Waking up with the sun in my eyes was a good sign, a bonus that it was not raining and the forecast strong wind was not yet turning the nearby wind turbine, so like a kid at Christmas I leapt out of bed to get an early start. At just after 7am I was on the road, it may have been dry but the wind soon picked up and it was the 25 mph on the nose that was going to slow progress today, that and the 4600ft of climbing.
I can fully understand why Scotland want independence, the scenery is stunning. My first observation was that it was full of stone walls, sheep, brand new monster tractors, wind turbines and cut timber convincing me that at least farmers up here are making a good living.
The first major town of the day was Dumfries, as I wound my way through the town I passed the football ground of Scottish Championship side Queen of The South. Our first stop for coffee was at the small village of Moniaive and then a very difficult and desolate uphill section against the wind on the worst sections of potholed roads I have met so far, the moorland was home to sheep and lambs who all seemed to seek shelter on the roadside in lee of stone walls, perhaps they are not that silly. On the very narrow single track road that had passing places I encountered several articulated lorries laden with cut timber from the forests, they all seemed reluctant to slow down so being a fast learner I moved off the road when they approached. The beautiful scenery and watching fly fishermen on the very fast flowing Water of Deugn were a nice distraction from the headwind. The climb continued all the way to Dalmellington but the views of Galloway Forest and Loch Doon on a sunny day eased the struggle.
Luncheon was served in the mobile catering unit at Dalmellington where I stopped to admire the street art before a last 20 mile section through Patna, I then took the A730 through the hedged lanes of Drongan, Tarbolton and the lovely named Bogend before stopping for the night at Dundonald and a campsite at Troon
Miles 80.92 Total 613.85
Avg Speed 14.1mph