Thursday 3rd May
I got off to a bit of a late start because my bed at the bunkhouse was so comfortable! I packed up and retrieved my tent from the drying room. I packed the bags on my bike very badly, you would think that after 68 days I would have perfected this, well I thought I had until this morning. I finally managed to squeeze everything in telling myself that I would have to take everything out and repack that evening.
Having had a pretty flat day yesterday the first few steep inclines were a bit of a shock, I still hadn’t managed 10 miles when a bakery beckoned me. And there it was, the best bakery invention I have ever seen, a macaroni pie! Before this trip I’d never really eaten macaroni cheese before as I struggle to digest too much wheat and milk, however it rarely contains any onion or garlic and I’m managing with everything else so it has proven to be a good meal on the road!
I sat outside on my trike nibbling at my pie when someone called me by name, forgetting I had it written on the back on my top and I was sat upright on my trike I was a little taken aback. He asked if I had met Chris (the runner) and I explained that we had stayed in the same place. The man was telling me how impressive Chris is and I agreed, I then told him that I was cycling the coastline to which he replied ‘that’s nothing he is running it’. I told this man that it’s quite hard for me because of my medical conditions, he said it didn’t matter because he has disabled children and what I was doing is nothing compared to Chris. So thank you to this man for ruining my day! I shouldn’t have let it but it really bothered me. I’ve had all sorts of different responses to what I am doing but no-one else has been quite so dismissive.
I tried to brush off what was said and I continued on the rolling hills, which mostly descended to a farm house and then ascended to another. I was quite pleased to descend a 17 percent gradient until I had to climb the 20 percent gradient the other side. This morning it was quite warm and I had taken my jacket off to cycle in short sleeves. As the day progressed it became colder and windier and I had a strong headwind for most of it. Battling this headwind was difficult and took a lot of energy. It was a mistake to look at the weather to realise that the wind is going to blow in the same direction all weekend, against me!
I cycled through more fishing villages that varied in size, the brickwork of the houses in one of the smaller villages called Sandhaven intrigued me, they had been painted, this had been done to most of the houses on the Main Street. I don’t have an answer as to why.
The miles were finally ticking away. I noticed my phone battery was low, and then my Garmin battery was low and to top it off my Di2 battery was low. I shouldn’t have let this happen, my routine was definitely out of sorts today. I needed to stop to plug in everything and managed to find somewhere in Peterhead. It was a very busy place, everyone was inquisitive and very kind.
I only had another 8 miles to the campsite, the only campsite on this stretch of road. I didn’t fancy spending time finding somewhere to wild camp so headed straight there. The ground was very wet where I was first indicated to pitch. I finally found somewhere dryer near one block of toilets (that I have just realised has a light shining right on me!). I have paid £14 for a 2x1m stretch of grass, a unisex unheated and unclean toilet block and just to top it all off it’s blowing a gale and the minute I got inside my tent it poured with rain! Its pretty cold again so I put on all of my layers and got into my sleeping bag! I texted Danny and he was sitting outside in Reading having a drink! Typical!
Sorry for the lack of photos today, I’ve really struggled with the wind, tiredness and motivation. Tomorrow is a new day! At least the wind will dry my tent!