Day 9 | 2nd July

Day 9

Good morning Day 9! Let’s see, what’s on the menu?

1. Get to the Scottish capital.

2. Cross a bridge.

3. Go and see some deer.

Easy.

The first couple of hours today have proven to be be some of the toughest. Though the skies allowed me to pack up my tent without a single drop, they opened up with an ice-cold rain as soon as I was on the road again. I pulled over at the first shelter of a tree I could find, so I could get all of my waterproofing gear on. If I was to get through this morning I needed the lot. Helmet cover, gortex jacket and bottoms and of course the shoe covers. But more than anything I needed to get my body temperature up as quickly as possible. Having watched various experienced cyclists when setting off on long journeys, I noticed that many initially stay in lower gears to allow faster movement of the legs to warm up, so I did just the same for first half hour.  It really did the trick, and soon again I did not care for what the weather wanted to throw at me. Having tested me for couple of hours, the rain buggered off and let me be.

Near Thankerton

Near Thankerton

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Having reached Carnwath, I pulled over for a quick snack: coffee, sausage roll, mince pie and a yum-yum. That should get me through to lunch.. maybe.

From there I joined A70, that was to carry me all the way to the bonny capital of Scotland. It offered me some of the most pleasant cycling to this day. For miles, the tarmac was unbelievably smooth, with gentle gradients on hills and tail wind that seemed to carry me all the way. An occasional car would quietly zoom past me, as if apologetic for being there in the first place.

A70

A70 – A “Well Done So Far” gift

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It’s strange: – this is as close as I have been to my home city of Glasgow, yet I won’t be cycling through it. I want to avoid the feeling of premature finale (so to speak). Dunnet Head is my destination and on the other side of the Firth of Forth is the third and final part of my journey. So that’s exactly where I’m heading.

Bridges in the Distance (East Calder)

Forth Bridges in the Distance – Yes they are there!

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Pretty Bridge

Forth Road Bridge through the bushes.

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So I get to the Forth Road bridge where I’m met by the mighty Iain, lovely Claire and another one of Iain’s grand cycling machines.

Forth Road Bridge 1

Discussing the difficult task of crossing this bridge

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Forth Road Bridge 2

My most dedicated groupies are here too, with another portion of Napoleon!

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GoreWear Pose 7

Bike GoreWear Pose No7

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So we have lunch at Queensferry Brook Hotel and I continue on towards the “Fields of Boars” where grand deer stags roam the hills and fantastic family friends have offered me shelter and food.

Leaving Forth Road Bridge

Northbound lanes are closed to let the bear pass

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On the way to Auchtermuchty 1

On the way to Auchtermuchty

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On the way to Auchtermuchty 2

As I arrive at Auchtermuchty, I follow the familiar road up hill towards tonights rest-stop.

Approaching Reediehill

Approaching Reediehill

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As always, there I’m met with a great hospitality, home made food and a great banter from the hosts.

John and Nickie Fletcher

Fantastic people that are John and Nickie Fletcher

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Dinner

Dinner

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Couldn’t be happier camping on the grounds of Reediehill at this point of my journey.

I think I'll sleep well tonight

I think I’ll sleep well tonight

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Next Day..

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