Our sleeping bags had been infested with bugs... at least that was the theory... at nights we've been feeling itchy and Sam woke with a funny bite on his foot... so we spent a few hours washing the sleeping bags and putting them through two cycles in the dryer. It meant we had a late start to the day but hopefully it was worth it.
On the road at Gretna Green we spent some time chatting to two English guys from London who are cycle touring this weekend. Both interesting and friendly guys; it was nice to stop and talk about cycling adventures. We also saw the old blacksmiths shop where English runaways have been getting married Las Vegas style without need of witnesses since the 1800s... I'd read about people eloping to Scotland so it was interesting to see how close to the border of England this place was.
Back in England, and despite some morning rain the sun is shining again. We go through Carlisle and then continue down to Penrith, where we buy some Indian for dinner and eat on a bench in a church graveyard, cold wind blowing furiously... on our way out of town we see the ruins of an old castle on the hill.
We make a turn and head into the Lakes District. It's evening and the sun is low... we can see the well known craggy hills in the distance and our first lake below us. In the cool evening, the wind behind us, we fly down and up the hills, past the lake and past sheep and cows. There are fences along the road restricting access to perfect free-camping sites, every bit of land seems to have been fenced and sold to farmers in this National Park. We stop at a real camp site but it's full.
We keep riding, both tired and cold and eager to stop, but where? Finally I see a little embankment in some trees. We push our bikes up and find a great spot - our view of the lake that we'd hoped for obscured, but well hidden and quiet, Sam shoo's away the cows and we prepare to sleep.
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia