Today’s distance 66.9 miles, ascent 3269ft; total 541.2 miles, 25744ft
As planned, Rowland left us today as he is going home to celebrate his daughter’s 30th birthday. He rejoins us in Bristol.
We awoke to a windy morning which, fortunately, was blowing from the north west, so giving us a push towards Dumfries.
After a hearty breakfast we bade farewell to Rowland and then left Ayr ourselves. We had done a hasty bit of replanning when we realised our route was due to take us along the busy A77 dual carriageway. Instead we headed south on a quiet but hilly B road towards Maybole.
We then headed east for the first of our climbs today. Starting from Straiton we climbed to about 900ft with some pretty sharp gradients, then across the high moors and a long descent into Dalmellington. A quick coffee, cake (and a burger for Joe!) in a truck stop, and then our 2nd climb of the day.
This was a long climb along the A716, to over 1000ft but with a tailwind, a gentle gradient and a good road surface and not much traffic. Another long descent took us into the small village of Carsphain. This small village had a shop cum cafe where we had an excellent lunch – freshly made soup, toasties, cakes, drinks.
After lunch we tackled the final long climb of the day, this time along a quiet B road through forests and high moors, again reaching an altitude of over 1000ft. A long descent took us to the village of Moniaive, where we saw a traffic jam caused by a delivery lorry and a mobile library! It was then a relatively flat route of 18 miles to our B&B in Locharbriggs, near Dumfries.
On arriving at the B&B, nobody answered the door, so we phoned. The landlord was on the school run, but told us how to let ourselves in! A wonderful shower and fantastic views over the sunny valley put us in a great frame of mind. The landlord then drive us to a local Italian restaurant, where we had a great 3 course dinner, a couple of bottles of red wine and digestifs! A great end to a good days’ cycling.