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Blue skies and green hills – Coylton to Crocketford (85/20,166ks, 770m)

(written by Nancy)

We have updated the post yesterday – plus added photos.

Phew, we survived the night at the holiday park from hell and were able to escape before being sucked into the vortex of disco balls, bingo and 70’s hits.  It rained overnight and was quite blustery so neither of us slept too well.  There were some clear patches in the sky this morning though, which gave us some hope for the day.

We worked our way out of Coylton and on to the A713, which we would be on most of the day.  Patches of sunshine hit the hills around us, though we could see lots of clouds and mist up ahead of us.  The road was uncomfortably busy for the first 10k or so and I was hoping we would not have a repeat of yesterday’s conditions, particularly as we were going to be on this road for much of today.  Thankfully, after we passed the town of Patna traffic diminished quite a bit and we had good roads for the rest of the day.

Today’s ride went southeasterly as we worked our way through lots of hills and dales, surrounded by fields full of sheep and rock walls.  It was quite a pretty ride and the best part was that we had a very strong tailwind!  I would not have liked to be going the other direction today, as we were literally pushed up the hills by the wind.  Between that awesome tailwind and the sunshine Scotland once again redeemed itself after yesterday.

We stopped at the little town of St John’s of Dalry for lunch supplies at the local store.  Homemade scotch pie for Dave and a chicken curry pastry for me – quite tasty.  We sat in the sun at a picnic table across the street – I don’t think we’ve sat in the sun and had lunch the whole time we’ve been in Scotland!  Anyway, we certainly enjoyed it.

Dave stopped multiple times to try to get just the right photo of the green hills – I am sure he must have thousands of them by now.  Despite all of those stops we arrived at our intended destination of Crocketford about 2pm.  We debated going on into Dumfries, another 10 miles from here, but decided that we would have an early day and try to relax a bit rather than head into the bigger town of Dumfries.  Our campground here is a small family-run place, cheaper than last night with power at every site.  It is quiet though there are probably 10 other campers/caravans here.  We have already met one little girl, Tegan, who is here with her grandparents.  She must be about 5 and she is a kick – it’s hard enough to understand kids anyway sometimes and throw in a Scottish accent and it is doubly hard.  She or her grandparents have a German Shepherd puppy that is very cute – I think it’s head and feet are so big for the rest of its body it doesn’t really know what to do with them!

The wind is still quite blustery and when the sun goes behind the clouds it is pretty cold so I think it will be another night spent inside the warmth of the tent.  But first dinner – tonight we are having scrambled eggs over lentils on toasted ciabatta.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of trying to figure out what you can make out of the ingredients in the food bag and what they have at the store that you can throw in….  Oh well, it’s got some protein, some veggies, some carbohydrates – what more could you want?

Today was our last full day in Scotland – tomorrow we will cross the border into England.  The papers keep noting warmer weather down south so we are looking forward to lots of blue sky and sunshine in the days ahead (okay, a bit optimistic but some days you need something to keep you going….).

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3 responses to “Blue skies and green hills – Coylton to Crocketford (85/20,166ks, 770m)

  1. I’m happy to hear about a really good day! You deserve one of those! Nice pictures, I enjoy seeing all the green..not much of that here!

  2. Nice photos! especially stone fences and stone house. Very nice.

  3. Soon you will be in the lake district. I hope you get some good weather so that you can enjoy the scenery.

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