Wednesday 2nd May
This morning it was pouring, I wish I had put the extra awning I have with me over the tent the night before. Despite how wet the outer-layer of my tent was the inner was still perfectly dry and I was warm and toasty in my sleeping bag. The rain was due to ease in a while so I relaxed, replied to messages and planned my schedule.
I managed to pack away in a gap between showers, the minute I was ready to go and sat on my trike it started raining again. Much of the riding this morning was through forest roads of which the majority were smooth and a pleasure to ride. Every time I hit a village, there were often community projects where flowers have been planted, lots of tulips and daffodils. I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of the mustard yellow flowers on the gorse bushes are starting to turn brown. I had pretty much followed spring up the West Coast, but it has long started here.
(A house sign a saw this morning, ironically I don’t feel that far away anymore).
I cycled past the RAF base at Lossiemouth, it was very quiet and there was nothing in the sky. Then I followed more forest roads and country lanes towards Garmouth. I hadn’t seen the sea all morning, I knew I was closely following it but there was often land, sand dunes or a golf course in between us. I found a hotel cafe for lunch and had a good rest. I only had 20 miles left of my journey so I wasn’t in a rush.
After lunch I found the cycle path, unfortunately the first access I found on National cycle route 1 had steps, but I eventually managed to find a ramp across a mile back through the village onto it, it crossed the rivers flowing out to the sea on an old railway line.
For the rest of the afternoon the road followed the coastline closely dipping in and out of all of the historic fishing villages. Lots of stone terraced houses and bungalows laid out along the coastline in a similar style. Each village with its own unique charm.
I am staying in a bunkhouse in Portsoy, another small village. To my surprise when I turned up at The Sail Loft Bunkhouse I walked in and met Chris, who is running the entire coastline. Chris has been on the road for the same amount of time as me and has already made fantastic progress. We went for dinner in the local hotel and spent most of the evening comparing our experiences and chatting about our lightweight gear. Chris is running to raise money for Scope and his website is www.chriscoastrun.co.uk.
We tried out the jacuzzi which was heated with a log burner. It was warm enough to stay for a while but not too long as the air temperature was very cold so we sat in front of the fire in the living room area to warm up.
Tomorrow I will continue to make progress down the East Coast, it won’t be too long until I am back in England!