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!


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


We passed a few highland cattle along the road.


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


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


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




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.



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



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.


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.


Next stop – Isle of Arran.

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