Firstly, here is the picture that wouldn't load this morning.  This was taken from the balcony of the room where we had breakfast and it is a view you would never tire of.  Cath, the landlady of the High Roans B&B made us a great breakfast and wished us good luck.  She said she'd had two women stay a while ago who did LEJoG and if they could she was sure we could.  Sounds kind of sexist to me, but as we didn't say it, it's okay :)

We headed out of the picturesque town that was Sedburgh and headed for the hills.  We knew we had a thousand foot climb to start the day.  The climb was long but mainly not steep.  We followed a river up the hill (Lune?) and the scenery was great.  The wind however was right at us and quite strong.  However, we made good progress and got to Garsdale which was pretty much the top.  The picture shows the scenery we faced for our descent.  The guy who wrote our LEJoG book thinks this is the best scenery of the whole tour and it would be hard to argue with him.

The descent was great with massive valley walls wrapped around us.  The wind stopped us going too fast and saved our brake pads.  It was beautiful.

We carried on through Kirkby Stephen and then on towards Appleby in Westmoreland.  We have been spoiled with scenery so far, as we both thought this perfectly reasonable country road was very boring.

We got to Appleby and stopped for lunch in the Eden River Cafe.  I had a ham and cheese sandwich and the cheese was superb.  It was Eden Chieftain cheddar from the local Appleby Creamery.

The pic is the iconic one of the town which is well known for hosting the largest horse fair in the country.  Wendy and I are going to it this year which should be fun.  The horses all go in the river here.

The next section was absolutely mental.  We left Appleby and started climbing again.  The wind got stronger and stronger.  In the end we were frequently in our granny gear, out of our seats pedalling hard downhill to go about 5mph. I considered stopping riding as the side winds were taking the front wheels out from under us and it was getting dangerous.  I have never, ever cycled in wind like that before - and if it did it at home, I would put my bike back in the garage and go do something more sensible.

I stopped at one point to video the trees bending over in the breeze and Ian struggling to make forward progress.  Unfortunately, I haven't used the video before on my Blackberry and didn't save it.

My mind has already blanked out most of that awful passage of cycling, but I do remember falling off my bike laughing.  Ian had lost it by now and was cussing the wind and then the distance markers.  After 3 posts a couple of miles apart all said Brampton 14 miles, and then later on one said Brampton 6 miles and the next said 7 1/2 !  He gave it what for verbally and I laughed so hard I fell off my bike into the verge, luckily controlling it enough not to do any damage.

Eventually we got to Brampton and the road was closed for a street party.  Let me tell you, we were in no mood for partying.  We had a wonderful bowl of Lentil soup and at the Off The Wall Cafe and then set off for the last 15 miles.

The wind was much reduced now that we were lower down and it seemed to have changed direction a bit.  The road from Brompton to Gretna is straight and mainly nicely tarmaced.  Although I was very tired, I put the hammer down as I was so hacked off with the last few hours.  The miles soon got eaten up and I smiled a big smile when I saw the sign in the pic.

Finally, back to the reason for my title.  You may have thought that this had something to do with the Royal Wedding today, but to be honest Ian and I were pleased to be able to avoid all that stuff.

No, the reason is, I travel all this way to the romantic marriage capital of the world, and Wendy does a no-show, saying she would rather be at some party or other!!  What a nightmare. 

Oh well, another time.

29/4/2011 06:39:19 am

The wind force must have been awesome. Well done to overcome it. You'll have to get Wendy to Gretna Green!!! Hope you have a less tiring day tomorrow.

29/4/2011 06:41:41 am

maybe you forgot to tell Wendy your plan for Gretna Green! What a day you had, so much for the wind always being at your back!!!

29/4/2011 08:23:34 am

The Royal Wedding was actually beautiful today - but I'd rather be at yours!!! Anyway, very well done for surviving today. I hope your Scotland travels are better than today.

29/4/2011 09:00:04 am

Well done fighting all that weather today darling, Sorry I couldn't make it, but we raised about £870 tonight for Teenage Cancer trust, so together we haven't done bad... YAY!!!

Love & miss you loads, Can't wait to hold you x x x x


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