Saturday 5th May
*Guest blog post written by Danny*
Yesterday I had driven six and a half hours from Wokingham to Berwick Upon Tweed and then jumped on the train to Edinburgh and finally arrived at my hostel around 11pm. I was shattered so fell straight asleep on the spring filled mattress, ready to get up early the next day and go see Natalie.
I didn’t feel bad waking up my hostel room mates as I got dressed and packed in the morning as they had barged in at 3:30am having been out on the town. I was staying opposite Edinburgh Waverley train station so wandered over and caught the 7:30am train to Montrose, the town were Natalie had stayed last night. On the train I met and chatted to a triathlete who was taking her bike to her parents in Aberdeen as she had recently bought a new one and had nowhere to store this one…n+1 sprang to mind.
An hour and a half later I hopped off the train at Montrose and as I turned left I was hit by a wall of wind coming from the south. As that would be the direction of travel for us today I knew we were in for a tough ride from the off!
After locating Natalie’s accommodation we were finally reunited after weeks apart. Since I last left her in Unapool she had cycled so far – all the way up to the north coast of Scotland, over to the Orkneys, back across to John O Groats and south through Inverness and Aberdeen! It made me feel immensely proud of her accomplishments (if I wasn’t already!) and so happy that I could share another few days with her.
At breakfast Natalie had met another touring cyclist, Andy, who was going to do the first 10 miles with us before turning off to continue his own route. Andy was a really interesting guy and we swapped bike stories before his time with us came to a too short end.
It was great to be riding with Natalie again and the miles ticked by despite the relenting headwind. I don’t think either of us realised how hot it was because of this but it certainly was – it seems I always bring the good weather when I come and see Natalie!
Despite the later than usual start we were making good progress and soon arrived in Dundee. We spied a convenient looking rest stop and pulled in for some food and drinks. The courtyard was nice and sheltered so we sat outside in the sunshine and treated ourselves to a beer.
Back on the move after lunch we encountered a couple of tricky bike paths to get us to the bridge over the River Tay. This included a tight chicane (too tight for a regular bike, let along a trike) and a confusing lift!
There was an odd section of National cycle route 1 we had to negotiate which went through an industrial compound, and you had to buzz the security guard to let you though. It was strange and kind of eerie as there was no one else around.
We had one more section of coastline to tackle before pointing ourselves inland and to the campsite. We had wanted to stay at a camping and caravan site just east of St Andrews, but having called them to check they had availability we were met with a ‘no’. This threw us as previously we had never struggled to find somewhere, and over on the west coast we were often the only people at the campsite! It dawned on us that the bank holiday had drawn out the campers and every site was teeming. We settled on a place a little further inland and off route (and up a big hill!).
We pitched our tent and tried to work out where we could eat this evening. The local pub had a private function on which left us with no other option but to cycle 3 miles back down the big hill and to Guardbridge where we had just come from. We had a really nice meal but couldn’t have too many drinks as we knew we had to climb back up the hill afterwards.
Tomorrow is going to be even sunnier and hotter than today so we were planning to get up early and make the most of it.