Auld Girth to Ayr

I got up at 9am and my neighbours in a caravan made me a coffee. I found the campsite owner who wouldn’t take any money as I was riding for charity and she showed me the shower and electric points so I could charge up my phone and camera batteries. I packed up and my caravan neighbours on the other side made me some chicken and stuffing sandwiches for lunch whilst I wrote my journal, a couple of postcards and planned my route. I left at 12.45 and it turned out that the road I was on was actually part of my route so I continued on it to Kier Mill, the birthplace of the pedal cycle; invented by Kirkpatrick Macmillan in 1840. My knee wasn’t feeling so bad so I tried cycling without any support and it niggled on and off all day, I was still playing with the seat adjustment up to Kier Mill.

Drumlanrig Castle
Drumlanrig Castle

I crossed the A702 and took the cycle path up to Drumlanrig Castle which is very cycle friendly with showers in the stables, a cycle workshop, bike hire and a bicycle museum, all of which I missed due to wanting to make up some time due to my late start.

Drumlanrig Castle
Drumlanrig Castle

I took the cycle path past the castle and all the way down to the river where the postie (who used to run the bicycle hire at the castle) sent me back up the hill to a small back road to Sanquhar as I wanted to keep off the A76.

Drumlanrig Castle
Drumlanrig Castle

A beautiful road, much hillier than the A76 but with gorgeous views and some nice little bridges now and then leading back to the A76. It bypassed Sanquhar, Kirkmconnel and then I was forced to take the A76 which was very rolling and dangerous with tractors, lorries and fast cars.

Back road to Sanquhar
Back road to Sanquhar

I was thankful to get to New Cumnock and off the A76 and stocked up with food in the petrol station, the Kwik E Mart and got some rather horrible battered sausages and chips in the chippy. A bloke came out of his house for a chat and filled up my water bottle for me and I took the B741 to Boig Road through Wellhill Hall of Auchincross on a very undulating road to the B7046 through Skares.

Back road to Sanquhar
Back road to Sanquhar

I turned onto the A70 where I headed for Ayr in order to try and find somewhere to sleep as it was open farmland for miles. There was a farmhouse B&B which was full and after phoning everyone she knew and finding out they were all full she said I could put my tent up in the garden. I had some tea and homemade banana bread in their huge kitchen then had a power shower, wrote my journal and went to bed after what seems a long, tiring day and without doing 50 miles but pretty close!

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