Dawn fed me a good breakfast and I left at 10.30 when the heavy rain had stopped. Dawn, Jon, Molly and Emma saw me off at the road and I headed out through Berrier past Low Mill to Haltcliffe Bridge. I cut across and got back on route just before Hesket Newmarket. The view of the fells to the left was good and would have been stunning if not for the low cloud (Bowscale Fell at 703′ and Carrock Fell at 663′).
I followed the Reivers Route cycle path through Newlands to Sour Nook. My knee was playing up so I made the decision to start adjusting my seat which meant a lot of stopping and starting. I went through Raughton Head and had a lovely fast ride to Carlisle through Durdar and Blackwell.
At Carlisle I asked a couple to keep an eye on my stuff whilst I popped into Boots for a better knee support, some Deep Heat and more ibuprofen. I grabbed a rather poor luke warm pie from Greggs and ate it at a bus stop. I bought a couple of postcards as I’ve not been able to get any internet access along the way.
I took the A7 north out of Carlisle through Blackford and went west on the A6071 where Richie went past about a mile before Scotland! At Gretna Green I took the B721 through Eastriggs, Dornock to Annan where I had an unusual supper of baked potato, macaroni cheese, grated cheese and salad. I left Annan about 8pm and took the B724 through Cummertrees, coming off at Ruthwell along the Channel of Lochar Water cycle path to Caerlaverock Castle. A beautiful run full of wild fowl but getting late.
The road followed the River Nith along Glencaple Road into Dumfries where I couldn’t find any accommodation and so I bit the bullet and put my lights on and headed out of town to find somewhere. I took the A76 and came off at Auld Girth and asked in a pub about campsites. The locals told me to take the mountain road on the other side of the A76.
It was really dark on the mountain road due to the trees blocking the moonlight and at one point a huge owl swooped down infront of me. I couldn’t see a thing but just kept going up and up and eventually, about 3 miles along the road and at 11.30 I came across a camp site where I put up my tent as quietly as possible and went straight to bed.
32.3 mph MAX 9.1 mph AVE 8 hours 56 minutes 2 seconds 81.08 miles