Distance: 107km

Rain pouring down I'm sitting here, in a place that used to be Scotland wondering what to do.

Do we start riding in the rain or stay put were we are, in England, warm and comfortable, enjoying the view of winter from our table.

Two hours later we turn and look at each other at the English/Scottish border, a funnily excited feeling, wondering if we made the right decision. 

Filling the air with the mist of heavy breathing, rain splashing against our faces, the spray from trucks and cars covering us in a haze. 

My face and legs are cold, actually they're freezing, but I'm sweating profusely under this jacket. Taking it off is not an option though, it's to damn cold, and it's been raining all day.

On the few occasions the weather breaks we glimpse gently rolling hills cascading down to the ocean amidst a darkening sky and massive sea gulls, wings spread wide, circling like birds of prey. 

Scotland is a beautiful place, but I think someone forgot to tell them it's still meant to be Summer...

Just as the evening light is beginning to finally fade we cycle into Musselburgh, a coastal town just outside Edinburgh. It's still raining, and we haven't seen anywhere to camp for at least 30 kilometers, so I stop and ask a crazy looking red headed Scott walking his two Rott Weillers if he knows anywhere we can camp around here. 

'Overrr therrrre,' he replies nonchalantly, as if it's not even raining. 

'Where,' we ask, confused. 

'Oveeerrrr thhherrrrrre, in the sand dunnnes' he says back in a thick Scottish drawl.

'OK thanks,' we say, unable to see anything, or any dunes, and keep riding.

Now its dark, & wondering what to do suddenly Shanna spots a camping sign, we turn and head up a dark alley, hoping the place exists when we come upon another hill. 

'400 yards' the sign says, as we race up the hill through the rain, knowing, hoping, because this is the last bit of energy we have left in us today.

Reception is closed, we wheel our bikes through the gates and in the dark fumble around, searching for a campsite. But it seems that every spot is taken, mild panic (can that work) sets in before we discover another section behind a massive crumbling wall. 

We set up our tent, in the rain, tired, relieved and greatful for somewhere to sleep. 

'Houses are underrated,' I say, as the rain makes a 'pitter patter, pitter patter' noise, splashing down on the tent.  
Lesley Common
8/25/2010 08:09:03

Now you know why English people are always discussing the weather. It's so variable - one day you can sunbathe, the next you can build a snowman, sometimes you get all four seasons in one day - but somehow we never get used to it and are frequently taken by surprise.

Hope the weather improves for you but expect lots of rain in the Lake District and Ireland.


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