heads of Ayr” with great views over to the Isle of Arran.

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The following day we reached the coast near Saltcoats. Route 73 goes by the coast, but with a strong southerly blowing salt water over the coastal road, we decided to detour inland.

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In the town of Saltcoats, I get some more fuel for our camping stove in a hardware store. When I come out, I find Gill and Poppy talking to Graeme Obree in the street. They don’t know it’s him. We have a good chat with him about cycle touring before heading off to find lodging.

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Next stop – Isle of Arran.


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