Once again I awoke to the sound of heavy rain but today it was heavy showers and gusty winds. A 7am rendezvous at Asda to top up supplies for Scotland. To start it was a 1400ft climb to the top of Shap Fell and inevitably into a gusty headwind and heavy shower, getting to the top was a struggle and looking at the Garmin telling me I had done 14 miles it felt like 40. The climb had certainly warmed me up but with height the temperature drops and by the time I had coasted down the other side I was frozen. It was a spectacular sight watching the showers and rainbows track across the Fells.
Morning coffee was served at Penrith and whoever the patron saint of cyclists is, he must have looked at me because for the 2nd day running my coffee stop coincided with a torrential downpour.
From Penrith it was a 15 mile leg to Carlisle and I could see large shower cells ahead, I was now in open countryside and with the ferocity of the showers being caught in one on the road was probably a toss-up between hypothermia or drowning. I managed to make it to Thomas Close before the heavy drops of the next shower and took shelter in a barn before another deluge that left the roads underwater. A high average speed was achieved on this leg in an effort to stay dry and I just made Carlisle centre and shelter as a clap of thunder preceded a torrential hail shower.
I am sure the weather did not do Carlisle justice but it did strike me as a place I was in no hurry to see again. The one thing my route has done through the town is show me some of the back roads, warts and all.
From Carlisle the relatively short distance running alongside the M6 to Gretna, and Scotland, a milestone on the journey. At least I can now say I have cycled England from end to end.
Entering Gretna I had to stop by the “Welcome To Scotland” sign, I was hoping somebody would pass by and I could get them to take my photo and per chance a guy passed with camera in hand, he was waiting for his team to pass by as he was support crew for a group LeJog, raising money for Alderhay Childrens Hospital. Just as my Kodak moment was being captured Kaye appeared with camera as well so like London buses its feast or famine!!
The campsite has the best views yet looking out over the Solway Firth, Scotland looking good so far.
Kendal to Cummertrees 69.93 miles
Avg Speed 14.8mph (quite acceptable given the climb up Shapp Fell against wind and rain)
Campsite. Moss Side Farm CL Cummertrees, Annan.